Post War Property Types

Residential | 29/04/16   Laura Marszalek

Here we look at those houses built post-war, and the typical features that help us identify this age of property today. 

After the second World War, there was a shortage of materials and skills which meant that not many new houses were built before the 1960s. However, in some areas this gap was filled by using prefabricated housing units using timber, concrete and steel. The prefabricated dwellings were designed with a life span of about 20 years. Sadly, some are still standing!

The need for new housing in the 1960s resulted in the creation of large housing estates, with a mix of

  • Semi-detached housing
  • Bungalows
  • Terraced housing, including town houses with ground floor garages

Timber frame houses became common and also those using infill panels. This resulted in faster construction time and improved thermal insulation.

Typically, estates with these houses are large and focus on one or two different house types. Other features include:

  • Large timber or metal frame windows
  • Timber or plastic facings
  • They saw the Installation of some central heating systems, but still including open fireplaces
  • Roofs covered with artificial (ie concrete) tiles or slates
  • Roofs supported by prefabricated roof trusses
  • Garages and gardens, for the better properties

Private ownership of housing increased after 1945 due to higher wages. The conservative government encourages local councils in the 1980s to sell council homes to tenants. By 1984, half of the homes in Britain were privately owned.

Typical municipally constructed houses of the 1950s can be found on the Coldnailhurst Avenue estate laid out to the old low density Parker Morris standards.