Listed Buildings and Renovations

Listed Buildings and Renovations

Listed Buildings and Renovations

Listed Buildings and Renovations

Listing’ was introduced by the British government after the Second World War. A listed building will be on the list of buildings of architectural and historical importance deemed to need protection from being demolished or being unsympathetically altered. When a building is submitted for inclusion and is accepted, it goes onto the list, hence ‘listing’. The list includes cathedrals, castles, private houses, milestones and drinking fountains.

Buildings are listed as either Grade I or Grade II in England and Wales. A Grade I listing is considered more important. Both listing types have restrictions on what you can do the inside, outside and grounds of the property. (Scotland and Ireland have similar systems).

Listed buildings are by definition unique Bay Area Home Remodeling. Restoring one gives a real sense of pride in knowing you are improving something worth keeping. They are rare, important, of age and usually come with a premium.

One thing which is worth knowing is that VAT relief is available for some approved alterations or substantial reconstructions to listed buildings providing it is undertaken by a VAT-registered contractor.

Although owning and renovating a listed building is rewarding, they come with red tape and scrutiny from the local council. One problem is that there are very few clear rules governing what you can and can’t do when renovating your building. 

This means you are governed by the interpretations of your Bay Area Home Remodeling

The most important thing about renovating a listed building is to take advice on what needs doing and what the restrictions are before you undertake your project.

Your local council conservation office should be your first port of call. The local planning authority will then consult with English Heritage to make sure that the renovation is to be done in the right way i.e. using the right materials and techniques to preserve the integrity of the building. If you get agreement, you will be given Listed Building Consent (LBC) and you can go ahead.

Making alterations without LBC can, in the worst case scenario, lead to fines and a one year prison sentence, and on top of that you can be forced to put the work right at your own expense so it is very important to do things properly. Even small alterations such as painting can require LBC so go careful.

Note also that if you own and neglect a listed property, legal action can be taken to force you to restore it.

Be aware that your build will be delayed more than usual because of all the necessary consultations. Also, the cost of the build is likely to be significantly greater than if it were not listed, as you will not be able to use modern materials and techniques and because some problems may not be discovered until work actually starts. On the up side, grants may be available from English Heritage, the council or local historical charities. Note that authentic replicas for period details are expensive, so always look at repair prices too.

A building survey, undertaken by a Chartered Building Surveyor will give you information on the type of construction and materials used in your building, and will give details of any defects found, their remedy and an indication of the likely cost. The use of modern impermeable materials can create problems in period houses constructed using traditional materials such as cob. This can lead to damp that can damage the structure.

Good builders and craftsmen are a must. Speak to their previous clients and find out if they’d use them again. Also check they have done the sort of work you are proposing before.

If you research the task properly and comply with all the rules you should end up with a wonderful period home of unique character which will be worth all the hard work invested in it.