FAQ – details of what people have emailed me about regarding Segal buildings

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1/ Mortgages, surveyors and insurance on residential Segal properties

We have not had a problem getting a mortgage nor other resident, all the lenders inc main high st ones, seem ok about the properties, if you explain about the type of building (timber post and beam frame).

In recent years of restrictions on general lending anything that is not standard bricks and mortar many banks are no longer intetesrted, being risk adverse!

You may wish to try :

www.buildstore.co.uk/ who do self build Mortages.

www.ecology.co.uk/ who lend on properties and projects that respect the environment,

One problem is finding a surveyor, we have ones who only know about bricks and mortar and don’t have any clue about these buildings or any other type of building styles and give a negative view.

We and other residents have used Mr. Carey of
Mortimer & Carey Chartered Surveyors
5 Central Parade Station Rd  
DA15 7DH
Tel: 020 8309 5524
Who had surveyed other similar buildings and had no trouble with undertaking a survey for us.

Also Insurance companies seem ok seem ok about the properties; yet again you have to explain about the type of building and its construction and materials.

www.adrianflux.co.uk/household-insurance/ may be able to help with covering non traditional properties.

2 / Are you an original self-builder? I actually purchased the house from the original builder, although I have built an extension my self in the Segal style.

3/ Segal building advice
I cannot give any advice regarding building advice, on this web site Home page there is contact details of Jon Broome an architect who worked on these houses and should be able to advise. I don’t have any architectural /building qualifications - sorry!

4/ Living in a Segal House - re wall construction

What I can say we are happy with our walls, we have no condensation, the houses are dry even in damp winters.  Some of us are actually taking off the outer layer and beefing up the insulation and putting back the outer layer!
I am aware that the style used in our particular houses may not be quite up to current building regulations - these houses are now 25 years old! Certainly the insulation is no longer good enough we now use a newer product.
The original external Glasal board on the Houses has been discontinued.The replacement panels  of cement fibre are ‘Pictura’ or the more economical ‘Operal’ both from Marley Eternit 01 283 722 588.

Contact them to get details of local cutter merchants.

Also see http://www.vivalda.co.uk/ for other panels including resin boards.

5/ Living in a Segal House - re wall construction materials

Both the original Glasal board and the Lamina resin panels used in my house and extension have been discontinued. 

Here are the details of the claddings currently available ,
also read the PDFs from Marley that give some info  re fixing and timber framed walls.

6/ How strong is a Segal House

well a tree fell on this house and didnt demolish it.
The house took the full weight of the tree, due to the  frame of the house, The Fire Brigade was amazed as an ordinary brick house would have been crushed.
The house just needed a repair to the roof.

2014 - heard another house had a 2.5 ton tree fall on it and it did not collapse, sadly the damage of twisting the frame slightly is meaning a rebuild.
At least the building didnt  collapse as the tree fell on it!

7/  Windows and Insulation Question
I'm interested how your segal home rates energy-efficiency- wise.  People tend to use a lot of glass in segal houses and I wondered if these a pre-fab double-glazed windows or home made ones, and if the houses are freezing cold at the moment.
I'm looking to do a segal build extension with south-facing windows but to buy wooden double glazing is v expensive and I'm trying to figure out if segal builds DIY the double glazing and whether the high levels of insultation keep the homes warm.


The original windows in my house were mainly handmade double glazed windows Using manufactured double glazed units
These worked wet and  at the time of the building were fine for that purpose
We also had some aluminium framed double glazed windows and they were good, we still have them in other parts of the house .
The handmade ones  eventually suffered on the south side due to the wind and rain and as part of renovations and the new extension we have replaced all of this outside windows with new eco plus windows from the green building store . these are top quality well-made well performing windows however these aren't cheap but you pay what you get , we thought it would be a very good long-term investment in getting these windows and they do work well

The houses when built  had acceptable level of insulation , although these days I higher level of installation would have to be used in order to come up to current building regulations.
The houses are generally warm as the houses are dry and no dampness, so  they heat up very quickly we don't need to run the heating during the night and on winters days when the sun is out we do not have the heating on during the day as the solar gain in the sunlight coming in is enough to warm the house.
It is wise to build an extension with the maximum amount of insulation thickness that you can.
In our extension we have had the Kingspan/ celtex  foam sheets  covered in foil  installation seems to do well and is very cheap and easy to use.(http://www.wickes.co.uk/invt/190544)

Perhaps a good compromise is to a double glazed  manufactured unit of two sheets of glass stuck together and prorperly sealed  ( you can get them through glass shops and build a wooden frame around it rather than buying the double glazed unit and the frame altogether.