Can I get a K Lath construction mortgage?

Some would argue that there are more different type s of home construction in the UK than practically anywhere else in the world. The Building Research Establishment (BRE) has identified more than 500 different residential construction systems erected between 1919 and 1976 – and there are an estimated one million homes or so that can be designated as “non-standard construction”.

Non-standard construction – such as K Lath construction – often presents a problem for mortgage lenders. They are far more comfortable with the known quantities and risks of a home built using standard techniques, with brick or stone walls and a slate or tiled roof.

If you are interested in buying a home of non-standard construction, you are likely to find it more than usually challenging to secure a K Lath construction mortgage – non-standard construction mortgages may be few and far between.

Damian Youell

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What are K Lath construction homes?

A particular type of non-standard construction is the so-called K Lath construction.

The term K Lath has been used to describe all manner of reinforced lath construction techniques.

If you are looking to buy a home built using any kind of K Lath construction techniques, you will need a non-standard construction mortgage – or, more specifically, a K Lath construction mortgage in which some mortgage lenders specialise.

You might want to seek professional advice and assistance, therefore, in identifying those specialist K Lath construction lenders.

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What is a non-standard construction mortgage?

Non-standard buildings are those built according to construction techniques that fail to conform to the standard – where standard construction includes brick, block, or stone walls, concrete foundations, and slate or tiled roofs.

After the Second World War when housing was in desperately short supply, and throughout the 1950s and 60s, different types of non-standard construction were used – mainly by local authorities – to quickly build up the housing stock.

Many of these old-fashioned and outdated construction techniques – using such materials as concrete frames, steel frames, concrete panels, and K Lath reinforcement – would later be “designated defective” under housing defects legislation which granted compensation to unsuspecting owners (the last of whom received any such assistance in 1994).

But there are still many homes of non-standard construction – and you will need to find a specialist mortgage lender prepared to advance a loan on any such building that deviates from

You will need to know whether your property is classed as a non-standard building as these properties can cause implications with mortgages, insurance, maintenance and selling.

You are likely to need a non-standard construction mortgage, for example, if the property you want to buy involves any of the following construction types:

  • thatched roofs – no matter how chocolate-box attractive the thatched cottage might appear, your mortgage lender is likely to take a quite different view;
  • concrete prefabs – a widely-used response to the urgent housing needs following the Second World War, yet still in existence today;
  • steel frame construction;
  • listed buildings – from country cottages to manor houses and stately homes;
  • single-course brick construction;
  • flats in high-rise blocks;
  • timber frame construction;
  • K Lath reinforced construction; and
  • many other non-standard building techniques.

Why is it difficult to get a K Lath construction mortgage?

The inherent problem with any non-standard construction – including K Lath – is the invariably higher cost of maintenance and repair.

The required, specialist materials are likely to prove more difficult to source – and are, therefore, more expensive. You have only to imagine the amount of specialist work and materials that go into repairing or replacing a thatched roof, for example, or the extremely rigid controls and restrictions on the use of materials that can be used to repair or reinstate damage to listed buildings.

Those commercial risks make getting a K Lath mortgage more difficult because of the recognised issues regarding the shorter lifespan of the materials and construction techniques used, the greater fire risk, and the potential for damp or other structural issues.

Can I get a non-standard construction mortgage?

Despite those heightened commercial risks, it is still possible to get a non-standard construction mortgage – including K Lath construction mortgages – but you will probably have to widen your net and look further for specialist K Lath construction mortgage lenders.

The reality is that your home is likely to prove more difficult to sell if it is non-standard construction. Any lender will need to take this into account in the event of you defaulting on your mortgage repayments and the ultimate repossession of your home. Since this represents a bigger risk for the lender, many will view your application less favourably.

Whether or not your application is accepted, of course, depends on the lender’s particular policies and the condition – described in the surveyor’s report – of the home you want to buy.

To avoid the potentially adverse impact on your credit score if any mortgage application is declined, you might want to consult a specialist mortgage broker about the likelihood of securing a loan with specific lenders before you make a formal application.

How do K Lath mortgages work?

Once you have found that specialist K Lath construction lender, the application process will follow what is a standard path. You will still need to submit evidence of your income, earnings, expenditure, and personal circumstances. And the obligatory credit checks will, of course, be made – as some measure, at least, of your successful management of previous debt.

Even the most willing mortgage lenders will still regard any advance as a higher than usual risk, so you will almost certainly be asked to put down a bigger deposit, might need to pay a higher rate of interest, and could face stricter affordability stress tests.

Next steps

Property that has been built using non-standard construction techniques – of which K Lath is just one example – gives any mortgage lender pause for thought.

Lending on such property is fraught with risks – either because the construction techniques left the building more vulnerable to damage or because of the higher cost of repairs and maintenance when materials are used that may be difficult to source.

Nevertheless, some lenders remain willing to advance a mortgage on such properties – and at we may help you identify such lenders and assist you through the somewhat often more challenging application process.

FAQs- K Lath Construction Mortgages

What is K Lath Construction?

K Lath (pronounced ‘carlath’) is an abbreviation for ‘Carbide Laminated Timber’, a type of engineered timber used in construction. It was developed by the German company Carlath AG in the 1970s. The material can be manufactured from wood and other fibres, and its strength makes it ideal for use in buildings. It is also particularly resistant to fire, making it suitable for high-risk areas like airports and hospitals. It is widely used in Europe but is now being introduced in North America.

What does K Lath mean for my mortgage?

The name K Lath means that the building structure is made up of laminated timber beams and columns. This makes it stronger than traditional wooden structures, and it is generally regarded as a safer option for new homes. However, it is also much heavier than conventional construction methods, meaning that it is more expensive to build. The main advantage of K Lath is that it is highly resistant to fire.

What are non-standard construction properties mortgage?

Non-standard construction properties are those where the building materials were not chosen according to normal industry standards. For example, they might have been made from cheaper materials, or they might have been constructed using unconventional methods. These factors increase the risk that the building will suffer structural failure or collapse during its lifetime. However, some of this non-standard construction could be better suited to certain types of homes, or even to specific locations.

How do I know if my house is non-standard?

It’s important to check whether your home has been built using non-standard construction techniques before applying for a mortgage. If you think there is a problem, then contact your local authority planning department to find out what action needs to be taken. You should also consider contacting your local council’s Building Control Department to make sure that no safety issues have been overlooked.

Can I get a mortgage on a non-standard construction house?

Yes, there are some banks or building societies that are used by borrowers as non-standard construction lenders. They offer mortgages on properties which have been built using different types of construction materials. There are two main reasons why these loans are available: firstly, the lender believes that the extra costs involved in repairing a damaged property are outweighed by the benefits of having a strong, safe building; secondly, the lender wants to encourage people to buy houses with better quality construction materials. If you are interested in starting a loan application from non-standard construction mortgage lenders, you can contact our team who can help you in getting the best mortgage deal.

Why is getting a non-standard construction mortgage more difficult?

If you apply for a standard construction mortgage, then your bank or building society will look at how well your existing home meets the requirements set out in their lending criteria. If your current home doesn’t meet them, then they may refuse to lend you money. However, if you apply for a non-standard construction loan, then your lender will need to assess the risks associated with the type of construction material being used. This is because they don’t want to take any unnecessary risks when making a decision about whether or not to give you a loan. Therefore, they will usually ask you to provide evidence that your home has been built safely. In addition, they will want to see proof that the construction company is reputable and experienced.

What happens if I am refused a mortgage?

There are many reasons why you might be turned down for a mortgage. The most common reason is that your credit rating isn’t good enough. Your credit score is based on information about your previous borrowing behaviour. If you have had problems paying off debts in the past, then it will show up on your credit report. It will also affect your ability to borrow money in the future. If your credit score is too low, then you won’t be able to get a mortgage from a major lender.

If you are unable to prove that your home was built correctly, then your lender could decide to reject your application. They may even ask you to pay an additional fee to cover the cost of inspecting your home. This inspection could include checking the roof, walls and floors. If you fail this test, then your lender could turn down your application.

If you are interested. you can read about our blog on mortgages with defaults