What is heritage roofing and why can it be a problem?

What is heritage roofing and why can it be a problem?

Owning a heritage building is a rarity but it can be difficult to manage renovation work that is carried out on your roof or elsewhere on the property. So, here is our guide to what ‘heritage roofing’ means and why you need to find the best of the best when it comes to carry out your work.


What is heritage roofing?

Heritage buildings are structures of a certain age that are made from period materials and require specialist maintenance when it comes to renovation and repair. Some are referred to as being ‘listed’, meaning that they have been judged as having cultural or historical significance. In the UK this is decided by Historic England for sites of particular significance and members of the general public for younger, smaller properties.

While this is a fantastic way to preserve our culture and history, the practicalities of maintaining a property can be demanding. Any listed or historic building will almost always require materials which can be difficult to source and amendments to modern working practice to make sure they are applied carefully. This means that any renovations will need to be made with care and a build can easily run afoul of issues if they are not properly accommodated.


What can it be difficult?

Managing a renovation to a heritage property requires additional considerations that are not present in conventional builds. These include-

Heritage Materials: An older building should be repaired with materials that best approximate the period of its creation wherever possible. This means updating or replacing authentic tile or slate rooves and working to source the right tools and equipment to ensure the build is completed to the highest standards.
Specialised skillsets: Finding a specialist roofer is essential for buildings of a certain age and composition. Hiring a trained professional means they are not only able to work with the required materials but are also able to use newer techniques to keep your aesthetic and maintain the character of your build.
Risk of Damage: All construction work carries risk of creating further damage, something that is even more pronounced with older or listed buildings. Being able to understand the weaknesses and needs of each unique property is incredibly important as a failure to do so almost always results in more damage inflicted than improvements made.


What do you do?

While completing a heritage renovation can seem intimidating, the reality is far from the truth. If you’re looking to complete a project, here are three golden rules that will stand you in good stead.


Don’t worry!: Even if your building is formally listed you will still be able to make changes to your heritage roofing. Listing is not overly preventative and allows you to make changes can be made they will have to apply for consent to make them. While significant adjustments such as extensions or modernising renovations may be turned down, most small or aesthetic improvements will be approved with little issue.
Follow the Rules: If you want to make changes to your heritage home but are still unsure how best to proceed, you can contact institutions like Historic England to provide you with practical advice about the process. While only some of their information may be relevant to your particular property, visiting the site give access to information about a range of funding grants for maintaining residences and property, something that can be incredibly helpful in the long and short term.
Find a solid team: Put simply, heritage building work is difficult and requires a highly skilled team to complete. Taking the time to talk through your project with providers can quickly give you a sense of the expertise that a business possesses and help make sure their background and practice suits your unique needs. If you want to find out more about how a professional team can help with your renovation, please don’t hesitate to contact us directly and let us know exactly what you need to complete your build.