Free - How to Avoid expensive mistakes when renovating a Listed Building

And Legal issues too!

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What will this do for me?

Buy, and develop with confidence!

This great short book reveals the most common mistakes people make when buying and renovating listed property, and some hot tips of how to avoid them. The Listed Building Legislation in the UK is designed to protect our heritage, but if approached correctly your project can be viable.


How can I tell if there are likely to be hidden structural issues?

What does, and doesn't need listed building consent?

What processes do I need to have in place to make it a success?


To discover the thought process that is needed to avoid the pitfalls of poor purchasing, poorly conceived design, or simply to understand a little more, this guide is invaluable in making your path to listed building ownership, or listed property projects a smooth one.


The number one cause of cost and time over-runs on any Listed building project is poor planning, and failure to address the key questions in a timely way. There are also other factors to consider, but proper planning tends to bring these into check.

Learn about the building

Learn about the different grades of listed building and why these are important. Learn what help you need in the first instance to check the property over thoroughly. Find out how to check for some of the more common building defects yourself.

Spot some common issues

Recognise damp, structural issues, and precursors for rot and woodworm. Learn about ventilation and some of the things that can be simple to solve.

Prepare properly

Understand how the project mechanics should work. Learn when to involve the Local Authority Conservation Officer, and how to approach a meeting with them. Which Consultants to use and when to bring them on board.

Love your home

Listed buildings are a joy, and the whole process of owning and refurbishing one can be too if you are aware of what to do, and how to do it. We love unraveling a property's history and can help you to appreciate it too.

The SA System, and what people say about it.

Reading this guide is just a first step along a defined path to success with Listed Property projects. We developed our unique system a few years ago after identifying the trend toward These unique and interesting  projects going over time and over budget. We've had some great feedback about the benefits it has had for some of our customers. We'd love to share with you!


Conservation Award - Broadland DC

"This barn sits within the
curtilage of the listed Manor
House. It had not been in
agricultural use for many
decades and latterly was
used for domestic storage.
The thoughtful conversion
scheme has resulted in
and improvement to the
appearance of the old
farmyard retains an open
feel internally. It provides
a comfortable home
respecting the character and
appearance of the historic
building and the setting of
the adjacent listed building."

Mr S (QC). 

GII* Listed Hall - Norfolk

"This Jacobean Hall constructed in 1597 and extended in 1640 is something completely different for us as we've never owned a property this old before"


"SA never raise a problem without a solution! I would certainly recommend them both in terms of competence and trust-worthyness We've taken a great deal of reassurance in knowing they are dealing with the project on a day to day basis "

Mrs D.

Suffolk Coast

SA Architectural Services were recommended to us by a friend.  From excellent design ideas to our final certification - we received an excellent, professional and friendly service. Our builder was really pleased with the detailed designs, which helped enormously as they left no guesswork, and the service proved invaluable in terms of getting the high specification and finish we were after.

We've developed this and many other great resources to help our clients with the early stages of Listed Building project planning. We believe that success and expectations can only be achieved when a project is properly planned. Rushing straight into design without a clear understanding of legislation, and typical approaches to design in this historic context,  will just lead to problems later on.

James Sizer



Wed love it if you would contact us for a free project review see how, and some other FAQ's below:

Do you do a free site visit?

No, not normally. We will of course visit later on in the process, but our initial consultation takes place by telephone, videoconference or office visit. The reason for this is simple, until we've decided that the project is a good fit, and we are the right company to take it on for you, this would be of little benefit to either of us. You can make a free 30 minute appointment by calling 01603 713528, or by emailing to

What are your fees for the Architectural Design?

We do not quote without all the information in place. The process is now a lot more complicated than design plans alone, so we need to fully assess the potential, and work involved in making applications, and design detailing before we quote. Typically the first stage will involve a paid detailed study of the site and your options before we start designing. This has the benefit of keeping costs down before the potential of the site is properly explored. In medical terms we do not rush into surgery before making a proper diagnosis!

Can you build my new home, as well as designing it?

Yes we can, but we only select a few projects each year. Typically we build or refurbish 3-5 properties a year, and these must fit with our aspirations in terms of quality and integrity of finish. If you are interested in a Design and build solution, contact us for an initial consultation on 01603 713528 and we'll let you know when we may have capacity if your project is of interest.

Tel: 01603 713 528



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