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We have just found, on the Internet, a lovely little cottage which is in need of " updating and modernisation". It looks like a timber frame which would be ideal for us because we understand that kind of construction very well but what is with this "Grade II" deal? If it was not listed would that mean the price would be higher or lower. Can anybody help with the restrictions that we will run into as far as renovation are concerned? We have tried google with no useful results. Links would be great. Would you touch it with a ten foot barge pole? OK . . . twenty foot.

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Guest DissipatedYouthIsValuable

A man or a lady who got the job with English Heritage when their dad retired tells you that you can't do anything to do it up unless you wear a wimple, drink homemade mead and use hand tools you've forged yourself to make it look exactly as it would in 1500. Then the government decides it is a nice but environmentally inefficient house and doubles your council tax.

Edited by DissipatedYouthIsValuable

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A man or a lady who got the job with English Heritage when their dad retired tells you that you can't do anything to do it up unless you wear a wimple, drink homemade mead and use hand tools you've forged yourself to make it look exactly as it would in 1500. Then the government decides it is a nice but environmentally inefficient house and doubles your council tax.

I wonder how many of these custodians of the past live in listed builidings themselves. Is it a mandatory requirement?

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A man or a lady who got the job with English Heritage when their dad retired tells you that you can't do anything to do it up unless you wear a wimple, drink homemade mead and use hand tools you've forged yourself to make it look exactly as it would in 1500. Then the government decides it is a nice but environmentally inefficient house and doubles your council tax.

THis hysterically wonderful reply pretty much sums it regarding Listed buildings.

I may be wrong, but this seems to be the only country in which people pay a premium to live in these antiquated piles - whereas logic dictates the vastly higher maintenance/preservation costs would ensure they sell at a discount to 'modern' housing!

It is one of those quaint British anomalies I always have difficulty explaining to foreign friends.

There are, admittedly, some Listed buildings I could imagine myself living in - BUT the big brother and financial nightmare that accompanies it means that I would NEVER go anywhere near even thinking of buying a listed building.

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We have just found, on the Internet, a lovely little cottage which is in need of " updating and modernisation". It looks like a timber frame which would be ideal for us because we understand that kind of construction very well but what is with this "Grade II" deal? If it was not listed would that mean the price would be higher or lower. Can anybody help with the restrictions that we will run into as far as renovation are concerned? We have tried google with no useful results. Links would be great. Would you touch it with a ten foot barge pole? OK . . . twenty foot.

I would never touch Grade I.

Grade II - reports vary. There are some people on here who have / have had Grade II and seem to be okay with it. Slightly pricier but no cold sweats. I still wouldn't though.

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THis hysterically wonderful reply pretty much sums it regarding Listed buildings.

I may be wrong, but this seems to be the only country in which people pay a premium to live in these antiquated piles - whereas logic dictates the vastly higher maintenance/preservation costs would ensure they sell at a discount to 'modern' housing!

It is one of those quaint British anomalies I always have difficulty explaining to foreign friends.

There are, admittedly, some Listed buildings I could imagine myself living in - BUT the big brother and financial nightmare that accompanies it means that I would NEVER go anywhere near even thinking of buying a listed building.

Fair enough.

Is a "conservation area" a good compromise that is better than either a new build or a Grade II listed house?

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I wonder how many of these custodians of the past live in listed builidings themselves. Is it a mandatory requirement?

A very pertinent point. I always have a deep loathing of these various busybodies imposing their quaint and romanticised views of what is worth preserving on other people.

The whole Grade listing thing rather reminds of that long distant episode from that Yes Prime Minister series (or was it the earlier Yes Minister series?) in which, I vaguely recall, Sir Humphrey was doing his best to selfishly ensure funding for the Royal Opera or such like vs some football club (?) - despite the PMs retort that hardly anyone goes to the opera.

Willingly buying a house that is ALREADY listed is one thing, but particularly egregious is the idea that houses can have listing IMPOSED on existing owners. The poor owners have next to no say over what some faceless mandarin thinks - and they have to pay the subsequent financial costs. You wanna list my house? Fine, so long as you pay the bill!

Edited by anonguest

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I live in a Grade II(1) house, which basically means it's between a I and a II.

It's possible to do what you want, but basically;

* you have to love the house in its historical context because that's what they'll want to preserve

* you can get to do stuff (we were allowed to knock a wall down) but you have to be prepared to make a case (grr)

* you can't change the character and they're OTT on materials (big time)

It all depends on whether you like the place as it is - renovation/restoration is no problem, they want you to do that.

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If you don't mind a prolonged and expensive session of 'yes sir, no sir' with some jumped up little sh1t who couldn't get a proper job every time you want to paint your front door, then fine, otherwise, in the words of Tony Soprano, fuggedoboudid. The whole listing thing is the worst example of petty officialdom given total control of the minutiae of your private life with absolutely no comeback that I can think of. I have several sets of friends whose lives have been made impossible by these creeps over the years. Seriously, it's just not worth it.

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One of the property shows last week featrued a grade II listed renovation and it looked a complete nightmare... although they were rotten and useless, all the original timbers had to be expensively treated and preserved, and then duplicate new framework etc installed next to them to do the actual work of holding the building together. As the owner pointed out, its crazy as noone will ever even see the old timbers. Then there was a huge old iron bread oven in an inglenook at the end of the kitchen.. they wanted to remove it and knock the 2 rooms together. They ended up having to leave it there and hide it behind some modern units.

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We cannot allow people generally to impose their taste on our collective inheritance. In Wales they are comparatively relaxed about conserving old buildings and the result is that some lovely, ancient houses have been turned into Wimpey-lite monstrosities.

I think that the balance is about right, if you are fortunate enough to live in a Grade 1, then either live with the constraints or move on. Grade 2 is generally much less of a burden, depending on your location. If you live in Lower Slaughter for example, can you really be surprised if people take an interest in how you change your house?

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I live in a Grade II(1) house, which basically means it's between a I and a II.

It's possible to do what you want, but basically;

* you have to love the house in its historical context because that's what they'll want to preserve

* you can get to do stuff (we were allowed to knock a wall down) but you have to be prepared to make a case (grr)

* you can't change the character and they're OTT on materials (big time)

It all depends on whether you like the place as it is - renovation/restoration is no problem, they want you to do that.

Precisely my point! Why in Gawds name would anyone willingly live under those conditions? Allowing the State to intrude even further into your private life. Having to seek permission to do things TO THEIR OWN HOUSE INTERIOR that would otherwise not need permission from the (already normally intrusive) planning authorities?!

My home is my castle! If some poncey snob somewhere loses sleep over the fact that an innocuous interior wall of an anonymous building in Somewhere Avenue in East Suburbia, that Joe Average walking past in the street doesnt give a hoot about, is to be knocked down - then let that snob make a case to use taxpayers money to pay me to preserve it/change it in the touchy feely way he wants me to.

IF he cant make that case for taxpayers money to be used then it aint in the public interest to list it!

There are far too many buildings listed, for no meaningful wider cultural purpose, precisly because it doesnt cost these snobs anything. What originally, once, started out as a means to preserve the genuinely most valuable, rarest examples of English heritage has spread to encompass otherwise ordinary mundane houses in suburbia!! FFS.

Far too many people in authority pay only lip service to the idea of 'Progress'.

Edited by anonguest

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You need to know what was listed - if it's nasty plastic additions then that's how they have to stay.

Loads of effort but you have to be on best terms with the listed person who tells you what you can and can't do.

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We cannot allow people generally to impose their taste on our collective inheritance......

Ah yes. That famous Royal 'We'!

Sorry, but I dont recall any vote on this matter? I dont recall English Heritage being allowed by the wider public to ram their romantic notions down our collective throats?

Like I said, you wanna list my house? Fine. If its so important to you, then you pay me the costs OR give me the option to sell up and leave AND pay me compensation.

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Precisely my point! Why in Gawds name would anyone willingly live under those conditions? Allowing the State to intrude even further into your private life. Having to seek permission to do things TO THEIR OWN HOUSE INTERIOR that would otherwise not need permission from the (already normally intrusive) planning authorities?!

My home is my castle! If some poncey snob somewhere loses sleep over the fact that an iinnocuous nterior wall of an anonymous building in Somewhere Avenue in East Suburbia, that Joe Average walking past in the street doesnt give a hoot about, is to be knocked down - then let that snob make a case to use taxpayers money to pay me to preserve it/change it in the touchy feely way he wants me to.

IF he cant make that case for taxpayers money to be used then it aint in the public interest to list it!

There are far too many buildings listed, for no meaningful wider cultural purpose, precisly because it doesnt cost these snobs anything. What originally, once, started out as a means to preserve the genuinely most valuable, rarest examples of English heritage has spread to encompass otherise ordinary. mundane houses in suburbia!! FFS.

Far too many people in authority pay only lip service to the idea of 'Progress'.

I have lived in a Grade II listed since 2003.There are things you can't do and when you want to do anything a guy comes round wearing cycle clips and a faraway look and says that you can't.It's important to remember though that the council Conservation Officer doesn't have any jurisdiction,that's down to the planning committee and if you talk nicely to them and ply them with fine wines and toothsome sweetmeats it's surprising just how much you can persuade them o let you do.

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if you talk nicely to them and ply them with fine wines and toothsome sweetmeats it's surprising just how much you can persuade them o let you do.

It's like the f*cking soviet union!

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Guest skullingtonjoe
We have just found, on the Internet, a lovely little cottage which is in need of " updating and modernisation". It looks like a timber frame which would be ideal for us because we understand that kind of construction very well but what is with this "Grade II" deal? If it was not listed would that mean the price would be higher or lower. Can anybody help with the restrictions that we will run into as far as renovation are concerned? We have tried google with no useful results. Links would be great. Would you touch it with a ten foot barge pole? OK . . . twenty foot.

You`re just going to run into a money pit that requires a whole load of Kafkaesque dealings with the local authorities. Again, as has been stated by others, it`s just a way of preserving `ye olde worlde` (for what that`s worth!) It reminds me of the 1970s show `The Good Old Days` which tried to recreate a kind of Victorian / Edwardian `music hall` when life was much `simpler` and `gentler` (like when there were gin dens, and cholera and typhoid were still running rampant!)

There`s a whole load of shit on the TV that tries to get people to buy into the `period features` side of thing such as sash windows that will drop on your neck as you lean out to sample the `healthy English air`.

The whole thing is bs of the first degree! :lol: :angry:

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I work in the building trade and know a little. What I do know is that unless you have plenty of cash don't buy it. They cost a lot to keep as the techniques required to maintain required very skilled tradesmen......real joiners with sharp chisels and builders used to working with lime mortar.

Also consider the cost of heating your home. No doubt you will have to get secondary double glazing installed because they won't allow UPVC and wooden units made to fit cost a fortune.

Roof work will require English slate....6 x more expensive than imports from Spain and China.

Think carefully

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In the lavatory of a Listed house I once saw a handwritten sign that read: 'In view of this building being Listed, all turds over two kilos in weight must be lowered by hand'.

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Guest skullingtonjoe
:lol:

I draw a line at giving them fine wines! <_<

Paper bags stuffed with money work well I hear! :(

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Thanks for all the input guys. Maybe we are flogging a dead horse here but is there anyway of pinning down the authorities before making an offer. All these restrictions come down to money so we could take it into account with our price but we have to know where we are (and have it in writing) before we would even start the negotiation process. On top of all that the energy use and environmental impact garbage are at the lowest possible settings, so internal insulation, windows and doors will have to be upgraded. We can't be environmentally friendly and historically correct at the same time. It would be really good to get some official definition of what is allowed and what is not. Does it really all come down to cucumber sandwiches and port wine? Makes it all a bit risky I must say.

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My flat is in a grade I house, rented from The National Trust. There are two major drawbacks: no. 1 - no double glazing or central heating possible (there's a gas fire in front of the fireplace in the living room, installed in such a way as to be totally removable without trace), so it costs a fook of a lot to heat in winter. No. 2 - you have to let people come and look round your house, given sufficient notice. I don't know for sure if this applies to all listed residential properties or is just National Trust policy. In my case they've always been prepared to negotiate over the date and it's only happened 3-4 times during the eight years I've lived here.

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Ah yes. That famous Royal 'We'!

Sorry, but I dont recall any vote on this matter? I dont recall English Heritage being allowed by the wider public to ram their romantic notions down our collective throats?

Like I said, you wanna list my house? Fine. If its so important to you, then you pay me the costs OR give me the option to sell up and leave AND pay me compensation.

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My flat is in a grade I house, rented from The National Trust. There are two major drawbacks: no. 1 - no double glazing or central heating possible (there's a gas fire in front of the fireplace in the living room, installed in such a way as to be totally removable without trace), so it costs a fook of a lot to heat in winter. No. 2 - you have to let people come and look round your house, given sufficient notice. I don't know for sure if this applies to all listed residential properties or is just National Trust policy. In my case they've always been prepared to negotiate over the date and it's only happened 3-4 times during the eight years I've lived here.

Must only be National Trust, that doesn't apply to all listed buildings.

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