Can Any Roofer Work on a Listed Building?

Working in or living in a historic building is a special kind of privilege. Being so closely tied to
history, and the feeling you get just from being inside such an important place – you really
don’t get that in a new build.

But Grade I and Grade II listed buildings don’t come without baggage. And when it comes to
roofing work on a listed building, things can get tricky. Finding the right roofer for the job can
be hard, especially with so many old-fashioned skills and trades becoming extinct.
So – can any roofer work on a listed building?

Technically, yes. But…

Some listed building roofing repairs or maintenance jobs could require Listed Building
Consent – which is granted by the council that governs the building’s area.

Your council might ask that archaeological contractors or heritage roofing specialists
be used, depending on the building’s status and historical significance, or the scope and
method of works. Listed buildings in the UK are protected by law – and this includes roofing
repair and replacement.

Listed Building Consent (LBC) is required if you want to;
● Alter or extend a listed building in a way that affects its character or appearance
● Demolish the building
● Make structural changes, including to the roof
LBC may be required if you want to;
● Carry out essential repairs and maintenance, depending on the method, scale and
intensity of works

This document from Historic England explaining LBC contains useful information about when
and why you would need to get Listed Building Consent.

Be aware – carrying out unauthorised works to a listed building is a criminal offence.
Individuals can be prosecuted, and your planning authority can insist that all work carried out
without consent is reversed.

So, the first thing you should do before anything else is to speak to your local council’s
planning authority (unless it’s an emergency and remedial works are immediately required –
that’s an insurance call!).

While LBC is a legal requirement, using a specialist roofer on a listed building is not. Your
council can ask that you hire a period roofer, but you won’t be required to by law, as long as
the other criteria are met.

Still, it makes perfect sense to choose a roofer who knows about working on listed buildings,
and has experience in heritage roofing.

The benefits of hiring a heritage roofing specialist

You’d be wise to use a heritage roofing specialist for maintaining and repairing like-for-like
– not just because it’ll fly better with your planning application, but it’ll likely help you save
money and preserve the building.

A specialist roofer with experience working on heritage buildings will have specific
knowledge of the unique challenges that may arise with these types of structures. They’ll
have access to traditional materials, and well-honed techniques that will have been passed
down from generation to generation. They’ll also know how to comply with LBC, as well as
modern regulations – which gives you the best of both worlds.

A local roofer without access to the same traditional knowledge, materials and skills will
either sub-contract the work to someone who does have experience (at a marked up cost),
or learn on the fly – which is costly and risky.

By going straight to an expert, you get around all of that.

Listed Building Roofers since 1984

Tenterden Roofing is a heritage roofing specialist, based in Kent. Check out our latest work on Instagram and contact us for a quote at [email protected].