Single brick construction mortgage

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Single brick construction mortgages

Mortgages for a single brick construction property come with their unique set of challenges and considerations. This comprehensive guide is curated to navigate you through the multifaceted process, providing detailed insights into essential aspects ranging from the identification of single skin walls, obtaining necessary mortgages, the valuation process, to the practicalities of building single skin extensions. Embarking on a journey towards acquiring or enhancing a single brick construction property necessitates a nuanced understanding of the sector’s specifics, including regulatory compliance, structural integrity, and the specialised financial avenues available. Armed with the knowledge encapsulated within this guide, you’ll be empowered to make informed decisions, ensuring that your investment in a single brick construction property is both strategic and sustainable.

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What is a single skin wall?

A single skin wall, also known as a single brick wall or half brick wall, is a type of wall construction that consists of a single layer of bricks. Unlike a cavity wall, which has two layers of bricks with a gap or ‘cavity’ in between, a single skin brick wall is just one brick thick. This type of construction is commonly used for exterior walls in outbuildings, garages, and extensions rather than main residential buildings, as it doesn’t offer as much insulation or resistance to weather as a cavity wall does. In terms of building regulations in the UK, there are often specific requirements to meet in terms of insulation, damp proofing, and structural stability when using single skin brick wall construction.

Can you get a mortgage on a single brick construction property?

Getting a mortgage on a single-brick construction property in the UK can be more challenging compared to properties with cavity wall constructions. Lenders may perceive single-brick constructions as higher risk due to concerns related to insulation, durability, and weather resistance. Such properties might not meet the lenders’ criteria for security, potentially limiting the choice of available mortgage products.

However, it’s not impossible to secure a mortgage on a single-brick construction property. Some specialist lenders or building societies may offer mortgages on these types of properties, albeit potentially at higher interest rates or with more stringent criteria. It might also be helpful to seek advice from a mortgage advisor who specialises in unusual or non-standard construction types to explore all available options and find a lender that may be willing to provide a mortgage.

Which lenders offer mortgages on single brick construction properties?

Specific lenders in the UK may vary their policies regarding single brick construction properties, and the mortgage market is continually changing, with lenders periodically updating their lending criteria.

However, some building societies and specialist lenders have historically been more flexible when it comes to non-standard construction types. These might include:

  • Nationwide Building Society
  • Halifax
  • Ecology Building Society
  • The Melton Building Society
  • Ipswich Building Society

However, it’s essential to understand that even within these lenders, policies can change, and acceptance can depend on other factors, such as the overall condition of the property, its location, or the specific product you’re applying for.

If you’re considering getting a mortgage on a single brick construction property, it’s advisable to consult with a mortgage broker, especially one familiar with non-standard constructions. They’ll have the most up-to-date knowledge on which lenders are currently offering mortgages for such properties and can guide you through the application process.

What are the interest rates on mortgages for single brick construction properties?

Interest rates on mortgages for single-brick construction properties in the UK can vary significantly based on various factors, such as the lender’s policies, the loan-to-value ratio, the borrower’s creditworthiness, and the overall mortgage market conditions. Since single-brick construction properties are considered non-standard, lenders may charge higher interest rates due to the perceived higher risk associated with these properties.

On average, you might find that interest rates for such non-standard properties could be higher than those for standard brick and mortar properties, possibly ranging from 3% to 6% or more, depending on the specifics of the mortgage product and the applicant’s circumstances.

For precise and up-to-date information, it’s advisable to reach out to multiple lenders or a mortgage broker specialising in non-standard constructions to get a better sense of the current interest rates available for single-brick construction properties. Remember, interest rates can also be influenced by broader economic factors, including the Bank of England’s base rate and general economic conditions.

What are the deposit requirements for mortgages on single brick construction properties?

Deposit requirements for mortgages on single skin construction properties can vary based on the lender’s risk assessment. Given that single brick construction properties are often considered riskier and less desirable due to their susceptibility to weather elements and insulation inefficiencies, lenders might require a larger deposit to offset these risks.

Typically, for non-standard construction types, including single brick construction, lenders might ask for a higher loan-to-value (LTV) ratio, possibly around 60-75%. This means that the borrower might need to provide a deposit constituting 25-40% of the property’s value.

It’s also important to consider that these requirements can vary based on a multitude of factors, such as the borrower’s credit history, the property’s location, and its overall condition. Therefore, consulting a mortgage advisor, especially one specialising in non-standard properties, is advisable to get a more accurate estimate tailored to your circumstances and the specific property in question. Remember that lending criteria may also change over time based on economic conditions and lenders’ policies.

What are the other eligibility criteria for mortgages on single brick construction properties?

When seeking a mortgage for a single brick construction property in the UK, aside from the deposit requirements, there are various other eligibility criteria to consider. These criteria help lenders assess the risk associated with the mortgage:

Credit history: As with all mortgages, a good credit history is essential. Lenders will review your credit report to assess your past borrowing behaviour and determine the likelihood that you’ll repay the loan.

Income and affordability: Lenders will assess your income sources, stability, and the ratio of your income to your outgoings to determine if you can comfortably afford the mortgage repayments.

Property valuation: A surveyor will assess the property’s value and condition. For single brick constructions, particular attention will be paid to the structure’s soundness, potential issues related to insulation or weatherproofing, and any maintenance that might be required.

Property age and condition: Older properties or those in poor condition might be seen as riskier, potentially affecting the mortgage terms or even the ability to secure a mortgage.

Location: Some lenders might have restrictions or different terms for properties in certain areas, especially if there’s a history of issues with single brick constructions in that region.

Mortgage type and term: The type of mortgage product (fixed, variable, etc.) and the term length can influence eligibility and the terms offered.

Loan-to-value (LTV) ratio: As mentioned earlier, the percentage of the property’s value you wish to borrow against can affect eligibility. A lower LTV often indicates lower risk for the lender.

Existing debt: Other outstanding loans or credit commitments will be taken into account when assessing affordability.

Employment status: Being in stable employment, especially if you’ve been with the same employer for an extended period, can be favourable. However, self-employed individuals can also secure mortgages, though they might need to provide more extensive proof of income.

Age: Some lenders have age restrictions, especially concerning the mortgage term’s end date. For instance, if the mortgage term extends beyond your expected retirement age, the lender might require proof of pension or other post-retirement income.

Remember, the exact criteria can vary by lender and change over time. It’s always a good idea to consult with a mortgage broker familiar with non-standard property types to help navigate the process and understand specific eligibility requirements.

Why it can be more difficult

Securing a mortgage on a property with single skin wall construction is often challenging due to a variety of factors related to the construction type’s inherent characteristics and perceived risks by lenders.

Firstly, single skin wall constructions lack the insulation and energy efficiency found in more traditional double-skin or cavity wall constructions. They are more susceptible to weather conditions, such as damp and cold, making them potentially less durable and requiring more maintenance over time. This situation makes lenders wary due to the potential for decreased property value and increased risk of future repair and maintenance costs.

Additionally, the resale value and marketability of single skin wall properties can be a concern for lenders. These properties are often considered less desirable, making them potentially more difficult to sell in the event of a foreclosure. Lenders typically prefer properties that can be easily resold at a good value if the borrower defaults on their mortgage payments.

Furthermore, regulations and building standards also play a significant role. Single skin wall constructions might not always meet the current building regulations, especially concerning energy efficiency and insulation standards, making them a less secure investment from a lender’s perspective.

Lenders, when evaluating a property for mortgage eligibility, seek to minimise risk. Due to the inherent characteristics and perceived market challenges associated with single skin wall constructions, lenders often find these properties to carry higher risks, resulting in more stringent mortgage eligibility criteria or, in some cases, reluctance to lend altogether. Consulting with a mortgage advisor who specialises in non-standard properties can help navigate the complexities and challenges of securing a mortgage on a single skin wall construction property.

What is a structural survey, and why is it important for mortgages on single brick construction properties?

A structural survey, more commonly referred to in the UK as a “Building Survey”, is a comprehensive examination of a property to determine its physical condition, identify any defects, and provide advice on necessary repairs or maintenance. This type of survey is the most detailed among the types of property surveys available.

The importance of a structural or building survey for mortgages on single brick construction properties is manifold:

Identification of defects: Single brick constructions are susceptible to certain issues, such as dampness, weathering, and lack of insulation. A building survey can identify these problems, giving potential buyers and lenders a clear understanding of the property’s condition.

Assessment of property value: For lenders, the property serves as collateral for the mortgage loan. Understanding its true condition helps in estimating its real value, ensuring the lender does not lend more than the property’s worth.

Risk mitigation for lenders: Before approving a mortgage, lenders want to minimise their risk. If a single brick construction property has significant structural issues, it becomes a risky investment. A building survey provides a detailed account of the property, enabling lenders to make an informed lending decision.

Future maintenance and repair costs: For potential homeowners, understanding the condition of a property is crucial for estimating future maintenance and repair costs. This information can be pivotal when negotiating the property price or deciding on the purchase.

Insurance implications: The condition of a property, especially a single brick construction, can impact insurance premiums and coverages. A building survey can highlight areas that might raise insurance costs or lead to specific exclusions.

Peace of mind: For buyers, having a thorough understanding of the property’s condition offers peace of mind. It ensures that they are making an informed decision and reduces the likelihood of unexpected repair costs in the future.

In essence, for single brick construction properties, a building survey becomes especially critical given the unique challenges and susceptibilities of this construction type. It aids both lenders in assessing their risk and potential homeowners in understanding their investment.

How can I increase my chances of getting a mortgage on a single brick or single skin construction property?

Securing a mortgage on a single brick or single skin construction property can be challenging due to the perceived risks associated with such properties. However, there are several steps you can take to enhance your chances:

Bigger Deposit: Offering a larger deposit reduces the loan-to-value (LTV) ratio, which in turn decreases the lender’s risk. The more equity you have in the property from the outset, the more favourably a lender might view your application.

Detailed Building Survey: Commission a comprehensive building or structural survey of the property. Demonstrating that the property is in good condition, or that you’re aware of and prepared to address any issues, can make lenders more receptive.

Specialist Lenders: Some lenders or building societies specialise in non-standard properties. Research or consult with a mortgage broker to identify and approach these lenders.

Improve Credit Score: A higher credit score always improves mortgage prospects. Ensure you check your credit report for any discrepancies and work on boosting your score by repaying debts on time, reducing outstanding credit, and not applying for multiple credit products simultaneously.

Professional Mortgage Advice: Engage with a mortgage broker, especially one who specialises in non-standard properties. They can guide you to appropriate lenders and help structure your application effectively.

Provide Proof of Affordability: Beyond the standard requirements, be prepared with additional evidence of your financial stability. This might include savings, additional sources of income, or evidence of consistent raises in your salary.

Consider Renovations: If possible, consider investing in renovations that could convert the single skin construction to a more traditional or insulative build, making it more appealing to lenders.

Insurance: Ensure that the property can be adequately insured. Lenders will be more comfortable knowing that potential risks, like damp or weather damage, are covered.

Build a case: Be prepared to make a strong case for why the property is a good risk, especially if the single skin construction is typical for the area or if the property has other features that make it particularly desirable.

Seek a local lender: Local building societies or lenders might be more familiar with the area’s typical construction styles and might be more inclined to lend on such properties.

By being proactive and addressing potential concerns head-on, you can significantly improve your chances of securing a mortgage on a single brick or single skin construction property.

What should I do if I am refused a mortgage on a single brick construction property?

If you find yourself refused a mortgage on a single brick construction property, it can be a disheartening experience, but it’s essential not to lose hope. There are several steps and strategies that you can pursue to address the refusal and increase your chances of approval in the future.

Understanding the refusal: Firstly, seek clarification from the lender regarding the specific reasons for the mortgage refusal. Lenders are usually willing to provide feedback on why the application was unsuccessful. This could be related to the property’s condition, your credit history, or various other factors.

Explore different lenders: Different lenders have varying criteria and risk appetites. It might be beneficial to approach specialist lenders or building societies that are more accustomed to dealing with non-standard properties, like single brick constructions. Some lenders have more experience and flexibility in dealing with unique or challenging property types.

Consult a mortgage broker: Mortgage brokers, especially those specialised in unconventional properties, can be a valuable asset. They possess a broad understanding of the mortgage market and can guide you towards lenders more likely to approve your application. Brokers can also help tailor your application to meet specific lenders’ requirements, increasing the chances of approval.

Consider joint mortgages or guarantors: Another avenue to explore could be applying for a joint mortgage or having a guarantor. Sharing the mortgage responsibility with another party can help mitigate the lender’s risk and make your application more appealing.

Improve your application: Based on the feedback received from the initial refusal, take steps to improve your application. This could involve boosting your credit score, saving for a larger deposit, or gathering more substantial evidence of income and affordability.

Consider property modifications: If the refusal is specifically due to the property’s single brick construction, explore the possibility of making modifications to the property to address the lenders’ concerns, such as improving insulation or overall structural integrity.

Reevaluate your property choice: As a last resort, it might be worth reconsidering your choice of property. If obtaining a mortgage proves particularly challenging, exploring other properties with more standard construction types could be a practical decision.

Remember, a mortgage refusal is not the end of the road. It can often serve as a learning opportunity, guiding you to make necessary adjustments that improve your chances of securing a mortgage in the subsequent attempts.

What is the difference between a single brick construction property and a cavity wall property?

A single brick construction property and a cavity wall property differ mainly in their wall construction methodologies, affecting insulation, durability, and energy efficiency.

Single brick construction (Single Skin Wall):

Structure: Single brick construction properties are made with a single layer of bricks. This makes the structure simpler but also less resilient against weather elements.

Insulation: These properties generally have poorer insulation, making them more susceptible to temperature variations and heat loss, affecting the building’s overall energy efficiency.

Moisture and dampness: Single brick constructions are more prone to issues such as dampness because there is no cavity to act as a barrier against rain penetration.

Cost: The cost of constructing a single brick wall is usually lower due to the materials and less complex construction process involved.

Cavity wall construction:

Structure: Cavity wall constructions consist of two layers (skins) of bricks or blocks, with a cavity (gap) between them. This design enhances the building’s structural integrity and resilience against various environmental factors.

Insulation: The cavity can be filled with insulating material, significantly improving the property’s thermal performance and energy efficiency.

Moisture and dampness: The cavity acts as a barrier, reducing the likelihood of rain penetration and consequent damp issues within the internal wall, thus offering better protection against moisture.

Cost: These are generally more expensive to construct due to the additional materials and more complex building process involved, but they offer longer-term benefits such as energy saving due to better insulation.

Choosing between the two largely depends on various considerations such as budget, desired energy efficiency, and long-term maintenance expectations. Single brick constructions might be cost-effective initially, but cavity wall constructions offer enhanced durability, insulation, and overall better living conditions.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of single skin brick construction properties?

Certainly! Single skin brick construction properties, also known as single-leaf or single-wall constructions, come with their own sets of advantages and disadvantages:


Cost-effective construction: Building a single skin brick wall is generally less expensive due to reduced material costs and simpler construction processes.

Simplicity: With only one layer of bricks, the construction process is more straightforward and faster than more complex wall assemblies.

Space-saving: The thinner walls take up less space, potentially allowing for more usable interior space relative to the overall footprint of the building.

Flexibility: Single skin brick constructions are relatively easier to modify or extend, offering some flexibility for future alterations or additions.


Insulation and energy efficiency: Single skin walls typically offer poorer insulation and thermal performance compared to cavity walls, leading to higher energy consumption for heating and cooling.

Weather resistance: Lack of a cavity makes these walls more susceptible to dampness and water penetration, possibly leading to issues like mould or structural damage over time.

Regulatory compliance: Meeting current building regulations, particularly regarding thermal performance and energy efficiency, can be more challenging with single skin constructions.

Resale value: Due to perceived drawbacks such as reduced energy efficiency and weather resistance, the resale value and overall marketability of such properties can be lower.

Mortgage and insurance: Obtaining a mortgage or suitable insurance products can be more challenging due to the perceived risks associated with single skin constructions.

Acoustic performance: Single skin constructions may offer less effective sound insulation compared to other types of wall constructions.

Understanding these aspects is essential when considering investing in a single skin brick construction property, as it allows for a more informed decision based on long-term comfort, maintenance expectations, and investment considerations.

What are the common problems with single brick construction properties?

Single brick construction properties, while simpler and cost-effective, can be susceptible to several common problems, mainly due to their construction style. Here’s a list of typical issues that might be encountered:

Poor insulation and thermal performance: Single brick walls don’t retain heat as effectively as cavity walls, leading to higher energy costs for heating.

Dampness and moisture penetration: These properties are more prone to dampness due to the lack of a cavity that would otherwise prevent moisture from penetrating the interior.

Vulnerability to external conditions: Being directly exposed to external weather conditions, single brick constructions might suffer from faster deterioration due to weather impacts such as rain, wind, and frost.

Condensation issues: Due to poorer insulation, these properties can have issues with condensation, which may lead to problems like mould and mildew.

Acoustic performance: Single brick walls might not offer the best sound insulation, potentially leading to a noisier indoor environment.

Difficulty in adding insulation: Retrofitting additional insulation to improve thermal performance can be more challenging and costly in single brick constructions.

Regulatory and compliance issues: Meeting contemporary building regulations, particularly regarding energy efficiency, can be more challenging with these types of constructions.

Resale challenges: Due to the perceived disadvantages, single brick construction properties might face challenges in the resale market, potentially affecting their market value.

Limited aesthetic options: Single brick constructions might offer fewer options for finishes and external aesthetics due to the simplicity of the construction style.

Mortgage and insurance implications: Getting a mortgage or suitable insurance might be more complicated due to the higher perceived risks associated with single brick constructions.

Being aware of these common problems is crucial when considering a single brick construction property for purchase or investment, as it allows for informed decisions and better preparedness in managing potential issues.

Buy-to-let mortgages on single brick buildings:

Obtaining a buy-to-let mortgage on single brick buildings presents a unique set of challenges and considerations due to the inherent characteristics of these properties. Single brick constructions, also known as single skin or single leaf constructions, consist of a single layer of bricks, making them less insulated and more susceptible to environmental factors such as dampness and temperature variations. These aspects can impact the attractiveness of the property from both a tenant’s and a lender’s perspective.

For investors considering a buy-to-let mortgage, it’s essential to recognise that lenders may perceive single brick properties as higher risk due to potential issues such as maintenance, energy efficiency, and overall durability against harsh weather conditions.

Lenders might scrutinise the application more rigorously, considering the property’s condition, location, and overall demand in the rental market. They might also require a more comprehensive structural survey to assess the building’s integrity and future maintenance requirements.

However, it’s not all challenging; there are lenders specialised or more experienced in non-standard constructions, including single brick buildings. Engaging with a mortgage broker who has expertise in the buy-to-let market and knowledge of non-standard properties can be immensely beneficial. A broker can guide investors towards suitable lenders, assist in presenting a compelling application, and help navigate the complexities of securing financing on single brick constructions.

Investors should also carefully consider the appeal of the property to potential tenants. Single brick buildings, due to their insulation challenges, may not offer the same level of comfort as other types of construction, potentially impacting rental demand and achievable rental income. However, well-maintained, strategically located single brick properties can still attract tenants seeking more affordable rental options or a more traditional or characterful property.

While obtaining a buy-to-let mortgage on a single brick building might be more challenging due to the nature of the construction, it is not impossible. Investors should be prepared for a more comprehensive application process, possibly involving specialised lenders or brokers, and consider the property’s appeal and sustainability in the rental market.

How can I make a single brick construction property more energy efficient?

Improving the energy efficiency of a single brick construction property requires a thoughtful and multifaceted approach, given the intrinsic limitations such as poor insulation and vulnerability to external weather conditions. However, several strategic modifications and upgrades can significantly enhance energy efficiency, contributing to a more comfortable living environment and reduced energy costs.

Insulation improvements: One of the primary areas to focus on is insulation. Since single brick walls are not naturally good insulators, adding external or internal insulation can help retain heat within the property. External wall insulation, although more expensive, can be particularly effective as it wraps the building envelope, reducing heat loss and protecting the brickwork. Internal insulation is another option, although it may reduce the internal living space slightly and require some adjustments to internal fixtures and fittings.

Window and door upgrades: Investing in high-quality, energy-efficient windows and doors is crucial. Double or triple-glazed windows and well-sealed doors prevent drafts and heat loss, enhancing the overall energy efficiency of the property. Look for windows and doors with good energy ratings to ensure they offer the best insulation properties.

Roof and loft insulation: A significant amount of heat can be lost through the roof. Ensuring that the loft or roof space is well-insulated can prevent this heat loss, contributing to a warmer property in the winter and a cooler property in the summer. Various insulation materials and methods can be used, depending on the property’s specific needs and construction.

Heating system optimisation: Updating and optimising the heating system is another impactful way to improve energy efficiency. Consider installing a more efficient boiler, smart thermostats, and heating controls to manage the property’s heating more effectively and reduce energy consumption. Radiator reflectors can also be installed to ensure that heat is directed into the room rather than being absorbed by the walls.

Draught proofing: Identifying and sealing any gaps, cracks, or draughts around windows, doors, floors, and skirting boards can make a significant difference in reducing unwanted airflow and maintaining a consistent internal temperature.

Sustainable energy sources: Incorporating renewable energy sources such as solar panels or a heat pump system can further enhance the property’s energy efficiency. While the initial investment can be significant, the long-term energy savings and potential income from renewable energy schemes can be considerable.

How can I increase the value of a single brick construction property?

Increasing the value of a single brick construction property entails a combination of structural enhancements, aesthetic improvements, and functional upgrades. Here are some recommended strategies:

Improve insulation: Boosting the insulation levels of a single brick property can significantly enhance its energy efficiency, making it more appealing to prospective buyers. Consider adding external or internal wall insulation, insulating the loft or roof space, and upgrading to double or triple-glazed windows.

Renovate and modernise: Updating key areas like the kitchen and bathroom can provide a considerable return on investment. Modern fittings, fixtures, and appliances not only increase the property’s functionality but also its appeal to potential buyers.

Extend or convert: If space allows, consider adding an extension or converting underutilised areas, such as the loft or basement, into functional spaces. These additions can increase the overall living space and add significant value.

Enhance curb appeal: First impressions matter. Improving the property’s external appearance, landscaping the garden, painting the exterior, and ensuring the front door and pathway are in good condition can enhance the property’s perceived value.

Install modern heating systems: Upgrade to a more efficient boiler or heating system. Consider integrating smart thermostats and heating controls, which appeal to buyers looking for modern conveniences.

Damp proofing: Addressing and preventing damp issues, which can be common in single brick constructions, can increase the property’s value. Ensure adequate ventilation and consider damp proofing solutions if necessary.

Incorporate sustainable features: Adding sustainable features, such as solar panels, rainwater harvesting systems, or energy-efficient appliances, can appeal to environmentally-conscious buyers and add value.

Enhance flooring and interior decor: Updating the flooring, painting walls in neutral tones, and ensuring a cohesive interior decor can make the property more attractive to a broader range of buyers.

Address structural issues: Ensure that any structural problems or issues related to the single brick construction are addressed. This might involve consulting with a structural engineer or surveyor.

Upgrade doors and windows: Installing high-quality, secure doors and energy-efficient windows can improve insulation and security, both of which can add value.

Add outdoor living spaces: If space permits, consider adding features like a patio, deck, or outdoor kitchen. Outdoor spaces are highly valued, especially in urban settings.

Getting a mortgage on a property with a single skin extension

Getting a mortgage on a property with a single skin extension involves navigating several complexities associated with the unique construction aspects of the extension. Lenders tend to exercise caution when considering mortgage applications for properties with single skin extensions due to the potential risks and challenges they pose, such as insufficient insulation, vulnerability to weather conditions, and potential compliance issues with building regulations.

Firstly, it’s essential to ensure that the single skin extension complies with building regulations and has the necessary approvals and certifications. Lenders will likely request to see these documents as part of the mortgage application process to ascertain the legality and structural integrity of the extension. A lack of proper documentation could impede the mortgage approval process, as lenders may perceive the property as high risk.

A professional survey, particularly a building or structural survey, can be a crucial component in securing a mortgage. The survey will assess the property’s overall condition, focusing on the extension’s structural soundness, quality of construction, and potential maintenance issues. A favorable survey can bolster the mortgage application by providing reassurance regarding the property’s condition and the extension’s impact on the property’s value.

Lenders will also consider the property’s marketability and resale potential, influenced by the single skin extension’s impact on the property’s appeal to potential buyers. Properties with well-constructed and aesthetically pleasing extensions that enhance the living space and functionality are likely to be viewed more favorably.

Furthermore, engaging with a mortgage broker experienced in dealing with non-standard constructions, including single skin extensions, can be highly beneficial. Such a broker can provide valuable advice, identify suitable lenders, and assist in presenting a compelling application that highlights the property’s merits and mitigates potential concerns related to the single skin extension.

How do you insulate a single brick wall?

Insulating a single brick wall, also known as a single skin or single leaf wall, can be approached in several ways to improve its thermal performance and energy efficiency. Here are some methods to consider:

Internal wall insulation:

  • Insulation boards: Fix insulation boards directly to the walls. These boards are usually made of materials like polystyrene or polyisocyanurate (PIR).
  • Stud wall: Build a stud wall adjacent to the existing wall and fill the gap with insulation material like mineral wool.

External wall insulation:

  • Applying insulation material to the outside of the wall followed by a protective render or cladding. This not only improves insulation but also protects the brickwork.

Applying insulating paint:

  • Certain types of insulating paints can be applied to the internal or external surfaces of the wall. While not as effective as other insulation methods, it can still make a difference.

Adding insulating wallpaper:

  • Special types of wallpapers are available that offer some degree of insulation. This could be a more aesthetic but less effective solution.

Draught proofing:

Sealing gaps, cracks, and openings around windows, doors, and where the wall meets the floor and ceiling can prevent cold drafts and improve insulation.

Precautions and considerations:

Building regulations: Ensure that the insulation work complies with local building regulations, particularly regarding thermal performance and fire safety.

Professional advice: Consider seeking advice from insulation professionals or energy efficiency experts to choose the most suitable insulation method.

Moisture control: Ensure that the chosen insulation method allows the wall to breathe and doesn’t trap moisture, which could lead to damp issues.

Thickness: Consider the thickness of the added insulation as it will affect the internal space and may require adjustments to fixtures like windows and sockets.

Choosing an insulation method depends on various factors, including budget, the property’s specific conditions, and the desired level of insulation improvement. In some cases, combining multiple methods, such as internal insulation with draught proofing, may provide the best results.

Are there specialist mortgage brokers who deal with single brick construction properties?

Yes, there are specialist mortgage brokers who focus on non-standard constructions, including single brick construction properties, also known as single skin or single leaf constructions. These specialised brokers possess the expertise and experience required to navigate the complexities associated with securing mortgages for properties that fall outside of the conventional bracket.

Such brokers have a nuanced understanding of the potential challenges and risks associated with single brick constructions, such as insulation issues, vulnerability to weather conditions, and potential structural vulnerabilities. With this knowledge, they are adept at presenting the mortgage application in a manner that mitigates these perceived risks and highlights the property’s strengths and potential.

Moreover, specialist mortgage brokers have established relationships with a variety of lenders, including those who are more open to offering mortgages on non-standard properties. Their network enables them to identify and engage with lenders who are most likely to view the application favorably, increasing the likelihood of approval.

Working with a specialist broker can also help applicants access more competitive mortgage terms and interest rates. Their negotiation skills and market knowledge allow them to advocate effectively on behalf of the applicant, ensuring that the mortgage product aligns with the applicant’s financial circumstances and property investment goals.

In summary, engaging a specialist mortgage broker when seeking a mortgage for a single brick construction property can be highly beneficial. Their expertise, network, and strategic approach enhance the probability of securing a suitable mortgage, while also simplifying and streamlining the application process for the applicant.

How a broker can help you get approved

A mortgage broker acts as a pivotal intermediary between a borrower and potential lenders, and their expertise can substantially increase the likelihood of mortgage approval, particularly in cases of non-standard properties such as single brick constructions. Here’s how a broker can facilitate the process:

Tailoring your application: A broker’s in-depth understanding of lender criteria allows them to tailor your application to meet specific lender requirements. They can help package your application, highlighting strengths and providing context for any potential weaknesses, ensuring that it is presented in the most favourable light.

Access to a wide network of lenders: Mortgage brokers have access to a broad network of lenders, including those who specialise in non-standard properties. They can identify and approach lenders who are more likely to approve mortgages for unique or unconventional properties, enhancing the chances of approval.

Expert guidance: Brokers offer valuable advice on how to navigate the mortgage application process. Their guidance on documentation, timing, and negotiation strategies can be instrumental in avoiding pitfalls and optimising the application for success.

Negotiation: With their expertise, brokers can negotiate better terms on your behalf, such as interest rates and fees, ensuring that you secure a mortgage that aligns with your financial capabilities and objectives.

Simplifying the process: A mortgage broker can streamline the application process, coordinating between various parties, managing paperwork, and ensuring that deadlines are met. This not only simplifies the experience for the borrower but also expedites the process, increasing the likelihood of a positive outcome.

Ongoing Support and Communication: Brokers offer continuous support and communication throughout the mortgage application process. They act as a point of contact, addressing queries, resolving issues, and keeping the applicant informed of progress and developments.

Contact a single brick construction mortgage specialist.



How can I tell if my walls are single skin?

You can identify whether your walls are single skin (single brick construction) by checking a few key characteristics:

Width of the Wall: Single skin walls are generally narrower, with a typical width of about 100mm (one brick thick).

External inspection: If there’s no visible cavity or joint line between two separate layers of bricks on the external wall, it may be a single skin construction.

Internal inspection: Inspect areas where the wall meets windows or doors; a lack of a visible cavity or insulation layer could indicate a single skin wall.

What if I want a buy-to-let single brick property?

Investing in a single brick property for buy-to-let purposes requires careful consideration due to the unique challenges associated with this type of construction:

Mortgage availability: Not all lenders offer mortgages for single skin properties. You might need to approach specialist lenders or use a mortgage broker familiar with non-standard constructions.

Energy efficiency: Single brick properties generally have lower energy efficiency. Consider the cost of necessary improvements to meet energy performance standards.

Maintenance: Single brick constructions might require more maintenance due to vulnerability to weather conditions and damp issues.

Can you get a mortgage on a property with single skin construction?

Yes, it is possible to get a mortgage on a property with single skin construction, but it can be more challenging:

Specialist lenders: You might need to approach lenders specialising in non-standard constructions, as mainstream lenders often deem these properties higher risk.

Professional valuation: Lenders typically require a detailed professional valuation to assess the property’s condition and market value.

Higher deposit: Due to perceived risks, lenders might require a larger deposit for properties with single skin construction.

For all these aspects, consulting with a professional, such as a mortgage broker or a real estate agent familiar with single brick constructions, can provide valuable insights and guidance to navigate the complexities associated with these properties.

Can I build a single skin extension?

Yes, you can build a single skin extension, but there are several considerations to keep in mind:

Planning permission: Ensure you obtain the necessary planning permissions from your local authority and that your plans comply with building regulations.

Structural integrity: Single skin extensions are more susceptible to environmental factors like moisture and temperature variations. Ensure the design maintains the structural integrity of the property.

Insulation and energy efficiency: Consider how you will insulate the extension. Single skin constructions generally offer less insulation, and you’ll want to ensure that the extension is energy-efficient.

Will I need a specialist valuation?

A specialist valuation might be necessary, particularly when it comes to mortgages or selling the property.

Here’s why:

Specialised knowledge: A specialist valuer will have the expertise to accurately assess the value of the property, taking into consideration the unique aspects and potential challenges of single skin constructions.

Mortgage approval: Lenders may require a specialist valuation to ensure that the property, including its single skin extension, is a sound investment and to ascertain the appropriate loan amount.

Risk assessment: A specialist can provide a detailed risk assessment, identifying potential structural or environmental vulnerabilities associated with the single skin extension.

It’s advisable to consult with professionals who specialise in single skin constructions and extensions to ensure that your plans are feasible, compliant with regulations, and that the finished extension will add value to your property.

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