Chiltern Associates are a firm of independent Chartered Surveyors with a particular specialism in listed and historic buildings. From large Elizabethan mansions and smaller terraced houses in Ipswich to historic houses in Suffolk and the surrounding area, we have a wealth of knowledge and can provide in-depth historic building advice and historic building surveys
Historic timber frame construction works in quite a different way to modern load bearing structures, which is why in-depth specialist knowledge of historic buildings is so important. At Chiltern Associates, we understand all about wattle and daub walls, cobb walls, brick clad walls and the nature of lime mortar.
Structural movement and its relevance is quite different for these kind of historic properties. We can provide expert historic building advice to help you through this potential minefield. Even your requirements for house insurance will be different to traditional brick and mortar properties. With historic houses in Suffolk, structural movement depends more on the stability of the timber frame than the foundations.
If your property is listed, we can describe the nature of listing, any additional controls imposed by the local authority and the difference between Grade I and Grade II listing. As a historic building surveyor, we have a comprehensive grasp of Conservation Areas and can give advice on likely controls by the local authority on alterations.
We also understand about the need for ‘breathability’ of historic structures and can advise on suitable repairs for such buildings. For example, lime mortar allows for moisture passage and evaporation whereas cement rich mortars can block moisture causing a dangerous build-up in the structure. As a historic building surveyor, we know what to look for and can provide valuable guidance on outline costings to remedy defects.
Listed and Historic Building Advice
If you are considering the purchase or refurbishment of a listed or historic building in Suffolk and the surrounding area, obtaining an in-depth historic building survey is highly recommended.
As an experienced historic building surveyor with extensive knowledge of the local area in Suffolk and beyond, Chiltern Associates provide tailored survey reports. The report prepared will reflect the property in depth, the condition, your requirements and any other matters that are relevant.
Historic Building Surveys:
- We can advise on restrictions on window design, use of roof materials, and other matters controlled in listed buildings.
- Thatched roofs can be a potential fire hazard and we can advise on how these fires can be a serious threat to the stability of the structure. Wood stoves need special treatment if the roof is thatched.
- We can advise on alterations that have been carried out without listed building consent and suitable ways to comply with listed building control.
- Damp can be a particular area of concern. Traditional damp control methods such as injecting chemicals into walls are not appropriate for historic properties and so alternatives can be considered with the advice of the right building professionals.
- Woodworm and death watch beetle can be controlled with the right advice and understanding of what is serious, affecting the structural stability, and what is of less concern.
- The whole site of a listed building is included in the listing, so outbuildings such as garages, storage buildings and stables are also controlled. Even walls may be included, so advice is also given on these aspects.
Your needs for alterations can be included in the report with general advice. You may wish to alter the internal layout or build an extension and we can discuss these with you.
Historic Building Surveys Suffolk
As a Suffolk based independent team of professional surveyors and valuers, Chiltern Associates offer specialist historic building surveys across the entire region, including: Aldeburgh, Ipswich, Needham Market, Saxmundham, Southwoldm, Stowmarket and Woodbridge
Over the years, we have surveyed a wide range of historic houses in Suffolk spanning centuries of building design and techniques. Every historic building is different and, as such, must be treated individually when a historic building survey is undertaken.
The range of different aspects that have to be considered can be vast. Below are just two examples of the factors that are examined in detail during a historic building survey.
Farm House in Eye:
Ground Floor – Porch, Hall, Three Living Rooms, Kitchen, Utility Room, WC
First Floor – Landing, Five Bedrooms, Bathroom, En Suite Shower Room
Areas and factors studied included: Detailed view to rear and of chimney stack. View of rear roof and front view. Penetrating damp on side rear wall, Side view of roof, chimney stack and valley gutter, minor crack in render. Rear view of property and water tank in the loft. Pipework and underside of felted roof, base of wall showing plinth, Wet rot at base of French window, gap at base of kitchen door and dated fuses. Open staircase; possible health and safety problem for children, chimney stack and gutters, intact historic timbers and base of wall next to kitchen door.
Cottage in Woodbridge:
Ground Floor – Two Hall Living Rooms, Lobby, Bathroom, Kitchen
First Floor – Two Landings, Three Bedrooms, Bathroom,
Areas and factors studied included: Detailed view of guttering, roof tiles and cracked tiles on front porch. General front and rear view, side view, rear roof showing gaps in tiles and valley gutter detail. Gap in joints of timberwork, settling in solid floor causing gaps to side, large vertical strut at junction with small sole plate and a beam at first floor reinforced with metal, possibly weakened due to old roof leak. First floor beam pattern, Stains in timber due to old leaks, timber joints reinforced with metal; possibly weakened due to old roof leak and old aluminium water tank in loft. Thin timberwork reinforced with extra beam, severe woodworm and death watch beetle in timberwork, Leaking pipework next to aluminium tank, rafters renewed in loft and felt lining to pitched tiled roof and an old asbestos tank in loft. Extra land to rear and footpath that leads across land to rear.
Contact Us Today
If you would like to discuss a specific historic building with us, please call our friendly team and they will be more than happy to help. Our extensive experience with historic properties means we are ideally placed to give you the correct historic building advice and information you need to make a safe and considered purchase.
Fill in the form to find out more about the specialist historic building surveys we provide for historic houses in Suffolk.