Can you renovate a Grade II Listed House?

Listed buildings offer homeowners a wonderful opportunity to purchase their very own piece of history. For those who love the charm and character that comes with an older property, it’s an attractive proposition. Listed buildings often include period features, traditional craftsmanship, and plenty of curb appeal.

But before purchasing a listed building it’s important to understand that it comes with a number of responsibilities and some restrictions.

Read on to find out more.

What is a listed building?

A listed building is one that has been declared as having special architectural and historic interest. If a building is listed, there are conditions in place to preserve and protect the building for future generations.

Here in England, listed buildings are classified into three classes:

Grade I: Buildings of exceptional interest – usually major stately homes or other buildings of key historic significance.

Grade II*: Buildings that are designated of more than special interest.

Grade II: The majority of listed buildings fall into this category – they are classed as buildings of special interest.

Can I carry out work on a listed building?

Yes you can carry out work on your listed building, and in some cases you might be surprised by the amount of work that you can do! Those responsible for protecting these kinds of buildings are very supportive of maintenance because it helps to preserve the building and its unique features.

However, if you want to make major changes or start replacing items, there are strict guidelines to adhere to, particularly when it comes to the appearance of the building, and you will need to obtain listed building consent from your local authority.

Each building is listed for unique reasons, so it is difficult to provide a one-size fits all approach of what can be done without listed building consent.

For this reason, it is important to seek advice from your local authority before carrying out any maintenance or work.

What kind of projects do I need listed building consent for?

Below we’ve provided some examples of the kind of projects that require listed building consent.

  • Replacing windows – even if the design is like for like
  • Adding solar panels or wind turbine
  • Adding a porch or conservatory – this will require consent, and possibly planning permission due to the size and nature of the project.
  • Exposing timbers or brickwork
  • Roof repairs or replacement – if you are changing the structure, appearance or make a material change.

But do I really need listed building consent?

Yes you do! In fact, carrying out work without this consent is a criminal offence, and the local authority may ask you to reverse or change the work, for which you will need to cover all costs. You could also be prosecuted.

Listed building extension
Listed building renovation

Can I extend my listed building?

It is possible to extend a listed property, it just requires some additional attention and expertise and a good working relationship with the local conservation officer.

Also bear in mind that in recent years planning authorities are favouring designs where the extension is modern, or quite contrasting in style to the listed building. This is where a good design is key!

If you want to extend your listed building, it is important to seek advice from an architect with specialist listed building knowledge and expertise.

Here at Taylor and Co Architects we have experienced specialists who work with listed buildings on a regular basis. Get in touch to discuss your project in detail.