A Guide to Roofing Repair on Listed Buildings

Repairing the roof of a listed building can be a difficult task. This is due to the fact that there are planning and listed building regulations that control what you can and can’t do. It’s essential to follow these rules – they exist to protect the historic quality of your home. Plus, there are expensive penalties if you don’t.

There are various things that you have to do when you’re working on the covering, external features and structure of your roof. To give you some tips, we’ve put together a guide to roofing repair on listed buildings.

Roof covering

The roof covering is the visible layer of materials on the top of your roof. Listed buildings usually have a roof covering made of slate, clay tiles or thatch.

If you want to fix areas of your roof, if you use matching materials or the same thatching method then you might not need listed building consent. However, it’s a good idea to check with your local authority first.

Replacing your roof’s covering without damaging the rest of it can be a pricey and time-consuming task. So check that you really need to do it before you start. If your roof is leaking then it could be due to slipped tiles or damaged flashing, so you might not need to replace the entire covering. It’s a good idea to get a surveyor or roofing specialist in first to give you some advice.

External features

External roof features are things like chimneys, ridges and ornamental finials. It’s crucial to preserve these as they’re an important part of your home’s historical character. So you should keep any chimneys even if they’re no longer in use. And if you’re getting any roofing work done, ensure that ridges and finials are taken down beforehand and re-fixed later on.

If any of your external roof features are damaged, you’ll most likely have to repair them with similar products if you can. However, you might be allowed to change them, depending on the level of the damage. Contact your local authority at the time to find out what you’ll have to do.

Roof structure

The roof structure creates the shape of your roof and supports the roof covering. The roof structure is usually an important historic part of a period property, as it provides evidence of its age. Old roof timbers also frequently have special carved detailing, which makes them historically valuable.

If your roof structure is degrading or damaged, you need to aim to repair it instead of replacing it. Fitting new battens to support a new roof covering is relatively common, but you should always attempt to fix all other parts of your roofing structure. A specialised joiner should be able to help you with this and, if in doubt, get guidance from your local authority.

Now you should know a bit more about roofing repair on listed buildings. If you want to contact your local authority but aren’t certain who they are, you can enter your postcode here. And keep in mind that whenever you employ a professional to help you with your roofing, try to use a specialist in listed buildings. This will help you make sure that you get the very best possible work and advice.


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