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Listed buildings

Posted by admin
January 28th, 2016

Listed buildings

I thought I would write a post about listed buildings as I am about to start working on one. Owning a listed building is slightly different than owning a non listed building in as much as what you can and can not do.

If you have a building that is listed it will be on the Statutory List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest, being listed doesn’t only apply to property but also parks, wreck sites and monuments etc.

Screenshot of Historic England website

Grades of listed buildings

There are three grades of listings I, II* and II.

  • Grade I: These are buildings of exceptional special interest. There is only a small number of listings with this status.
  • Grade II*: These are high quality buildings and on the most part are unaltered, and often with an interior of special interest.
  • Grade II: This is the biggest group consisting of around 95% of buildings.

So if you own a listed building it is more likely to be a Grade II listed.

Working on a listed building

When working on a listed building it is best to check with your local council what you can and can not do to your property, don’t just go ahead with works think it will be ok as it could be costly and you may have to redo the works in line the the local Planning Department. Listed buildings can not be modified without first obtaining listed building consent through the relevant local planning authority.

When working on any listed building any alterations or decoration should be undertaken sympathetically to its original state and or surrounding area.

You should always stick to the guidelines and to what has been agreed with the local council, if not you may be required to change what has been done at your cost.

Local authorities can if required serve a repair notice if they fell the property isn’t being preserved well enough and maintaining it well. If one of these notices are served, it will explain what is required to be done and a timeframe to complete works. If this notice isn’t complied with the local authority could submit a compulsory purchase order to the Secretary of State.

Owning a listed building

If you own a listed building you should do some research about the property, contact the local council planning department and find out as much about your property as you can, find out what you can and can not do without permission. You can find out some information about the listed building on the Historic England website.

When making alterations or simply routine upkeep of your property you may have to employ specialists, such as a thatcher for you roof. You may have to source materials that were used originally on your property, such as slate, or you may need to use lime render rather than standard render.

All of these things need to be thought about and budgeted for when buying and maintaining a listed property.

The important thing to remember is if you are unsure, seek advice. It is always better to be safer than sorry.

Some useful links

Below are some useful links you may find of interest and helpful.

17th century house

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Getting your home ready for winter

Posted by admin
December 8th, 2014

Getting your home ready for winter

After such a mild autumn we could be in for a harsh winter, so being prepared in advance is vital. Doing essential jobs before the winter sets in could prevent any issues during the winter months.

If you own property and rent it out it is advisable to get your rented property checked over as well, prevention is better than cure as they say.

leaking pipe

What to check and fix before the winter

Things such as heating, boilers and radiators are the most obvious things to check and service before the winter, but less thought about things such as gutters and drains also need to be looked at.

Boiler, radiators and pipes

Getting your boiler serviced (by a qualified engineer) could not only prevent a break down when you need it most, but if it runs efficiently it could also save money on your gas bill.
Radiators should be bled to ensure no air is in the radiators and they can supply you with efficient heat, you can tell if your radiator needs bleeding as they will have a cold spot at the top, if it is cold at the bottom, this indicates a buildup of sludge and rust, this should be flushed out to get the most from your radiators this winter.
Pipes, these should be lagged including any pipes outside such as in outbuildings or garden taps. If pipes are not lagged and they freeze, they could burst and cause flooding.

You can read about how to avoid freezing pipes on our Rayfields site.

If you are going away, or you have a empty rented property, it is a good idea to leave the heating on low just to prevent pipes from freezing. Now is also a good time to know where stop cocks and valves are, just in case of an emergency.

leaves blocking gutter

Roofs, gutters and drains

Roofs take a battering in the winter with strong winds, rain, sleet and snow. It is a good idea to give it a visual inspection from the ground. If you have access to a ladder you could look at it closer but don’t get on the roof without the necessary safety equipment. Look for missing or broken tiles including ridge tiles, look at the state of the chimney if you have one. If anything needs repairing get it done sooner than later as roofers can get busy.

Gutters get full of falling leaves and can block the downpipes, clear guttering out and fit a downpipe leaf guard to stop debris falling down the downpipe. Also check where the downpipe goes, is it an open drain, does this flow well or is it blocked? A blocked drain could cause damp to your property.

You can read a post I did about cleaning out your gutters on our Rayfields site.

Frosted up window

Insulation, doors, windows

Does your loft have enough insulation in it? Are any pipes and hot water tank properly lagged all these should be looked at for both rented and private owned properties. Are you walls cavity insulated or can they be, you may even be able to have it installed for free. So it is worth a little time checking.

Do your windows and doors fit and close as they should? If you have draughts you could fit draughts excluders around windows and doors. If your windows don’t shut well because the handle is broken, get it fixed, reducing draughts will help keep the heat in and cold out, thus saving on heating bills.

Flood and ice road sign

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