At the turn of the century it is estimated that only one in ten families owned their own property…most were tenants. Many families aspired to own their own homes in a bid to move away from poor living conditions and overcrowding. In the 1930’s building societies found themselves with funds available, and during a period of falling interest rates and increasing demand there started a housing boom.
For these reasons up to 300000 houses were being constructed annually and by the outbreak of WW2 nearly half the population owned their own property. The typical 1930’s house remains popular for many good reasons. The properties are usually located on well-placed estates at the outskirts of town centre
Whilst older Edwardian estates were designed in geometric rows, the larger 1930’s properties were located in wider tree lined streets and crescents. The 1930’s house often made provision for onsite car parking and many had garaging facilities which by today’s standards can accommodate only the smallest of cars.
The 1930’s house was constructed with certain style features. Typically, the roof design was pitched ridged and hipped and covered in plain clay tiles. Walls were formed in cavity brickwork quite often with faced brickwork to the front elevation with cheaper brick to the side and rear. Timber windows were arranged in casement style often incorporating leaded coloured glass panels. Ornate front entrance doors were fitted with an oval glazed panel as a decorative feature. Bay windows were a common feature as were entrance porches with arched brickwork in the upper part.
The house of this period would incorporate a covered entrance porch, hall, 2 separate reception rooms and a kitchen at ground level with 3 bedrooms and a bathroom at first floor level. There was no central heating and hot water was supplied by an ‘Ideal’ ODE solid fuel boiler in the kitchen or a gas fired geezer over the bath in the bathroom.
Defects to look for
When I inspect a house of this age, I look for common defects such as wall tie corrosion, dampness, wood beetle infestation, timber decay, settlement issues, structural stability, and roof coverings amongst many other possible deficiencies.