Buildings and architecture are part of our everyday life and we often fail to notice. From new office blocks, churches, cathedrals, town halls to guildhalls, there are bound to be some interesting and fantastic buildings where you live. Unlike many newer countries, the UK has a very long history, which has meant that many different building styles and building methods have been used in order to erect fantastic buildings of all shapes and sizes. As a nation we often like to preserve and maintain these buildings, so we can hold on to the different eras in our joint history.
In the United Kingdom laws have been created to protect buildings and other structures that have been designated as being of special historical, architectural or cultural significance. Structures like this are called listed buildings and there are around half a million in the United Kingdom. Listed buildings are not allowed to be knocked down, extended or developed in anyway, with out the permission of local planning authority, this is so they can protect these places of interest.
There are 3 different types of listed buildings in the United Kingdom, Grade I, Grade II* and Grade II. Grade I listed buildings are of outstanding architectural or historical interest, Grade II* are significant buildings that are of interest to the wider population, while Grade II are of special architectural or historic interest. People who own listed buildings can get into trouble with the law if they fail to maintain and restore damaged buildings. For this reason many people are being encouraged to hire listed building restoration businesses for help. These are specialist builders and craftmen who focus on listed building restoration use the original supplies and methods used when the building was first built.
Building restoration is the process of refurbishing and renewing a buildings materials. This can be anything from completely reconstructing a damaged building that is beyond repair to major repair work and cleaning the buildings brick work. Building restoration is all about maintaining the classic design and look of a building, whilst prolonging the life span and functionality of the property.
Many building restoration specialists also build extensions and new areas to a property but these nearly always require planning approval first. heritage building restoration builders can do this by using reclaimed bricks and stone as well as traditional bricklaying and roofing techniques to keep in tune with the style of the original building. It is also possible to build within an existing structure and this is referred to as adaptive reuse.
If a historic building had previously been used as a flour mill and has been sold to a property developer who wants to turn it into some apartments then it is possible to maintain the exterior structure of the building whilst also providing all the comforts of modern life within the interior of the building.
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