Frequently Asked Questions
Are you thinking about listed building repairs or restoring an historic building? Read our frequently asked questions about historic building restoration below.
We answer questions about listed building restoration, plastering restoration, oak framed restoration and roof repairs for historic buildings.
Historic BUILDING RESTORATION
A building or structure is usually considered historical when it has some form of historical value; for example, the Building connects people of the present time in some way with past events.
Before starting the restoration of a historical building, you should follow these guidelines listed below:
Ensure the historical building can support any modern amenities you want to add.
You must maintain the character of the building.
You should retain as much of the original building as you can.
You must adhere and pay close attention to historic building regulations and building codes.
Seek expert advice before you being the project.
Where possible, you should use like for like materials. Many suppliers stock or source traditional materials, such as hand-made bricks, clay roofing tiles, hair for plasters, and lime for mortars.
Read more about historic building repairs.
LISTED BUILDING RESTORATION
It would be best to carry out regular checks on the building and record all works and materials used. It is a good idea to create a maintenance plan and seek professional advice. Always gain permission if the maintenance work will affect the building's architectural or special historical significance.
The listed building owner is under no obligation to maintain their property and keep it in a good state of repairs. However, if your local authority is concerned about the conservation of the building, they can take action.
Regardless of the grade or category of the listed building, any alterations require consent.
If you want to change the fittings in a modern bathroom, you don't usually require permission; however, if your project means you are undertaking some structural work or altering the size of the room, you may be required to get consent.
Yes. You will require a listed building application if your work affects the character of the listed property. In addition, internal works will usually require listed building consent.
Read more about Listed building restoration
PLASTERING IN LISTED BUILDINGS
Although it is less work to apply dry lining, haired lime plaster is usually required for a listed building. This age-old method of plastering has aesthetic benefits and is also practical.
When plastering a listed building, a mix of lime and horsehair (haired lime plaster) is usually required when traditional materials are necessary to keep in line with the age and structure of the building.
In short, no. If you use modern bagged gypsum for plastering a listed building, even for small areas, it is not appropriate. Modern plaster is not compatible with lime plaster and can cause problems to the original work.
Read more about plastering in listed buildings.
PERIOD ROOFING RESTORATION
If the building is listed and you are using matching materials, you will not require consent for roof repairs.
It is highly recommended that you check your roof at least twice a year. It is much better to find any problems before they develop into major repairs.
Over time the slates can become damaged, and ferrous nails are susceptible to rot, causing the slates to slip and cause leaks.
Read more about roof repairs in listed buildings.
Restoration of Oak Frames
Some of the disadvantages of timber-framed houses are as follows: Although they can rot, modern timber-framed properties are treated with preservatives, so the risk is minimal.
A timber-framed building is vulnerable to dry and wet rot and is also more likely to get attacked by various vermin and insects.
Timber-framed houses will not resist sound transmission; a home built with bricks and blocks has more density to block out more noise.
The manufacturer of timber frames will usually guarantee them from periods ranging from ten to forty years. Therefore, a timber-framed softwood building should reasonably have a life span of 25 to 30 years within the construction industry.
There are many different ways that oak framed buildings are conserved and restored. The use of traditional and specialist materials are used to restore and protect the oak timber. However, there are many materials you cannot use because they will affect the oak. For example, tar/pitch to seal the wood will trap moisture and cause it to rot.
Modern paints will trap moisture into the oak timber and allow rot to take place. Therefore, the restoration and conservation of oak timber frames will involve removing modern paints, which will allow the oak timber to breathe, and the rot will dry out.
It is always best to consult professionals when restoring or conserving an oak timber building. They have the specialist knowledge and tools to complete the work without further damage to the building.
Read more about restoration of oak frames in listed buildings.
Call us for more information on listed buildings and historical buildings. Please don't hesitate to get in touch.