A Guide to Historic Building Surveys



Want to know more about historical building surveys? Here are some great details on the matter.


Are You Considering Purchasing an Older Building?


For those who are considering purchasing an older home, this page is a great place to start. It offers guidance on finding a property, the preliminary steps that need to be taken, and insurance. For further information visit Heritage Consulting.


Should I purchase an older building?


It can be very rewarding to buy and live inside an older building. It is very important to remember that older buildings are different from modern ones. Therefore, before you make a purchase, we recommend that you consider other factors that might be involved.


Preliminary steps


Along with the research that you would usually conduct when purchasing a property, we recommend that you consider the following points as well.


Planning regulation


Is the property in a conservation or a listed area?


Are any trees associated with the property protected?


Your local authority can answer these questions. Knowledge of any extra planning regulation in advance can help you avoid delays when you are planning your work.


If you are purchasing a property and would like to make some alterations, then we recommend that you contact your local authority as soon as you can and discuss your plans with them.


Structural surveys


What condition is the property in?

What materials were used to build the property?


A complete structural survey will offer information on the general condition of the building, the materials it is made out of, and any potential concerns. This will be invaluable information when working on or maintaining the building.


This type of survey is conducted by a surveyor or architect. We recommend that you use a professional who is experienced with historic buildings, accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors or another professional body. See the section on Finding Professional Help for more information.


Where can historic buildings be found?


In addition to estate agents, there are also specialist organizations like the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) and the Listed Property Owners which provide information on listed and/or historic buildings that are for sale.


Very useful guidance has also been produced by SPAB for people who are considering purchasing an older property.


Our yearly Heritage at Risk initiative also highlights buildings with problems, some of which are for sale. We strongly support the repair, rescue, and re-use of historic buildings that are currently vulnerable to decay and neglect or are at risk.


How to Insure Historic Buildings


If you make the decision to purchase a listed building, getting a standard home insurance policy may not be sufficient for this kind of property.


You should consult with a specialist insurance broker or inform your insurance if the property is listed since specialist insurance might be required.


It will likely cost more to rebuild a listed building compared to a standard property. An accredited architect or survey can provide a detailed specialist valuation to help you determine which insurance policy is the most suitable.


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