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To help you on this endeavour, we’ve compiled eight core Do’s and Don’ts when it comes to restoring a listed building to help get you started.

The Do’s

  1. Make friends with your local Conservation officer; they will know all about other property owners in your area who will no doubt have encountered similar problems to you and they can help. Getting in touch with the officer is a great first step as it will allow you to develop a network of contacts to bounce ideas off of.
  1. Ensure that your home insurance is suitable for a listed Building. It’s certainly worth getting in touch with a specialist insurance company, because if disaster strikes, conservation laws may require you to to rebuild with materials that match the rest of the property, a standard policy is unlikely to cover such specialist expenses!
  1. Before you purchase any listed property, it is vital that you make sure the correct building consent has been achieved for any works potentially carried out by any of the building’s previous owners. Even though the works were done before you became the owner, you may still be liable for any damage the previous owners may have caused!
  1. Be organised! Keep copies of all of the permissions and plans received after the work has been undertaken, you will need to be able to provide these if you ever decide to sell the property later on.

The Don’ts

  1. Never combine modern repairing methods with traditional options. The property will most likely be built with old materials such as lime Mortar and utilising cement based products in this situation can cause irreparable damage to a listed building, which will bring with it a host of other issues.
  1. Do not rush; you have plenty of time, these projects do not happen overnight so make sure you are properly considering any changes that you may wish to make. Don’t be afraid to get advice and opinions from those more experienced in the restoration game and here at Fortis & Hooke we’re happy to answer any restoration-based questions you may have so feel free to get in touch.
  1. Never remove or change the original architectural features of the property. Any doors, stonework, windows and fireplaces are all likely to be integral to the listed status that the property has been designated.
  1. Remember not to simply just assume that any garden the property might feature is yours to alter and change as you see fit. The Listed designation of a property often extends to its lands, so certain walls, fences or trees may well be protected as well, make sure you get the best understanding of what is protected before undertaking any additional outside work!
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