Listed buildings make beautiful homes. The stories hidden in listed buildings tell us about the history of a place: its industries, its people, and the building’s relationship to the elements and the surrounding natural world.
We are experts in looking after, restoring and renovating South West Grade I and II listed buildings. If you are lucky enough to own a listed property, read on to find out more advice about how to keep your home in tip-top condition.
Historic England defines a listed building as … “of special architectural or historic interest in a national context. Listed buildings have extra legal protection within the planning system.” You can check if a home is listed on the National Heritage List for England. If you want to renovate or alter the building in any way, you will need to consult with and obtain special consent to do so. This is why it is best to hire construction contractors who have experience working with listed buildings, and who are familiar with the paperwork process. Using the wrong materials, methods, or going ahead with alterations without consent is a crime.
Older buildings were built using very different techniques and materials, such as solid timber frames and solid walls; these are construction methods very rarely used by modern contractors. So as to preserve the condition of your listed building, it is important to find builders who can use traditional methods and materials. Some of these traditional methods for Cornish homes include using traditional rag slate (Delabole slate) and using the correct render, plaster and mortar, such as lime render.
Historic England also provides a checklist of ways you can check your house for its regular maintenance. Remember, little and often is more cost-effective than trying to organise one big renovation! This checklist includes looking for leaks and dampness, erosion, broken tiles, flashing, guttering and gullies, as well as making sure that all electrics, gas and plumbing are signed off and inspected regularly by a qualified expert.
You can find a more detailed checklist here:
As the owner of a listed building, you are part of the house’s story. It’s important to look after these buildings for future generations who will continue to live in these precious homes. We hope that you found this information and resources helpful.