Planning to build a non-standard construction

Understanding the impact of choosing non-standard construction materials
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Non-standard construction is a term that applies to many different types of building material so it often prompts the question, what is ‘standard’? In most cases a standard house is one made of brick or stone walls with a roof of tile or slate. So you can pretty much assume that non-standard is everything else.

Materials like concrete, glass, metal or even wattle and daub are considered non-standard, as are steel framed houses and flat roofs. But why does it matter what materials you want to build your home from?


Financially, the materials you choose can have a huge impact. Although your materials and construction methods might be cutting edge, few mortgage lenders or insurance providers are quite so up to date. The non-standard construction materials that you use can limit the number of businesses that will lend funds or take on the risk of insuring your house after it is built.

You will likely need to seek a self-build mortgage and a structural warranty, which states whether the house meets building regulations. This will be essential if you plan on selling the property.


During the build itself you will need site insurance; your mortgage lender might insist on it before works can begin. And even after the project is complete you will need to source buildings insurance. Traditional insurers will be reluctant to provide cover for a house of non-standard construction, as the cost of repairing or replacing features of the property will often be costlier than a standard house.

In this case, a specialist provider with experience in non-standard construction home insurance will be your best bet for securing adequate cover. You will need a specialist that is prepared to take on potentially greater risks, where the building materials require regular maintenance and a specialist tradesperson for repairs, or where they are more vulnerable to damage by fire, flood or similar risks.

Self builders beware

Launching yourself into building your dream home is incredibly exciting, but take care to plan before money exchanges hands. You will need to research all of the necessary certifications, contracts, liabilities, warranties, etc. for a smooth build. And you should also research the building materials before committing to a design. All homes require reasonable maintenance but non-standard construction properties may require significantly more.

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