The British government instituted ‘listing’ after World War II. A listed building will be included on a list of buildings of architectural and historical significance that are deemed to require protection from demolition or unsympathetic alteration. When a building is submitted for inclusion and accepted, it is added to the list. Hence the term ‘listing.’ Cathedrals, castles, private homes, landmarks, and drinking fountains are among the items on the list. What do you need to consider about commercial renovation glass.
In England and Wales, buildings are classified as either Grade I or II. A Grade I am listing is regarded as more significant. Both listing types limit what you can do on the property’s inside, outside, and grounds. (Scotland and Ireland have similar systems).
Listed structures are, by definition, one-of-a-kind. Restoring one gives you a sense of accomplishment because you know you’re improving something worth keeping. But, on the other hand, they are uncommon, valuable, and usually come at a cost.
One thing to remember is that VAT relief is available for approved alterations or substantial reconstructions to listed buildings if a VAT-registered contractor carries them out.
Although owning and renovating a listed building is rewarding, it comes with red tape and local council scrutiny. One issue is that few specific rules govern what you can and cannot do when renovating your property. Unfortunately, this means that the interpretations of your listing officer bind you.
The most important aspect of renovating a listed building is to seek advice on what needs to be done and what restrictions exist before beginning your project.
Your first point of contact should be your local council’s conservation office. The local planning authority will then consult with English Heritage to ensure the renovation is done correctly, i.e., using the appropriate materials and techniques to preserve the structure’s integrity. If you agree, you will be granted Listed Building Consent (LBC) and can proceed.
Making changes without LBC can result in fines and a one-year prison sentence in the worst-case scenario, and you may also be forced to redo the work at your own expense, so it is critical to do things correctly. On the other hand, even minor changes, such as painting, may necessitate LBC, so proceed cautiously.
Also, if you own a listed property and fail to maintain it, legal action can be taken to force you to restore it.
Because of all the necessary consultations, your build will be delayed more than usual. Furthermore, the cost of the body is likely to be significantly higher than if it were not listed because you will be unable to use modern materials and techniques, and some problems may not be discovered until work begins. On the plus side, grants from English Heritage, the council, or local historical charities may be available. Remember that authentic replicas for period details are expensive, so consider repair costs.
A Chartered Building Surveyor will conduct a building survey to provide information on the type of construction and materials used in your building, as well as details on any defects discovered, their remedy, and an estimate of the likely cost. For example, the use of modern impermeable materials can cause issues in period houses built with traditional materials like cob. This can cause dampness, which can damage the structure.
Good builders and craftspeople are required. Speak with their previous customers and ask if they would use them again. Check to see if they have previously completed the type of work you are proposing.
If you do your homework and follow all the rules, you should end up with a beautiful period home with a distinct personality that is well worth the time and effort you put into it.