Standard construction is very simple; it means any home built from bricks and mortar, ideally with concrete foundations and a slate or tiled, pitched roof. Non standard construction therefore consists of any home built using any other building materials or techniques. Not surprisingly there are lots of options to choose from in this category.
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At Highworth Insurance we specialise in non standard construction insurance. New materials and innovative methods of construction are emerging all the time and we frequently insure owners and developers of these exciting new homes. We also insure a lot of beautiful older properties that fall into the non standard bracket. We enjoy the variety and so we thought we’d provide a glossary of non standard construction terms. We can provide non standard construction insurance for properties built using any of these non standard materials:
Non standard construction insurance: A Glossary
The use of timber frames is a long-standing construction technique still going strong today. From classic Tudor builds to modern day eco constructions, they are not only relatively quick to construct, but done properly, they can also be a thing of beauty and a considerable selling point for your home.
Durable, easy to install and precisely constructed offsite down to the nearest millimetre, steel frames weigh less than timber frames and are less susceptible to fire, corrosion and pests. Steel frames can be designed and manufactured to exact requirements, making them ideal for conversion projects.
Faster construction times and lower labour costs are two very clear benefits to prefab housing. They are also associated with exceptional design, especially from the high end providers such as Huf Haus. The efficiency of the design and structure of many prefabricated homes allows for a great use of light and open space.
Insulating Concrete Forms (ICFs) are highly energy efficient, making them ideal for building well insulated homes, as well as being terrific noise reducers. Precast concrete homes come with all the benefits of other forms of prefabricated build, in that they are relatively quick to construct as well as being fire retardant and less susceptible to damage by fire and pests. Many architects enjoy the versatility concrete affords, especially when utilised alongside other building materials.
Other than timber, natural build materials include wattle & daub construction, straw bale and cob houses. All are great natural insulators and incorporate historic methods and natural materials to great effect. Many listed buildings feature these techniques and the result is often very aesthetically pleasing. As well as being in keeping with the natural environment, these materials are usually locally sourced and environmentally sound.Get a Quote
All about roofs…
Together with their chocolate box charm and rustic appeal, thatched roofs also provide great insulation. They are also ecologically sound and as such have experienced something of a resurgence in recent years due to their impressive ecological credentials.
Although still considered non standard, flat roofs are extremely popular and common place in modern construction. Cheaper and quicker to build than a traditional pitch roof, flat roofs are also more efficient. They have developed a reputation for leaking and water damage, however this is usually due to poor maintenance and a shorter lifespan, rather than an intrinsic fault in this type of roofing.
Green roofs are especially popular in eco builds; effectively incorporating insulation and drainage with living vegetation and a natural wildlife habitat. They utilise the natural functions of plants to filter water and can in some urban areas can be used to reduce air population. Visually congruent with the natural world, they are also very pleasant to look at.
Why is non standard construction harder to insure?
Arguably many of the materials and techniques listed above are better than what is currently considered standard. Many have stood the test of time, especially in Listed Buildings, whilst others far outstrip the conventional in terms of environmental and economic efficiency. Nevertheless they remain harder to insure.
Reasons for this lie in the practical concerns and added expense often associated with types of non standard construction. These include additional risks such as thatch roofs and timber frames being more susceptible to fire than slate and bricks. Another aspect is the rebuild costs. Many types of non standard construction require professional labour to repair and the replacement materials themselves can be more expensive to buy and are harder to come by.
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We provide non standard construction insurance
Whatever type of home you live in, be it listed, ecological, thatched or prefabricated, at Highworth Insurance we specialise in all forms of non-standard construction insurance and can provide a bespoke and competitive quotation for your non standard home.