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Thatched roof - any experiences, please?

Discussion in 'Personal' started by gorgybaby, Apr 8, 2012.

  1. I am off to look at a property with a thatched roof. It is listed, which comes with its own issues, I know. I have never had a thatched roof though. Please does anyone have any advice? experience to share?
    Many thanks
  2. giraffe

    giraffe New commenter

    Almost impossible to get insurance nowadays according to a relative in the business.
  3. InkyP

    InkyP Star commenter

    Hence the elderly lady in the news a few weeks ago whose uninsured thatched cottage burnt down because she couldn't afford the insurance.
  4. joli2

    joli2 New commenter

  5. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    Insurance is the biggest issue.
    You also need to know when the roof was last re-thatched as they need doing every 25 years or so I believe. Re-thatching is expensive as it is a dying art and you may not be able to find anyone local to do it.
    Rodents and insects are quite attracted to thatch.
    I expect the first week of November is a worrying time for owners with a thatched roof!
  6. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    I've had 2 thatches roofs. No problem getting insurance (NFU are happy to insure and not necessarily costly at all).
    Thatches are made of different materials and the most long lasting is water reed which will last a lifetime if done properly. The one part that amy need re-thatching more often is the ridge (the bit along the top of the roof) so you need to find out when this was last done and who did it (as the thatcher concerned will usually provide a report on the consition of the entire roof).
    Thatched roofs do not, in my experience, attract rodents but we did get a lot of spiders.
  7. giraffe

    giraffe New commenter

    The ridge needs doing every ten or twelve years.
    A roof made of Norfolk reed will last thirty years, but can't be used in other areas where local materials are specified in the listed status. Long straw might only last eight to twelve years.
    Because of listed status you won't be able to alter the building in other ways.
    Rewiring needs to be done more frequently than non-thatched (rodent damage) and so does chimney maintenance.
    The changes to a warmer, drier climate are contributing to problems with insurance and many who have traditionally supported thatched property insurance will pull out or put their costs up through the roof!
  8. jacob

    jacob Lead commenter

    You would!
  9. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    Thanks Jacob. Luvs ya!! Mwah, mwah
    BTW..............do you mean I'd have thatched roofs or spiders? Just a question......or maybe both!
  10. Thanks ever so much, that was really helpful.My feeling is that the house, although really sweet, is a tad overpriced. It has some tiling as well as a thatch, so could be the best/worst of both worlds! What about a coach house, then? Any thoughts?
  11. giraffe

    giraffe New commenter

    Keep the tyres well inflated? [​IMG]
  12. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    That is not uncommon and doesn't cause problems. I'd go and have a look if you like the house, but if it's overpriced then fair enough.
  13. I could just about go up to the asking price but not leave myself with much of a cushion. The windows are painted but would need doing in the next few years - I presume because it is listed you couldn't replace them. It has no land around it, but as I said it in a very desirable village.
    The next option is a coach house, freehold with garage. to buy off plan. It would easily let to a young professional I think and being brand-new would not need a lot of money spending on it. Is also £15,000 cheaper so more within my budget. It is nothing like the picture suggested by Giraffe, funnily enough.

  14. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    The Coach House sounds a better option. Are you buying to let? If so then I'd probaby not buy the thatch......................it's just that tennants might not take as much care. If the thatched house is listed then you'd struggle to get changes to windows or anything.........even double glazing (even if designed sypathetically).
  15. foxtail3

    foxtail3 Star commenter

    Why would you go up to the asking price? A house's asking price is just that -a and most vendors should expect less, especially in the current climate. any house is only worth what someone will pay for it. I don't think that listing means that you can't replace windowa etc, but would mean that you would need to replace like with like - no UPVC etc. I think that it's more difficult if you wanted to knock down a wall or materially change the layout. It depends what you want the house for - a 'forever' home, an investement, a short term buy, a family house.
  16. When I was looking at a listed property fairly recently, I spoke to their listed building person.He was actually quite reassuring, he said that they are quite realistic, they do want people to live in the properties and they recognise that they have to keep up with modern life It is a really pretty little cottage, the roof is small so would not be ridiculously expensive I don't think The agents aren't there today so I will have to wait till tomorrow to ask the important questions. It isn't really big enough to change the layout!! I was wondering about the windows though. The walls seem thick as thick, but I was wondering how much heat would be lost through the windows. it has full central heating - I hate being cold and would need to know about that before shelling out.
    Have decided against the coach house. This one really is overpriced though. At 10% off it would be much more in my price range, ad would leave me a bit over for unforeseen circumstances.
    Thanks ever so much for your thoughts,
  17. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    A friend of mine used to have a very old property, with very thick walls. They were built that way to minimise the penetration of water /damp as the concept of a cavity wall didn't exist then.
    I think cavities were adopted by the building industry in the late 1920s. My rental property is the only one on the old part of the street that has a cavity. It was built in 1930 and everything built before it was constructed around 1900.
    Anyway, the friend with the very old house said that they had to keep the heating going 24/7 for the bulk of the year or suffer damp and the damage from damp. Heating had to be on in the winter at all times, and for part of the time when the weather improved in order to dry out the brickwork.
  18. Oh, That'll be another tick in the "No " box then!!
    Thanks Jubilee.
  19. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    My second thatched property was tiny................3 beds, one bathroom, kitchen and sitting room. All tiny. It had LPG heating and cost £100 a week to heat in the cold winter, I kid you not! Was draughty as Concorde wind tunnel when testing. I'd ask to look at the energy rating for the property and copies of bills.
  20. jacob

    jacob Lead commenter

    On reflection: living under thatched roof, spiders in your hair, while stirring your cauldron and chanting!

    I hope your broomstick does not have stanav, you might come and find me.

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