historic building

The role of Chartered Surveyors in historic building preservation

If you are planning changes to a historic building, it is essential to get help from relevant professionals. Building preservation may involve sourcing specific materials, using certain skilled trades/methods and/or following prescribed procedures.

A suitably skilled Chartered Surveyor can help you by providing a historic building survey and offering guidance on your project.

The importance of heritage conservation

In preserving rather than rebuilding, we reduce pollution and waste that would be created in demolishing and building anew. However, there are further social reasons why we must take responsibility for our historic places.

Every building is a time capsule. It becomes a physical link to the time in which it was built: a snapshot of history. Preserving beautiful, old examples is a matter of national importance and collective history.

The way buildings are designed and constructed also reveals a lot about the people of the past and the ways they lived. Examples of building techniques are saved and become a connection to the craftsmen responsible. There is a lot to learn and it is imperative that building preservation is supported for today’s and future generations.

What is a listed building?

A listed building holds special architectural and historic importance. As such, it is deemed essential that it is protected for future generations. The National Heritage List for England is a list of all listed buildings (England) and you can search it to find out the status of your property.

Listed buildings are designated a grade as follows:

    • Grade I

Approximately 2.5% of listed buildings are in this category. These buildings are of exceptional interest.

      • Grade II*

5.8% of listed buildings are Grade II* and considered particularly important.

        • Grade II

91.7% of listed buildings fall into this category and is the most common grade for homeowners. Grade II listed buildings are considered particularly important.

If you own a listed building, you may still carry out works but you must first gain listed building consent which may dictate what you can do and specify the use of certain materials etc.

What about Conservation Areas?

Conservation Areas are designated to protect the features of a place that make it unique. The buildings in a Conservation Area will not necessarily be listed (but may be). If your property is in a Conservation Area, the changes you can make to buildings and trees will be impacted. You can find out if you live in a Conservation Area by contacting your local authority.

In a Conservation Area, your building may be subject to Article 4 Directions. These are restrictions put on work you could normally carry out without planning permission e.g. painting your house a particular colour or replacing a door. There are also different rules for what would normally be permitted development, and you may need to submit planning applications when there would ordinarily be no need.

How can a Chartered Surveyor help with historic building preservation?

Failure to follow rules regarding works on listed buildings/those in a Conservation Area can result in fines or even imprisonment. So, before you make any changes to your historic building, it is essential a Chartered Surveyor carries out a Historic Building Survey. This will record the layout of the building and its surroundings and advise on necessary conservation required.

You will gain detailed advice on historic building preservation and if/what building consents are in place. Your surveyor will know about any special considerations that must be made when tackling repair or renovation works and will be able to advise on the use of specific materials.

Get in touch

At Trinity Rose, our team of Chartered Surveyors have years of experience surveying historic buildings. We are able to inspect and advise on your building whether it is listed, in a Conservation Area or you simply want the best advice for your property.

We understand older buildings: the way they are built, the materials used. We appreciate the costs associated with their maintenance and the necessity of using the right, skilled tradespeople. Our team know the rules and regulations regarding their upkeep and modification and are here to guide you as you do the best for your unique property.

While caring for a historic building can feel daunting, you are rewarded by playing your part in preserving beautiful, important history. To arrange a historic building survey or ask any questions, please get in touch. Our friendly team will be happy to help.