Specifying works

If repairs are needed, what are the next steps?

  • Is the building is listed? You can check here: EH National heritage list
  • Contact your local authority Conservation Officer to establish what consents are needed.
    › Find out more about Legislation and Planning.
  • Any new thatch work will have to comply with Building Regulations. Read how these apply to thatch here [insert link to Dorset model pdf]. You can contact the local authority planning office for further advice.
  • It is advisable to ask at least three thatchers to inspect the thatch and discuss the repairs.
    › Read more on Finding a Thatcher.
  • Obtain written quotations, itemising the works and materials
  • Ensure you understand what work is being done for the cost quoted. Some of the Regional Master Thatchers Associations publish standard specifications, so it is useful to familiarise yourself with these if necessary. [insert link]
  • What materials are proposed to be used? Where will they come from? Are they from a reliable and sustainable source?

Commissioning works

Property owners will have to wait for the various consents to be granted. This can take some time and further information or clarification may be sought.

You will hopefully have at least three comparable quotes from different thatchers. The decision on who to commission to do the work will inevitably focus on price, but cheapest is not always best. Also consider the following:

  • Ensure that all labour, materials and equipment are covered in the quote. This should include scaffolding (if required). Allow a contingency (around 10%) for unforeseen works.
  • View examples of the thatchers work and, if possible, speak to previous clients

Before starting work property owners should make sure that they have all the necessary consents required. It is illegal to proceed without any of these.

Thatchers are often booked up well in advance, so organise the schedule and book them in with as much notice as possible.

During works keep a record of the works, noting when, what, and who carried out the works. Include photographs. The thatcher should also keep a record of the provenance of the thatching materials. This record will be useful in future care of the building.

Commissioning an archaeological investigation

We are currently working on this section. Please email us and we will notify you when it is available.

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