If you have recently bought, or are considering buying a listed building, firstly congratulations! A listed building is a part of history, and owning one is a great privilege as you can be the guardian of this particular part of the history of the UK.
However, if you are wanting to make changes or additions to the building, this can feel a little daunting and overwhelming. It is well known that planning permissions and regulations are a lot tighter for listed buildings – however, this doesn’t mean that you are not able to make any changes to the building at all. Here are some things to remember to help you make changes to your listed building…
The first thing to do before anything else is to make sure that you do plenty of research. Doing this means that you will have a good understanding of what is required from you as the owner, and what you need to ensure that you comply with. Something worth remembering is that when you are planning to make changes to the building, they are more likely to be approved if they can be reversed and put back to the original state.
Something else which will play a big part in this is the use of traditional materials that are in keeping with the building. For example, you may need to use materials like these Timberpride oak trusses so that they fit in well with the overall look of the building. However, most people who own an historic building understand and appreciate this, as you don’t tend to own an old building to then strip away all of its ‘oldness’!
As well as the materials, the methods that are used when doing any building work or changes to the property may also need to be the traditional sort. Thatched roofs are a good example of this. Fortunately, there are still many skilled craftspeople around the UK who can work in these traditional methods and materials, but bear this in mind as your options for getting repairs done are likely to be a lot more limited than most.
It is also important to remember certain features in the property, such as fireplaces, and also externally like walls – these may also be historical features, so you will need to get permission if any work is likely to have an effect on them.