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Heritage Maintenance Guidance

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Historic England - Your Home

If your home is in a conservation area, listed, or simply an older building you can find lots of free, independent, practical advice on maintaining, repairing and improving it on the Historic England website.

Finding Suppliers and Builders for Heritage Works

The Federation of Master Builders and Building hold and maintain directories for builders and suppliers experienced in listed building and conservation work.

Historic England - Caring for Heritage

Historic England provide helpful advice on how to care for heritage on your street.

Maintenance Advice for Listed Building

Where a property is a Listed Building, you'll need listed building consent for any works which will change the character of the building, but not for repairs and general maintenance.


Damp is often misdiagnosed in historic buildings. You should try to find and treat the cause of the problem, not just the symptoms.

The most common source of moisture is faulty ground and surface drainage, which can be found in nearly every building. Historic England recommends that a survey is carried out by an independent professional, such as chartered surveyor, to assess the causes of the problem and how to treat it.

Windows and doors

Non-traditional materials such as plastic (uPVC) and aluminium windows must not be used in historic buildings. Double glazing is not normally allowed as traditional sash and casement windows cannot easily accommodate double glazing units.

Brickwork and repointing

You should match existing bricks and mortar.

Repointing will need to use a traditional lime-based mortar. Cement-based mortar will damage older buildings as it stops the walls from 'breathing' which can cause damp. Original uncovered brickwork should not be rendered, or pebble dashed.

Rendering and plastering

Render is a decorative layer of plaster that protects the wall from the weather.

You should use the same mix and strength of render for repairs as the render already on the wall. Hard cement-based mixes should not be used as they create a waterproof barrier that prevents any moisture in the wall from evaporating. This can cause damage to the building.


Natural Welsh slate is recommended for historic buildings. Some imported slates may be suitable, but these must be checked by us for colour and quality before use.

Replacing a thatched roof on a listed building must be done with long-straw thatch.

The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) has more information on thatched roofs.

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