We specialise in undertaking Listed Building Surveys and providing advice on Listed Buildings.
The Listed Property Owners Club recommends to engage experienced ‘conservation’ surveyors when purchasing a listed building. This is because the surveyor will know of the special considerations and implications for the repair and renovation of the building, the perceived “damp problems” and will understand period house structures. We are experienced in these areas, we only deal with Historic and Listed Buildings and can give you the right advice.
Listed building surveys are a specialised field and it is of great importance that the person undertaking the survey fully understands the building. Our surveys look to not only inform a buyer or owner about the condition of the building, but look to advise about the history, materials used to construct it and the original design principles of the building. They are sometimes referred to as a Historic Building Surveys.
Most ordinary Chartered surveyors are not experienced or qualified to understand these buildings. The reasons are very simple:
A Listed Building Surveyor needs to fully understand the legislation that protects Listed Buildings. There is a lot of it, and it constantly changes – from planning legislation to whether any alterations have had appropriate consents. This is not always straight forward and there are often many Grey areas.
To be able to survey a listed building, you also need to understand the building. This means knowing intimatley your bricks, timber types, mortars, and roofing materials. Our Technical Advice section give an overview of these materials.
When we advise clients about Listed Buildings, we use our extensive knowledge of the cost of work to them. We have taken Listed Buildings apart, and rebuilt them. We know what it costs to repair a heritage building – what materials to use, how to use them, and where to get them. We never stop learning – attending CPD courses on a regular basis – run by SPAB, Weald and Downland Museum, Historic England, RICS and others.
Listed or Heritage buildings seem to suffer from damp and timber decay problems. Actually they don’t – its quite often years of inappropriate modifications and treatment which have caused these issues. We can advise on all these issues including recommendations for repairs.
We try very hard to get to all areas of the building and leave no stone unturned. We have led the way in residential surveying for using non invasive equipment for assessing buildings, such as Thermal Imaging, Thermal Hygrometers , Roof Cameras and Drone Surveys.
What we do:
Listed Building Surveys for buyers
We survey the building exhaustively – looking at structure, the materials it is made of, its history and development.
We can confidently advise on the condition of the building and most importantly have the experience to assess the condition of Listed Buildings in relative terms to other buildings of a similar age.
Most Listed Buildings require added care and ongoing maintenance.
So many times we have heard the phrase – its stood for 400 years it will stand for another 400. Not the case. Condition of Listed Buildings vary immensely. Some appearing in good order are costly headaches, while some may look in poor order, but structurally are sound, with mostly cosmetic improvements being required.
We look for any unauthorised alterations or additions the previous owners may have carried out. Don’t forget you will automatically assume responsibility for these if you buy the building – it passes with the building not the person who did the work. We look at the planning history of the building, and examine all Listed Building Consents that have been approved or rejected to understand what is legal and what may not be. This can have a substantial effect on any financial negotiations.
We look at the feasibility of any changes you are thinking of making. Often these may simply not be possible – or by changing the way they are presented, they may be eminently successful. We know the planning guidelines for alterations to Listed Buildings, and can assist with advice on what will succeed. We understand the materials to be used. Unlike other Listed Building Surveyors, we have worked with the materials, used them extensively, and understand what works and what does not.
Listed Building Surveys for home owners.
We work with owners of Listed Buildings to help you understand the history of the building and how it developed over the ages. This informs our understanding – what has happened since then – what materials have been used, and why. From this, we begin to build a picture of what may be wrong with the building – why is it damp, why is there decaying timber, and why is brickwork and stonework deteriorating. We can put into place management plans and maintenance plans over the longer term.
Timber framed buildings require particular expertise. We have worked on, taken apart, and rebuilt historic timber frames. We understand wood, and joinery and how to get the best out of Repairs and the various options available. It is this deep seated understanding of timber frame building that sets us far apart from any other surveyors.
Finally – we have all worked with craftsmen on numerous projects. Unlike most surveyors, we have run teams of contractors on Conservation projects across the country. We have excellent connections in London, Kent and the South East. We will help wherever possible in finding and selecting the right people to work on your building – and making sure they stay closely with the specifications and budgets set.
We undertake Listed Building Surveys all over the UK, Shropshire, Midlands, The Cotswolds, Essex, Surrey, Kent, Sussex and Hertfordshire.
Some of the beautiful Listed Buildings we have Surveyed;