Why do Listed Buildings need Specialist Builders?

Certain construction, repair and maintenance jobs require a very different approach to standard buildings. For instance, you’ll need very specialist builders for listed buildings. Oxfordshire and other areas of architectural significance often require this kind of expertise within the construction industry to help conserve buildings in the area for the present and in the future. Without this specialist knowledge and expertise in building techniques, listed buildings can suffer irreversible damage and even break local planning or listed building permissions. When making any changes to listed and heritage buildings, the key concept is to retain the integral features and character of the original building, and this is something an experienced building or surveying team will always have in mind. Here are 5 important reasons you should seek specialist builders for listed buildings. Oxfordshire and the surrounding area are full of such buildings so make sure you take note!

1. Understanding the building

First of all, extra research needs to be undertaken before embarking on a building or restoration project to a listed building. The work requires specialist builders and surveyors who fully understand the architecture of the building and can apply their knowledge of specific brickwork or building constraints on the listed building. This might mean researching in greater detail about the integral features of the building, such as traditional sash windows, a grand wooden staircase, or specially designed flagstones. Alternatively, the specialist team might also be able to give advice on your insurance and mortgage options if you are investing in a new, listed property or are making significant changes to the building’s structure. Either way, a team of specialist builders for listed buildings in Oxfordshire will understand exactly what further research to do before construction work begins.

2. Following rules and regulations

If you choose to use a professional team of builders, they will understand all of the tricky rules and regulations about listed buildings. Many people are unaware that drastically altering a listed building without official consent can actually be classed as a criminal offence.  The specialist building team will make the process of obtaining Listed Building Consent much simpler and will avoid any unnecessary legal disputes with local planning authorities.

3. Specialist knowledge of materials

When undertaking construction and repair work to a listed building, the materials used should be identical, or as similar as possible, to the original materials used. When work has been carried out by specialist builders for listed buildings, Oxfordshire building characteristics will be retained and kept in the best condition.

4. Experts in techniques no longer frequently used

It’s important to keep in mind that many modern buildings use different building techniques to those used on listed buildings. In order to retain the existing appearance and condition of the building, the same method (as well as materials) needs to be used during construction. This might be a technique like flint work, which can be divided into six different types of flint rendering!

5. Excellent craftsmanship/execution

Investing in a knowledgeable building team might be more expensive than standard builders, however, craftsmanship is invaluable when it comes to listed buildings. If an aspect of the building work is executed to a poor standard, the appearance of the building could deteriorate and fall short of the proposed planning permissions. Even worse than this, the condition of the building could be permanently damaged. Therefore, the money originally invested into specialist builders for listed building work will save you from nasty repair costs later on in the process or a costly legal battle due to lack of consent.

As you can see, there are many reasons to opt for specialist builders for listed buildings. Oxfordshire buildings, and those across the country that help form our country’s heritage, all need specialist knowledge, expertise, and care.