Listed Building Surveys
The market for older buildings is enormous; to many home buyers the idea of owning a home that has history is attractive, but this has to be from an informed perspective. Some of these older buildings are of so much historical or architectural significance that they are granted listed status by Historic England (English Heritage) in order to ensure their ongoing care and custodianship. We have a real passion for old buildings, their history, fabric and form. Having worked on hundreds we take a pragmatic but sensitive approach to their ongoing care.
There are three statutory grades into which listed buildings are typically categorised. These grades are important when considering precisely how the buildings might best be managed, maintained, as well as any restrictions on conservation and alteration measures that might feasibly be carried out.
Grade I covers the most protected buildings and they classed as "buildings of exceptional interest". Trevor J. Francis has many years working on such structures. Grade II* and Grade II are the next categories below and are "buildings of particularly important or that of special interest". There are limitations on what you can and cannot alter on a listed building; and they should generally by sympathetic with the original materials and features. We have many years experience of surveying, managing and conserving listed structures for a very diverse range of clients. Trevor is a member of the SPAB and has spoken at many leading conferences in this field over the past thirty years.
Purchase of listed buildings may require a special type of survey. We can provide you with the details of this type of survey, its importance, what kind of specialist needs to do it and how much it might cost you.
We offer a variety of services to help you with purchasing a listed property. We conduct comprehensive pre-purchase building surveys. The survey adheres to your requirements and is explicitly prepared to answer all the questions you ask. We investigate any alterations done by previous owners and ascertain whether such alterations had Listed Building Consent.
If there was no such consent, we would provide evidence that you can use in negotiations. We advise on how you can or can’t alter the property once you become the legal owner. We outline what care and repair options are available for you and the cost estimates for such work. We inspect any defects on the property such as roofing issues, timber decay, cracks and brickwork problems. We also advise on such defects and offer general building conservation techniques.
Why do I need a Specialist Listed Building Survey?
A specialist listed building survey is essential for very many reasons. Such a survey informs you of the overall condition of the listed property, and is a key component in its future asset strategy and ongoing care. You can, plan for any necessary repairs and maintenance works as well as interventions that might impact upon the heritage significance. The survey often provides you with information on what is required of you as a legal owner of the listed property and potential strategies as to how this can best be addressed.
As surveyors whose specialisms include historical and listed properties we have a deep understanding and empathy with the issues and challenges that impact upon these fascinating properties. A chartered surveyor accredited by the leading professional bodies and with post-graduate qualifications in architectural conservation and the care of facilities has a profound knowledge of the legislation regarding such buildings, and affinity for their performance in use. You will be confident that your purchase/management plan is well considered. They'll often carry out investigations on any previous alterations and provide evidence of alterations undertaken without Listed Building Consent which you can potentially use in negotiations and also attempt to avoid legal ramifications.
In the event that you are planning on making changes to the property in future, our specialist surveyors will advise on the feasibility of such plans, its impact on significance and also on the best approach to take regarding building regulation, planning and Listed Building Submissions. These buildings often have very different characteristics to modern structures and many require a vapour open approach being taken when assessing their construction (breath-ability). Such aspects need to be carefully considered by suitably experienced professionals.