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Restoring A 1700S Listed Yorkshire Weavers Cottage.


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#1 msc1

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Posted 24 February 2014 - 08:57 PM

Hi everyone 1st post on here so hello everyone. My Wife and I November last year have puchased a beautifull Weavers cottage near Holmfirth with a view to a complete restoration over time. We are living in the property and are fully prepared to live in it whilst putting our furniture into storage.
The property is 3 floors the top 2 floors is non structural just some stud walls to come down a redesign and new stud walls going up an ensuite shower install new electrics and a replaster possibly only patch plaster a fair bit of joinery work as new doors and frames and skirtings will be required in all areas, the 2nd floor bathroom we planned to do last in the project.
coming down to the 1st floor dependant on listed buildings approval, we intend to knock out a wall to make one big room (weve had this okayed from a structural engineer) raise a stone plinth above a fireplace to house a range cooker knock through another wall to the attached woodstore to make internal access, sandblast all the exposed beams also this applies to the 2nd floor and the stone steps from the ground floor but not the top floor the beams up there are fine. Full replaster at the ground floor in preperation for the kitchen install at a later date.
My question is this, neither my Wife or myself dont know whether to employ a local building contractor who i become connected with through a mutual friend who has measured up and given us a total price for the job on a written quotation, naturally he wont and cant do all the work,however we did have confidence in him that the job would be done right and on time. Any advice would be much appreciated.

Many Thanks




#2 joiner

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Posted 24 February 2014 - 10:25 PM

:) Welcome.

You express confidence in the builder, and yet.....?

What are your uncertainties, because they're not clearly expressed, only hinted at in your last paragraph. ;)

#3 msc1

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Posted 24 February 2014 - 11:28 PM

Good evening Joiner and thanks for your reply, my uncertainties are am I right to entrust just one builder for the whole job would i be better getting in a joiner a electrician and a plumber myself after all he has already told me that he would be sub contracting this part of the work out would I be paying a big premium for this? A friend told me I was nuts and it would be far better to get the appropriate trades men in as and when i need them but with us both having very full time jobs thats not easy, Im posting on here really for a bit of advice and perhaps people with experience of this type of thing to give me case examples.

#4 tony51

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Posted 25 February 2014 - 07:04 AM

You really need someone knowledgeable about old buildings to oversee this. The fact that your builder would 'sub things out' does not on the face of it suggest that he is particularly interested or sympathetic about period properties. As it's listed, you will have the council's conservation officer to deal with. If you come home from work and find that some sub-contractor has done something which the CO is not happy with, you will be liable.

#5 joiner

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Posted 25 February 2014 - 09:10 AM

+1 to Tony.

You really do need to talk with your local Heritage (sometimes still referred to as Conservation in some areas) Officer (HO) before doing ANYTHING.

You've already intimated that you're aware of the need to get Listed Buildings Consent (LBC) for one job, but are you are aware that you will need that consent for EVERYTHING you do in the building - depending on your HO's take on how wide his or her remit is, some of them are as pedantic as hell, some simply couldn't care less, although the latter are getting fewer!

In my experience, removing internal walls was a definite no-no unless you could prove without any margin of doubt that they'd been built in the last couple of decades, and definitely not if they looked as if they were there when the building was Listed.

I think at this stage I'd advise that unless the builder (ANY builder) can demonstrate a record of having worked on such buildings stay well clear.

I'm in a bit of a rush at the moment so can't say all I want to say, but I'll get back on here later. Meanwhile, hang fire.

#6 msc1

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Posted 25 February 2014 - 04:40 PM

Hello again and I look forward to reading what you put on here later, I must point out at the point of putting in an offer on the property we spoke and arranged to meet the listed buildings planning officer at the property to see if she could see any objection in what we were planning to do if so the property was a non starter as at the moment its not practical for our young family, she advised she was perfectly fine with what we were intending to do but obviously a planning application would need to be raised which she would be happy to approve so although we have not done that yet we see it as a formality, I look forward to chatting later.

Many Thanks

#7 temp

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Posted 26 February 2014 - 06:45 AM

Sorry if you know this but... "stud" walls can sometimes be structural. Just because they are timber doesn't mean they can be taken out easily.

#8 joiner

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Posted 26 February 2014 - 08:35 AM

:) Apologies. Didn't get back until after ten last night and off out again now, hopefully back by lunch time.

Just enough time to say that if your CO is already involved and prepared to allow such major structural changes, or changes to the internal layout then you're either lucky (!) or there isn't anything of particular "historic character" in those aspects of the building. I've had battles like you wouldn't believe over something that was done in the seventies, the particular building having featured in previous thread of mine. But later. :)

#9 msc1

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Posted 08 March 2014 - 07:04 PM

Hello again all a progress on the house, today we applied for Listed buildings consent on our house to knock out the wall between Lounge and Kitchen to make a big dining Kitchen / Living area and also to put in an internal door to access the adjoined small outbuilding which is to become a wood store for our boiler stove install.
We have also applied to raise the stone head in the kitchen fireplace, reason for this is so we can install a range cooker, really need this one to pass as we want the 'raised fireplace' and Aga or Rayburn style range cooker to be the main feature of the kitchen, the planning officer on site visit advised we could not remove this fireplace under any circumstances, however we are not asking to move it,only raise the head.
We will see !!

#10 joiner

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Posted 09 March 2014 - 09:23 AM

Good luck with that one. In my experience fireplaces, especially with stone 'heads', are considered so much a part of the "original historic fabric" as to be sacrosanct. The very reason you give...

"...reason for this is so we can install a range cooker, really need this one to pass as we want the 'raised fireplace' and Aga or Rayburn style range cooker to be the main feature of the kitchen,"

...is also the reason (most) COs don't like them being messed about with.

But as we've discussed on here so many times, it all depends on your particular CO. There is no such thing as consistency.

I'd been having month's-long discussions and arguments over the double-glazing (using 14mm gas-filled units) of replacement windows in the rear of a Listed building, a one-time warehouse converted into three flats in the 1970s. The new windows were of a pattern in keeping with the period of the original building (had it been a dwelling back then - mid 19th century), including the replacement of a large 'picture window' with a brick pier to allow the fitting of two sash windows and visible only from a distant back street and then across a bowling green, but the CO blindly argued her case for close on nine months, eventually reluctantly conceding (after I'd shown her another window I'd made for another job) that I had a point and agreed to "the principle" of d/g. When the LBC arrived (and thereby hangs another tale) she'd specified single-gazing throughout!

This was that job. The 1970s dormers were removed and two conservation rooflights fitted...

Posted Image

Just before that job started I'd surveyed another job in the north of the county. A lovely Queen Ann property fully exposed to a main thoroughfare. They wanted all the windows replaced front and back (and there were two superb 'garden windows' on the back - sash windows that went down to the ground) and a mass of work on the inside, including a new staircase that swept up to the first floor).

Posted Image

As I went round with the customer she started referring to double-glazing and I warned her that the CO's knee-jerk reaction would be to refuse it. She said it had been the CO who had suggested it. Same council, same conservation department, same bloody office!!

WRITE EVERYTHING DOWN. KEEP DETAILED CONTEMPORANEOUS NOTES and back them up with an email containing the details of what was said during any visit, either to site or at their office.

But then, they may walk in and say: "Fine."

Edited by joiner, 09 March 2014 - 09:24 AM.