Grade II listed - what repairs are allowed?

http://www.buildingconservation.com/articles/cement/cement.htm
Lime Mortars and Renders: The Relative Merits of Adding Cement
Graham O'Hare
For many years those specialising in historic building repairs have known the dangers of using hard, cementbased mortars. But the specialist world has been split between those who advocated the use of small amounts of Portland cement as an additive to a lime mortar and those who rejected all cement additives. New evidence sheds light on the controversy, with some radical conclusions.
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http://www.jjsharpe.co.uk/faq.html says
    My house is in an exposed area, should I use hydraulic lime or non-hydraulic lime?          We recommend that for external rendering and pointing hydraulic lime should be used.          Are these products more expensive than conventional modern cements and plasters?          Yes, but less expensive than using inappropriate materials that will harm your building in the long term
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saying:

Might also be worth them talking to SPAB - http://www.spab.org.uk/ - they've got plenty of real-world experience of "Look, it might be listed, but it's going to be listed rubble unless we actually bloody fix it and NOW"
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Yes they should get a structural engineer with experience of old buildings. A general purpose structural engineer will cover their own back by over specifying
SPAB will come up with names and I expect the Conservation Officer can too
Anna
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writes

I'm guessing that they had not spoken to the Listed Building dept before starting any of this work?
You mention roofing work, whilst it could easily be necessary maintenance and like for like repairs, if doing stuff like this it's really worth talking to them first, even if not strictly necessary. That way they know that you will use a suitable material for repairs etc.
--
Chris French


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On Mon, 26 Jan 2009 22:38:58 +0000, chris French

Or more sensibly before buying the place.

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mogga wrote:

Indeed. I was looking at a rtather run down listed house..I got a fried ofa friend who was a museum consrevator to advise.
"10,000 a room to fix that" he said.
I calculated the resale value of a reconditioned property, subtracted that sum and made an offer.
"But that is 40,000 less than the mortgage"
"I pity you"
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Or more sensibly still, not buying the place. I wouldn't touch a listed property with a shitty stick.
--
"Please try to understand, the one you call Messiah is a lie."
[email me at huge huge (dot) org <dot> uk]
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First rule of owning a listed building is realising that you need the conservation officer on your side, so if they say you need a structural engineer that's what you do. Its far easier arguing with this bloke because you are paying him. With the nicely typed report now reading as you want it, present to CA, all happy. Second is the realisation that you are not the owner of this special architectural or historic interest building merely the present occupier, keeper. Third is the realisation that rules one and two can cost LOM.
-
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Mark wrote:

Its like teh arguments we had with council employyes ovvver why they had invested our money in known dodgy Icelandic banks.
"We didnt know they were dodgy" "well why don't you read the financial press: you are the treasurer" "I'm to busy to do that, someone else does that for me" "Oh, and why didnt they tell you?" "What they tell me is irrelevant: If Moodies give it a triple A rating it goes on our list of permitted investment vehicles, and we are simply supposed to pick the best rate of return"
So what you are saying is that if the system tells you to do something, even if you are given clear indications that its wrong, you will do it anyway?" "Yes"
I..e. No one gets fired foir losing 100M, they get fired if they don't *follow the rules*.
Understanding this principle is the key to dealing with jobsworths. Produce a bit of paper that says XYZ, and their arses are covered.
If THEIR rules say that an engineers report is (no matter how bent to suit YOUR interests) what they need to be able to say 'I did my job' then give it to them.
There is a GHASTLY extension that lookes like a cedar portakabin stuck on a listed house here.
How di they get a 15 square meter pictire window in a cedar clad pill box past the planners?
simple. They got a bunch of architects and builders and loveys to all agree that it was of such extreme architectural merit, that it could be allowed.
All it takes is money, and enough paper to cover everyone's arse.
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YAPH wrote:

They can make you knock it down and reuse the original materials.
The key to Grade II is that you MUST repair, not renew, unless there is no possible alternative. Cost benefit and 'it will look the same afterwards' cuts no ice.
Take some advice here. STOP until you have a firm clear agreement between the preservation people and the builder, and some firm quotes.
For some firms, listed work is a license to print money.
In your case, they will probably want all the original bricks cleaned up and replaced with the same crappy lime mortar that was originally used, preferably in the same locations too..yeah.. right!
I attended a meeting between a house owner, teh listing people and a building inspector once.
Hilarious. The staircase was rotten and had been removed.
Building control: "That staircase is currently inadequate and you cant revulid it, it wont meet current safete regulations"
Listing people:"that staircase is reparable: It must be restored and put back".
Building control: "But it still wont meet regulations"
Listing people: "But a repair is not a 'material alteration' and therefore doesn't come under building control"
The poor bloody house owner just stood their looking more and more miserable...
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wrote:

Having worked for a local authority architect's department at a low point in my life I recognise the scenario. I was converting a garage in a council estate into a bedroom for a disabled person (high point of my architectural career!) I seem to recall lots of conflicting requirements between various council bodies but no system in place to give an indication of whose requirements had priority. At this point I gave up my architectural career and went into computers! Maris
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On Tue, 27 Jan 2009 09:25:03 +0000, a certain chimpanzee, The Natural

Hate to say it, but the one wearing the safety sandals was correct. The building regulations would have only applied to a *replacement* stair, and then only if there was other work to the building that was 'relevant'.
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Hugo Nebula
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Hugo Nebula wrote:

Oh I know that the listing people were in fact correct. The house could not have passed building regs as a new build at all.
I just wanted to point out the tussles you can get into if you start 'replacing' rather than 'repairing'
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YAPH wrote:

As has been said, no permission is needed for like for like repairs. But this means what it says - the same bricks to be reused if at all possible (if genuinely impossible then identical ones), the same mortar composition, etc, no changes permitted. If the mortar isnt plain white lime then you might need to do a mortar analysis to ensure you get the same mix.
However, as also said, it may be a good idea to run your detailed plans under the CO's nose to help get them on side for the future. Also it may be wise so they can pick up on any detail you may have overlooked - and its easily done.
Meanwhile I'm guessing you could do something to hold the stack in place temporarily while you're sorting the details out. Dont expect to do anything in a hurry on a listed building.
NT
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The message
from snipped-for-privacy@care2.com contains these words:

One point being missed here is that the chances are that a chimney stack will have received some less than sympathetic attention in the past half century and so have a fair bit of cement pointing. That will mean it's not "like for like" which may be required, but the use of materials identical to the original.
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Repeat this mantra:
"It's a repair"
and to Building Control this mantra:
"It's pre-existing"
- and never offer *any* more information than you're legally obliged to give.
I think a structural engineer would be utter overkill for a chimney repair - unless it's exceptionally large or unusual.
The council bloke almost certainly isn't qualified (or experienced) to give an opinion on the safety of the chimney.
I doubt anyone that was, would give any sort of opinion without a close inspection. And Mrs Owner has no obligation to let them in to do an inspection - which rather means they would have no case against her if the builder says "it was an immediate danger".
Saying all that - I think planning for the most part do an excellent job of preventing the worst excesses from getting built (or our assets destroyed) and building control for the most part do an excellent job of making buildings safe.
The busybody round her house sounds like one where they could save us all a bit of council tax, by reducing his salary costs to zero.
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