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Thinking of Buying a Listed Building

May 31 2016

As of 2013, there were almost half a million listed buildings in the UK alone, which means there is every chance you will come across one in your hunt for the perfect home. Many of these listed buildings will be residential and many more are state or privately owned, but they all have something in common: they’re considered important to the nation, our history and our heritage.

 Listed buildings are graded I, II*and II categories to determine how important the building is. Listed buildings are subject to a lot of restrictions when it comes to the interior, exterior, and grounds, particularly when it comes to alternations to appearance.

 The grades given to listed buildings relate largely to their importance but they also dictate the level of heritage building restoration that can be carried out. The categories are explained here.

 Many people buy old houses as a project with the intentions of renovation or restoration but can often buy a listed building without realising, meaning they have restrictions imposed on them. There are a number of important considerations to make when purchasing listed buildings, which are noted below.

 Firstly, you must be prepared to maintain the building as it stands and can sometimes be subject to a ‘repairs notice’ requiring you to undertake restorative work at your own expense with very little warning. While grants are available, not all applicants are eligible which can make owning a listed building very expensive, indeed.

 Secondly, not all listed buildings are suitable as live-in dwellings due to heritage building restoration restrictions when it comes to alternations and renovations. All work you intend to carry out needs to have approved consent from your local planning authority or you could be charged with a criminal offence.

 In addition to this, you may be held accountable for any unauthorised works carried out by previous owners, so it is important to be vigilant.

 Finally, it is important to understand the cost of insurance when buying a listed building. Many listed buildings have used uncommon materials and a range of techniques that aren’t always available today, which can drive up insurance premiums. If you are worried about the cost of insuring your listed building, consult an accredited surveyor prior to purchasing.

 These considerations aside, many people get approval for heritage building restoration work within specific guidelines, which means there is every chance you can buy the home of your dreams and acquire a project out of it, too.

 Here at Concrete Renovations, we provide historic repair services for a range of buildings and structures, including listed buildings, so please feel free to browse our site for more information, or contact our team to discuss your project. 

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