PRC Certificates

PRC Certificates

PRC home owners, purchasers and/or investors, will be asked to provide PRC Certification if they wish to sell their property, purchase a property, release Equity or raise finance through Banks or Building Societies. The majority of Mortgage Lenders will not lend on PRC homes unless a structural repair has been carried out in accordance with a recognised PRC Licensed repair scheme and overseen by an approved PRC Inspector.

Banks and Buildings Societies will ask for legal evidence in the accepted format of a PRC Certificate of Structural Completion issued by a fully qualified and experienced PRC Structural Engineer.

To gain a PRC Certificate your property will have had to have had a structural repair carried out to an approved standard which can be costly. See repairing your property.

Retrospective PRC Certification

Retrospective PRC Certification can only be issued if the repaired PRC property conforms to a recognised repair scheme.

Occasionally we find that a partial repair has been carried out and with a small amount of works the property can be upgraded to full certification to provide full mortgageability.

In these cases an initial inspection would be required to ascertain the works and costs required to advise you of your options.

In many cases certificates and other documents regarding the repair have been lost, defaced or discarded over the years.

Whatever the issues the problem CAN generally be overcome.

If you are offered a PRC Certificate that does not confirm the property has been repaired to the correct standard then please contact us or seek other professional advice before committing to purchase.

Professional advisors should be particularly careful as we are aware of a spate of negligence claims, many due to unqualified inspectors signing off repairs. You should check to see if the PRC Certificate is an original or a copy, and has been issued by a qualified PRC Structural Engineer?

If the PRC Certificate has been issued retrospectively, what investigations were carried out to ascertain the validity of the repair?

We would be happy to check your certification on your behalf.

General Certificates

General Certificates can be issued following an intrusive inspection of a properties structure if/when a Bank or Building Society require a structural integrity report and certification, carried out for a Non PRC property.

There are hundreds of different types of non-traditional properties all over the country, some well constructed are acceptable to Lenders. Others have been built of poor quality materials and are more partial to decay and deterioration.

The Issues

The Problem

Tens of thousands of PRC properties still remain, and structural repairs are needed because of the long term decay of concrete.

The post-war non-traditional housing program was a remarkable period in the history of UK housing. Some precast reinforced concrete (PRC) homes structural weaknesses came to light in the 1980s when occupants were first offered the right to buy. A survey of PRC homes, carried out by the Building Research Establishment, established a generic problem of carbonation of the concrete, due to inadequate protection of the steel reinforcement. As a result, more than 20 types of PRC homes were designated as defective and immediately became unmortgageable.

To restore confidence, Government grants were made to ensure that the homes were properly repaired, the Government approached NHBC to set up and administer a repair scheme. This scheme eventually repaired over 13,000 homes, adopting tailored repair procedures for most of the defective house types. The scheme was run by PRC Homes a subsidiary of NHBC, and offered certificates of repair acceptable to mortgage lenders, unfortunately these grants were only offered over a ten year period and are no longer available.

By the mid 1950s the construction of non-traditional houses was beginning to decline, though some types like Wimpey No-fines continued to be built in large numbers. Timber-frame construction, however, did secure long-term popularity among house builders and today, for low-rise, remains the UK’s main alternative to masonry. Though not adopted as a long-term solution for the structural frames of houses, precast concrete did find its niche in medium- and high-rise apartments where it has become the principal framing and cladding material. Steel frame has been a somewhat less common solution for housing since the post-war period, however, it has its advocates, who value the flexibility provided by the light structures that can be designed.

Additionally, mortgage lenders show a reluctance to continue to lend on many of these properties, or to offer home insurance, leaving owners and tenants wishing to buy with few options.

PRC Repairs

PRC Repairs

The issues faced by both owner/occupiers and investors are twofold, the first being an unrepaired property where little or no work has been undertaken since its construction and secondly repaired houses where no PRC Certificate is available

The first of these issues is relatively straightforward to overcome but is dependent on the original construction of the property. Repair systems are available for many of the PRC Property types but some variants are more complicated and time consuming than others. In general the work involves removing or making redundant the load bearing concrete elements of the property and rebuilding using traditional materials. There many different repair schemes available for each of the construction types on the Defective list. We can guide you through these.

Gaining a PRC Certificate with a full repair is costly, disruptive and varies for each type of PRC Property. With many PRC Repairs it is possible for the occupants to remain in residence whilst the work is undertaken with others it is not. We are able to give guidance in the initial stages of contact regarding this issue, so that long term plans can be made in good time.

PRC repairs are extensive and should be considered carefully. If you have one of the property types that can be lived in during the works you should be aware that you and your family will be living on a building site with all the usual dangers and upheaval. The seasons can bring their own problems of dust, heat, mud, rain, wind, and cold that should be considered, there is no GOOD time to repair although high winds can be the worst.

Your personal possessions would need to be carefully packed away and preferably stored off site. Carpets and floor coverings should also be removed or rolled back and protected.  With some repairs the floor sizes can change slightly so replacement should be considered.

Decoration is not part of the repair process (unless agreed beforehand) and the Engineer will issue certification before that stage. You should be aware that every external wall and in some cases internal walls, windows and door reveals will be affected and need re-decoration, if foundations have been extended there might be an outside area to make good.

Our advice would always be to find alternative accommodation and store your possessions elsewhere for the duration of the repair if at all possible.

But enough of the good things, by having your PRC home repaired you will have increased its market value (usually in considerable excess of purchase and repair costs), increased the thermal values, make good savings on your heating bills and have made an investment in your families future.

Why choose us?

Between us we have decades of experience in the PRC construction and design process, we offer the highest certification, finance, insurance, project management. We work with reputable partners and subcontractors. Our goal is to build homes that you will love to live in and can sell when the time comes to move on.

We cover the whole of England, Scotland and Wales and can save our clients both time and money by helping you through each stage.

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