What you need to know about listed building renovation

Buildings become listed for their historical interest and special importance, so that they are legally protected from significant alterations or demolition without the correct permissions. Owning a listed building can be an exciting opportunity to care for an important part of history, whilst enjoying the beauty and charm of different time periods long before our own.

At CDMS Sussex, we have been working with buildings of architectural and historical interest for many years and hold expertise in specialist building techniques, sourcing specific materials and how to combine modern design and construction methods in sympathy with heritage buildings.

Here are some of the key considerations you should make when you’re looking to purchase or renovate a listed building.

Check the building and planning consent

When you’re looking to purchase a property that is registered as listed, it’s important to check any work that has already been carried out and whether the correct permissions were achieved at the time – if you were to take ownership of the property and discover work was carried out without permission, you could be held liable.

Additionally, some properties are sold with planning consent attached, so if you’re looking for a property that will evolve into more of a renovation project, do some research to see what’s available. This can save you a fair amount of time and paperwork in the long run!

Do your research

Many people tend to think that listed building status mostly refers to the façade of the property. However, it’s important to note that the entire structure of a listed property will be protected, and this may also apply to features such as garden walls, bridges, gates, internal fixtures and even some wildlife. You should be able to find the information you need when looking up the property on the National Heritage List.

Make a note of the condition of these features and how simple it would be to repair, restore or replicate in the near future.

Consult with experts

Finally, before you go ahead and make any decisions, remember that you can always consult an expert ahead of buying a listed building to get an idea of the total work, costs and upkeep involved.

We regularly work with clients throughout the design and planning stages of listed building renovation and can even help manage and negotiate your planning application to provide you with peace of mind.

Find out more about our work with Grade I and Grade II listed buildings here.