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Carpentry and Restoration for Listed Buildings in England

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In order to protect the history of England and its buildings, Historic England established a list of historic buildings. Any building listed on the Statutory List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest may not be altered, demolished, or expanded without special authorization from local authorities. Charges for failure to obtain a permit begin with a £20,000 fine or six months imprisonment.

Application Process

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For a building to be listed, first an interested party applies to have the building listed. Then, Historic England assess the building on several qualities including age and rarity, architectural interest, historic interest, close historical association, and group value. Historic England advices the Secretary of State, and the Secretary of State decides which buildings to place on the list. Roughly two percent of buildings in England are listed.

Consent to Alter

Owners wishing to alter any part of their listed building must apply for consent prior to any construction, expansion, or demolition. A planning committee determines evaluates the requests and approves or denies it. The need for consent applies to the entire building, not just the outer structure. All changes that might affect the interest of the building are carefully evaluated. Certain areas of the structure may fall under more specific rules, such as Article 4. This document deals with changes and repairs to doors, windows, railings and other features.

More on carpentry for listed buildings.

Alteration Team

When planning alterations, owners should employee several professionals to aid in the process, from obtaining permits to accurate representations of craftsmanship. Architects, building and quantity surveyors, conservation professionals, architectural technologists, structural engineers, and building service engineers organize a plan to repair and renovate listed buildings while maintaining historical accuracy. Project managers keep everyone on the same page and working together, and conservationists ensure historical items are carefully saved and reused as much as possible.

Skilled Carpentry

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Perhaps the most important member of your building team is the carpenter. A skilled craftsman is necessary to seamlessly blend the newer pieces of the house in with the older pieces. Timber windows are a feature in many listed buildings. These windows give structures their distinctive looks and require traditional, highly skilled carpenters for repairs or restoration. The fragile nature of most listed buildings necessitates delicacy only the most skilled hands can deliver.

Historic England put in place measures to ensure the historic accuracy of many important buildings would be unharmed. Owners should ensure they follow all guidelines to avoid fines and damage to local treasures.

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