Laing Easiform houses were produced by the famous British construction company and now investor, John Laing PLC. They were first constructed in the period directly after the First World War.
21st July, 2022
Laing Easiform houses were produced by the famous British construction company and now investor, John Laing PLC. They were first constructed in the period directly after the First World War. Over 100,000 more were built over the following 40 years. Laing Easiform is a type of non-standard construction, similar to Airey houses or BISF houses, and so they often give rise to several questions.
In this article we’ll answer all of the most common questions about Laing Easiform houses. We’ll cover what Laing Easiform houses are, their history, how they are constructed, and a few tips on how to spot one. Then we’ll discuss how to get a mortgage on a Laing Easiform house and whether or not you should buy one. Finally we’ll talk about the best way to sell a house of this construction type.
If you’re looking for the answer to a particular question such as should I buy a Laing Easiform house, or some of their common problems, use the menu below to navigate through the article quickly. Otherwise, just read on for our complete guide.
Laing Easiform houses are a type of non-standard construction developed by the British construction firm John Laing Group PLC. The first Easiform house was built in 1919, and over the next 40 to 50 years tens of thousands more were built across the country. This method of house building was favoured during the inter and post war period to address housing shortages because of the adaptability and speed that the design allowed.
How are Laing Easiform houses built?
Laing Easiform houses are built using a system of construction that builds cavity walls using concrete instead of bricks, and steel shuttering or moulds for speed. Poured concrete is moulded on-site using moulds to create an inner and outer skin, with a cavity for insulation. The walls are typically stabilised using steel wall ties that connect the inner and outer skins. Laing Easiform housing was innovative and effective because it allowed houses to be erected incredibly quickly without compromising structural strength.
Laing Easiform construction was very adaptable. Over 25 different types of housing were built using this method of construction ranging from houses to apartments and maisonettes. They even supported additional features such as bay windows. Over the years, there were three main versions of the Easiform system. The MK1, MK2, and MK3.
The MK1 version was built between 1919 and 1928. This method had 8 inch thick concrete walls and was built using No-fines concrete (named so because it contained no fine sand). Only around 2,000 houses were built using this method and they are now very rare.
The MK2 version is more common than the MK1 and was built between 1928 and 1945. This version had a cavity separating inner and outer leaves of 3 inches thick. The outer skin was typically finished with a pebbledash or a gravel aggregate to give protection against the elements.
Finally, the MK3 version is the most common type of Laing Easiform house. Built after 1945, this method was more customisable than the previous two versions and was modified to specification. The concrete walls were cast in situ and reinforced with bands above and below window openings. Inner and outer walls were reinforced with steel rods to strengthen the structure, and ground floor partition walls were also cast in-situ using clinker concrete.
Whilst the Laing Easiform house went through a number of iterations, there are still some telltale signs that can help you spot them. Some of the most obvious ones are listed here.
Porch. Front door porches will typically be present and constructed using concrete.
Loft Space. Within the loft space the line of the party wall will be raised and visible. It is smooth and grey in appearance, and isn’t made of brick and block like a traditionally constructed house.
Wall Thickness. Examining the wall thickness in exposed areas such as stairwells can help you determine whether the construction is Laing Easi.
External Wall Vents. External wall vents are typically rectangular.
Problems with Laing Easiform houses
As with all non-standard construction houses, Laing Easiform has its share of problems. However, it is recognised as one of the stronger and more durable types. A couple of common problems with this type of construction are below.
Corrosion of embedded metal. The steel reinforcement that was used to tie the inner and outer walls can sometimes be affected by corrosion over time. This leads to cracking along the reinforcement lines, however is usually repairable if it hasn’t progressed too far.
Asbestos. Asbestos was commonly used in high quantities to construct the soffits. This isn’t always immediately obvious as it’s frequently hidden by UPVC. Asbestos boarding is also often used in the under-stairs cupboards and loft hatches.
Thermal performance. The cavity wall in Laing Easiform houses is usually not insulated. Thermal performance is therefore poorer than a traditionally constructed house, and heating can be more expensive. It is possible to get insulation installed however.
Can I get a mortgage on a Laing Easiform house?
In the Housing Defects Act a number of non-standard construction methods were declared as defective. This led to mortgage companies refusing to lend on these types of houses due to concerns about their durability. Laing Easiform houses were not declared as defective under the Housing Defects Act, and so are usually mortgageable by most major lenders. Be aware that this may change over the coming decades as the stock ages and more problems with these houses become apparent.
Can I sell a Laing Easiform house?
It is possible to sell a Laing Easiform house. Because they’re stronger and more durable than other non-standard construction houses, they’re usually mortgageable. This means that they appeal to a larger pool of buyers than other, more risky properties that would require a cash buyer.
Some buyers may be hesitant to purchase a Laing Easiform house because of the problems that we mentioned earlier. They could end up languishing on the open market for much longer than traditionally constructed houses which can be a problem if you need to sell your house fast.
If you’re looking for a guaranteed sale then consider a cash house buyer. At SmoothSale we buy any house in any condition, and we can complete a purchase in as little as 7 days. Our service is free, and we even cover your legal costs. To find out more about how we can help, give us a call on 0800 368 8952 or get a cash offer today.
What makes Laing Easiform Houses unique?
Laing Easiform Houses stand out for their innovative use of concrete and distinctive mid-century design, creating homes that are both functional and aesthetically pleasing.
Are Laing Easiform Houses energy-efficient?
Yes, the design and materials used in Laing Easiform Houses contribute to their energy efficiency, making them an environmentally conscious choice for homeowners.
Can I modify the interior of a Laing Easiform House?
While maintaining the structural integrity is crucial, many Laing Easiform homeowners have successfully personalized their interiors to suit modern tastes.
How has the perception of Laing Easiform Houses evolved over the years?
Initially met with skepticism, Laing Easiform Houses have gained appreciation over time, recognized for their architectural significance and unique design.
Are Laing Easiform Houses a good investment?
With their historical value and enduring appeal, Laing Easiform Houses can be a sound investment, attracting those who appreciate the blend of history and modernity.
Can I find Laing Easiform Houses in different architectural styles?
While the core design principles remain, variations in architectural styles can be found, reflecting the adaptability of Laing Easiform Houses to different preferences.