Listed Buildings

Listed buildings can look great, but behind the splendid high ceiling or under the quaint thatched roofs a property nightmare might be waiting. With a little know how, you can move into your dream home without a glitch.

Here are FIVE do’s and don’ts when thinking about buying a listed building:


  1. Get to know your VAT rights!

    Some energy improvement work for renovation projects attracts VAT at only 5%. So always check before you pay any bills to see if you can reclaim on VAT.

  1. Get the right insurance.

    If the unexpected happens and any of the property suffers damage, your Conservation Officer will likely require you to repair the damage to a similar standard and with similar materials. This can become costly so it is well worth contacting specialist insurance companies who deal with listed buildings in advance of proceeding.

  1. Get friends in high places.

    It can never hurt to have friends in high places – especially if they are your local Conservation Officer. They will know about similar problems encountered by other property owners in the area and may be able to advise you on the property you have your eyes on.

  1. Do your research.

    It seems like an obvious point to make, but always check the previous work carried out on the property with your surveyor. Any unapproved work carried out on the property before you take ownership will become your problem, so you need to know what these are before proceeding.

  1. Keep organised.

    If you do any work on the property, keep all planning permissions and building control documentation safe, as you will need these when you sell your home in the future.


  1. Always build to match!

    We advise against combining modern repair methods with traditional methods. For example, dated properties will likely be built with old lime mortar, and using cement with this in situ can cause irreversible damage.

  1. Keep it similar.

    Always seek permission before removing, altering, or repairing original features. This can be anything from decorative stonework, fireplaces or windows as they are integral to the properties listing status. Permission needs to be obtained from the Local Authority and from freeholders where  the property is leasehold.

  2. Leave the stones alone!

    Make sure stonework, chimney, flues are not painted or rendered.

  1. It’s not just the building.

    A lot of the time boundary walls and trees can be protected. So always get permission before altering or demolishing.

  1. Take your time!

    Always weigh up your options and listen to the professionals. A simple phone call to either your local Conservation Officer or to Historic England can clear up any questions you may have before you proceed.