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How to Maintain Your Historic Listed Building

Caring for a listed building is an honourable undertaking. Part of that undertaking involves maintaining its structure.

A well-maintained historical property benefits the whole neighbourhood. For this reason, it’s important to perform routine maintenance on your listed property.

Routine maintenance is essential to minimise costs. It can also maximise the healthy lifecycle of your structure. A few handy tips can help to make performing ongoing maintenance on your listed building somewhat easier.

To learn more about how to maintain your historic listed building, keep reading.

Know the Rules Before Repairing Your Listed Building

In many cases, your ll need to acquire consent before doing work on a listed building. For example, you ll need permission to perform stonework that might affect a buildings architectural or historical significance.

In theory, you dont need a listed building consent to perform like-for-like replacements. However, if youre performing a major repair, as opposed to standard maintenance, you might need to apply for listed building consent. In some instances, you will also have to acquire planning permission.

Over time, components of your structure can fail. When this happens, theyl no longer perform their intended protective or structural functions.

Repairing this kind of issue might involve replacing some or all of a part of your building. These kinds of repairs should not affect the character of your structure.

When making like-for-like repairs, you may still require consent in some situations. Sometimes, even a like-for-like repair can affect the special interests of the building.

For example, you may need to remove a part of the building that holds historical interest. Alternatively, your stonework may hold some other kind of significance.

For this reason, its always better to err on the side of caution. If youre not sure of the status of your repair, you should contact your Local Planning Authority for consultation.

Get to Know Your Listed Property Well


It’s vital that you know your property. By learning about your property, you can anticipate weak spots. You can also plan for potential problems.

The best way to get to know your building is by conducting regular inspections. Inspections can help you to identify what parts of your building are likely to need maintenance.

With historical buildings, inspection timing is important. Its a good idea to perform building inspections while its raining. This way, you can easily see whether gutters or other structural features are failing.

You also want to perform periodic inspections after severe weather. During these inspections, you should concentrate on the parts of the building that are vulnerable to precipitation. Furthermore, you should focus on areas that can capture and hold moisture.

It helps develop a checklist for your inspections. A list will help you to ensure that you dont miss any important observations.

It will also help you to inspect your stone building in a logical order. Furthermore, it will help you to examine your building completely. With a checklist, you will remember to cover all areas, such as the roof, exterior walls and interior structure.

Develop a Comprehensive Maintenance Plan

Its helpful to develop a straightforward maintenance plan. In other words, you should create a structured way of pinpointing possible issues.

A maintenance plan is a great way to hold yourself accountable for inspections. It will remind you of when its time to inspect your property.

Putting a maintenance list together might sound complicated. However, you will find that it’s not as hard as it seems to get started.

Its important to consider how your building was constructed when developing your maintenance plan. You must also think about any changes made to the structure. Furthermore, you will need to think about the overall condition of your property.

As you develop your list, try to anticipate problems. However, remember to remain focused on the whole building as you develop your plan.

Think about how one part of the building affects other components. For example, as you examine the interior, you will want to think about your electrical system. You will also want to consider other mechanics, such as your plumbing system and other features.

At all times, consider the position of your home. Also, think about how exposure to the elements can affect the integrity of your property.

As you develop your list, this kind of thinking might help you to pinpoint critical water drainage problems. It might also help you to identify issues that may arise due to the proximity of your structure to trees.

Maintaining a Maintenance Record

With a listed building, its important to keep detailed records. For example, you should record all inspections. You should also record any maintenance that you’re performed.

Over time, you will develop a written history of building service. This history will help you to develop a clear picture of how your building is performing over time.

Creating a logbook may help in this regard. You can make a note in the logbook whenever you perform a maintenance check. Along with those notes, you should include photographs.

You can also record things that you see that are in need of repair. After following-up on the note, you can mark when you completed the repair.

Its also important to record who performs the repair. This point is especially important if you have maintenance or repair work performed by a professional.

You will find that your logbook is greatly beneficial. However, it will also benefit professionals who work on your property. Furthermore, your diligent record-keeping will provide benefits to any future property owners.

Sourcing Authentic Materials

Its important to select the right building materials for your listed building. Choosing suitable materials, however, requires expertise. In many cases, the process may even require considerable investigation.

Like-for-like materials help to maintain the character of your listed property. For this reason, its important to use authentic, traditional building materials. These materials will help you to retain the character of your property.

However, using authentic materials will also help to support traditional industries. Theyll also help to maintain vital craft skills in your community.

In some cases, you will need to replace materials with an alternative. Sometimes, this practice is warranted, especially if it helps to preserve more of the original building. However, its important to test alternative materials for use in a historic building.

In some cases, you will need to replace materials with an alternative. Sometimes, this practice is warranted, especially if it helps to preserve more of the original building. However, its important to test alternative materials for use in a historic building.

The materials that you choose must align with the existing fabric of your structure. In this instance, you will also need to think beyond the material itself. You will need to consider the physical properties of the material.

Some materials can harm existing historic building materials. In some cases, they can accelerate deterioration.

Furthermore, you should consider the lifecycle of alternative materials. You should also contemplate its future maintenance requirements.

Partnering for Conservation Success

More often than not, it’s a good idea to hire professional to perform repairs on your listed building. Moreover, it’s important to ensure that the professional is qualified to work on a structure such as historical stone buildings.

Many craftsmen have learned how to use modern construction methods. However, this training doesn’t qualify them to work on historic buildings.

With this in mind, a professional trained in contemporary construction might inadvertently cause problems. The construction methods of older buildings are vastly different from those that professionals use today. Accordingly, its important to find a suitably qualified professional that has experience working on listed buildings.

The best way to find a qualified candidate to work on your historical structure is to ask around. There is no better reference than word-of-mouth. In this way, you may find a qualified professional.

Its vital to find a repair person with the appropriate expertise. By doing so, you wll ensure that the service person uses proper methods to work on your structure.

Its also important to take the time to vet a potential service person thoroughly. Once you find the right professional, they wll become an invaluable resource that can help you to maintain your listed building for years to come.

Trust an Expert With Your Historical Listing

Now you know more about how to maintain your historic listed building. What you need now is an expert in historic building maintenance and repair.

Edinburgh Stonemasons is your source for expert artisans. We specialise in stone conservation and restoration in and around Edinburgh. We regularly perform stone conservation and restoration work throughout Lothians, Edinburgh and the entirety of Scotland.

At Edinburgh Stonemasons, we are passionate about historic preservation. We take tremendous pride in our work.

You can count on our team of highly skilled stonemasons to complete every project with the highest level of quality. Furthermore, we source our stone products from local stone suppliers.

Contact Edinburgh Stonemasons at 0131 261 660 or connect with us online to learn more about preserving the structural integrity of your listed building.


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