How to Repair the Roof of a Listed Building

Doing repair work on the roof of a listed building can be a tricky task. This is because there are planning and listed building rules that regulate what you can and can’t do. It’s important to follow these rules – they’re there to preserve the historical quality of your property. Plus, there are expensive penalties in place if you don’t.

There are different things that you need to do when you’re working on the covering, external features and structure of your roof. To give you a hand, we’ve put together some information on how to repair the roof of a listed building.

Roof covering

The roof covering is the visible layer of materials on the top of your roof. On listed properties, the roof covering is usually slate, clay tiles or thatch.

If you want to repair sections of your roof, you might not need listed building consent if you use matching materials or the same thatching method. However, it’s worth checking with your local authority first.

Replacing your roof’s covering without damaging the rest of the roof can be an expensive and time-consuming job. So make sure it’s necessary before you get started. If your roof is leaking then it could be due to slipped tiles or damaged flashing and might not require you replacing the whole covering. So get a surveyor or roofing specialist in first to give you some advice.

External features

External roof features are things like chimneys, ridges and decorative finials. It’s really important to preserve these as they’re an integral part of your home’s character. So you should keep any chimneys even if they’re no longer in use. And if you’re getting any roofing work done, make sure that ridges and finials are taken down carefully beforehand and re-fixed afterwards.

If any of your external roof features are damaged, you’ll probably need to repair them with similar materials if you can. However, you may also be allowed to replace them, depending on the extent of the damage. Contact your local authority to find out what you’ll need to do.

Roof structure

The roof structure creates the shape of your roof and supports the roof covering. The roof structure is often a really important historical part of a period property, as it’s evidence of its age. Old roof timbers also often have unique carved detailing, which makes them historically valuable.

If your roof structure is damaged or deteriorating, you should aim to repair it rather than replace it. Fitting new battens to support a new roof covering is fairly usual, but you should always try to repair all other parts of your roof structure. A specialised joiner should be able to help you with this and, if in doubt, get advice from your local authority.

How much is a new roof? The cost of a new roof depends on the material needs and the work required, however getting the work done early will save you money over the longer term.

Now you should know a bit more about how to repair the roof of a listed building. If you want to get in touch with your local authority but aren’t sure who they are, you can enter your postcode here. And remember that whenever you hire a qualified local roofer to help you with your roof, make sure that they specialise in the type of roof you have, or at least listed buildings. This will help to ensure that you get the best possible work and advice.

Evy Coe

Evy works for Quotatis as a Content Marketing Executive. She loves to write about interior design and help homeowners with their DIY projects.