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Mortgages for timber clad house


AnnaKH
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Hi, wondering if anyone had experience of getting a self-build mortgage on a timber clad house? All the TF designs we've been considering are timber clad (its for a rural part of Scotland and these seem pretty attractive to the planners and I also prefer it over block and render), however I understand that only 2 or 3 lenders will offer a mortgage on a fully timber clad house. I've love to hear if people know who these lenders are and if this is an issue folks have come up against. Thanks

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We have a render on render board outer skin on timber frame. The mortgage lender is fine with this, but the surveyor acting for the lender said it would have been a different story if we had specified timber cladding on timber frame.

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19 minutes ago, Hilldes said:

We have a render on render board outer skin on timber frame. The mortgage lender is fine with this, but the surveyor acting for the lender said it would have been a different story if we had specified timber cladding on timber frame.

Now that I think about it we had similar advice. We went for fiber cement weatherboard, Cedral over timber frame/SIPS on the ground floor and standing seam on the 1st floor and roof. I did not want to have to deal with the maintenance of full timber and I don't like the weathered look, although Cedral is not without it's issues. 

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6 minutes ago, AnnaKH said:

Thanks @Hilldes Can you let me know why you went with render on render board as opposed to block and render? I’d only looked at timber cladding up until now so haven’t researched other options.

Not everyone will agree with all of these but this has my thinking, relative to a render on blockwork external skin: can be quicker, can be more accurate (e.g. around window reveals), can DIY some of it (battening for render board and the boarding itself if you have time). Not sure on relative costs as I never looked closely at the blockwork option.  The house is a modern design and the render looks really 'crisp' and 'sharp'. 

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@AnnaKH Three and a half years ago we self built a timber frame, timber clad house. We recently sold it and IIRC the first people who were going to buy it had a mortgage with NatWest which they said was ok with the construction. Unfortunately they couldn't sell their house so we accepted an offer from another buyer who also didn't have a problem getting a mortgage. I don't know who their lender was but there were no problems. We also heard that getting house insurance would be difficult but we had no problem with Aviva.

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  • 5 months later...

We have a 100% timber cladding barn conversion and there were only two lenders we could find who would lend whilst it was being built. Halifax or Ecology.

 

We did a self build mortgage with Ecology and found them absolutely brilliant. 

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On 24/07/2021 at 10:01, AnnaKH said:

Hi, wondering if anyone had experience of getting a self-build mortgage on a timber clad house? All the TF designs we've been considering are timber clad (its for a rural part of Scotland and these seem pretty attractive to the planners and I also prefer it over block and render), however I understand that only 2 or 3 lenders will offer a mortgage on a fully timber clad house. I've love to hear if people know who these lenders are and if this is an issue folks have come up against. Thanks

 

To put a different slant on this, but hopefully an encouraging one for BH members.

 

After the Grenfell tragety the insurers that were providing PI cover to designers (also to the folk that manufacture cladding systems and anyone else involved) were lost and backed off, many were trying to figure out what would follow, what it all meant. The mortgage providers, who partly rely on designers PI cover and input were stuck as they are there to write insurance business..not to study the regs, fire design and so on.

 

However. Things seem to be settling a bit for the domestic market as many houses don't exceed say 18m in height. The building regs Uk wide (fire) are actually not that bad for low rise structures so it's a bit of a less risk area. Unfortunately in the panic even self builds / extensions got caught in the net to some extent and lenders backed off.

 

I have seen a big surge in the amount of info you need to provide when renewing your PI cover in terms of fire risk. It's gone from about one page to six or seven and you also need to provide a statement about.. almost how you see the risk..the insurers are really trying to cover all their bases.

 

Fundamentally though, if you are self building / extending you can still have a timber cladding and a timber frame. If you are less than 1.0m from the boundary then it's an issue but that has always been the case pre Grenfell or not. Often there are other factors that make the fire design a mute point if close to a boundary.. privacy.. over shaddowing, massing and so on in terms of planning anyway.

 

I'm mulling this over.. have spoken to a few folk that make a living as underwriters, brokers and lenders. What I did was when filling in my PI renewal form was to embrace the questions and lay out where the risk is. My premium went up by about 7% so good result as I was expecting it to double at least.

 

Given my experience it may be worth while discussing with your designers what they would charge you to provide a lay persons summary about your design and the fire risk. The aim is to reassure and educate potential insurers.

 

Always bear in mind that insurance companies need to write policies.. and they need you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Gus Potter
missed a bit!
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My previous research tells me that you will get told "Non standard construction" by a lot of lenders, and that you will either have to pay more, or get refused. I would also be concerned about ever having to sell, and the problem that any future purchaser porting over an existing mortgage might have. Back in the dark ages when i used to agree mortgages for a high street bank. I would have an anual target. At the start i would write up mortgages that perhaps didn't quite tick all the boxes. As i got closer to the target i would get more stringent. When the mortgages got close to the maximum level of exposure that the bank wanted to have to the property market, i would refuse most mortgage applications. Please don't get me wrong. I think there are tons of better ways of building property than bricks, and blocks. Unfortunately the lenders just have not caught up with modern methods of construction.

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Thanks everyone for your input. We've since decided to go with block and render - mostly due to issues already raised in the chat, such as if we sold in the future, and wanting to keep our finance options as wide as possible. Now I need to research how to get beautiful, crisp render that won't get knackered by the wind coming off the sea!

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12 hours ago, AnnaKH said:

Now I need to research how to get beautiful, crisp render that won't get knackered by the wind coming off the sea!

My SW side has suffered from the wind, rain and sun, but it is 34 year old.

So far only cracked in one place that caused a problem.  Easily repaired.

I think it has to become maintenance item, so just accept that.

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