How to tell whether house has timber framed external walls?

If I inspect houses/bungalows built in the last 20-odd years, how might I ensure that the external walls are brick/block construction, and not an outer skin of brick and inner "layer" of timber?
MM
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wrote:

Unless it's a hip roof detached house look in the loft
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I used to live in one. Rapping on an external wall from the inside the house produced the same hollow sound & feel as knocking an internal plasterboard/stud partition.
Knocking an outside wall in a normally constructed house produces the more resilient feel and sound of solid masonry. If a house had plasterboard stuck to studs mounted on a masonry wall you would get the wrong answer of course.
You could also ask the owner what fixings he uses in external walls, e.g. for shelving - special plasterboard fixings as would be used in a stud wall, or normal plugs.
Removing a light switch or electrical socket would show you.
Those were the only tell-tales in mine apart from drilling a hole from inside. Oh, and the bottom-head at work who nearly every day used to come up to my desk and ask if it hard rotted away yet, this being at the time when Barrats screwed up by putting plastic sheeting inside the cavity and promoting rot very quickly. Mine was by another builder, didn't have the plastic, and is still standing, as is the rest of the estate AFAIK.
W.
MikeMitchell

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wrote:

[snip]
What differences does it actually make to be living in a timber-framed property. Builders obviously construct using this technique for some properties for a reason.
Is there anything sinister to look out for when living in one?
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Dane Koekoek
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Dane Koekoek wrote:

Its sounds different. That's the only thing I have noticed.
Damp if left untreated is more likley to result in serious structural rot.
It's harder to hang pictures :-)
Its easier to modify things that require holes in walls. #

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Yes, I can see that could be a slight technical problem!!!

Surely though you'd only notice this difference on external walls (assuming that inside walls in the property would be plasterboard).
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Dane Koekoek
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wrote:

Bit of a comedown if you have been used to the immense solidity of an ex-council house, where *ALL* walls are solid masonry, upstairs and down. My dream, really, would be to port my existing property to another part of the country. You can't get much more structurally sound than many 1950s-built council houses. Of course, some were crap, too.
MM
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wrote:

The kind of timber framed houses I'm thinking of here are jerry-built crap, thrown up as quickly as possibly to make as much money as possible by cutting as many corners as possible. That is NOT to deride ALL timber framed buildings, as I know that other countries such as Sweden, Germany, Finland and America can build highly successful, durable and pleasing buildings using timber.
The kind of "home" I am thinking of is the typical "Wimpey" style house of the mid to late 1980s. Avoid them like the plague.
MM
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Mike Mitchell wrote:

Slam a door. If the whole house sounds like the inside of a timpani, its timber framed.
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