Scotland’s romance with the historic is intrinsic and befits the land’s natural charm and beauty. Ownership of a listed building is like owning a part of history. Given the opportunity, who wouldn’t want that? However, before you decide to call dibs on an old castle or a country house, there are certain things to know about buying a listed property in Scotland.
Pros and cons of ownership of a listed property in Scotland
Pros – Your property is eligible for government grants to pay for restoration work. Period builds have solid timber and wood, the best stones and tiles, well-proportioned rooms, mature gardens, sprawling spaces, traditional fireplaces, large bay windows, antique doors, and roomy attics.
Cons – Listed buildings are several hundred years old, which means their amenities and interiors have seen better days. They need quite a bit of upgrading and adjusting for modern living. When it comes to energy efficiency, you will need to replace fixtures and fittings, including windows, boilers, wiring, and plumbing. You will also need planning permission to carry out any extension building.
Categories of listed buildings
Category A – These are buildings of local and international importance that have architectural or historical significance. They are outstanding examples of a specific period, style, or building type. Category A buildings include marginally altered structures.
Category B – These are buildings of architectural or historic interests, which are considered major examples of a particular period, style, or building type. These include a building of regional or local importance, which may have been altered.
Category C – These are buildings of special architectural or historical interest and representative examples of a period, style, or building type. It can be one with local importance, a lesser example of any period, and one that may have been moderately altered.
Why do you need a specialist survey?
All properties for sale need a Home Report. However, when you are buying a period property, especially a listed one, you need a surveyor who specialises in historic buildings to carry out a survey. The age of these properties means there can be ample room for improvement. Excessive moisture can damage roofs, floors, and walls. You need to know whether it will cost you a fortune to renovate. Traditional buildings can be expensive to renovate as the materials and repair techniques are specific. So, a survey by an expert will tell you how strong the old bones of the building are and how much you need for upgrading the property.
Did you know there are over 600 conservation areas in Scotland? These are areas of exceptional architectural or historical interest with a character or appearance, which is desirable to preserve or enhance. These areas usually include listed buildings. The conservation status applies to the whole property – inside and outside. You need to obtain Listed Building Consent (LBC) to make changes to the property.
When you buy a listed building, you need specialist insurance that covers any pre-existing work carried out by previous owners without planning permission. Your insurance premium should reflect listed building consent which entails future home improvement you might be undertaking.
Alterations and Renovations
For altering, extending, and demolition, you must apply for LBC. If not, your local council can take legal action against you. When renovating a listed building, it should not cause the character of the building to alter. You need specialist tradespersons and builders to carry out these works.
Buying a listed property in Scotland can be a novel experience, and living in one can be an exciting one. When you want professional-grade workmanship and durable build works, call GS Brown Construction, and learn what specialist skill and expert knowledge bring to your home improvement project.