Heritage buildings provide a visual reminder of our cultural heritage and our area’s history. Restoring these heritage buildings preserves that all-important history and ensure it’s never forgotten. But these are increasingly becoming endangered buildings due to extreme weather, fluctuating temperatures, pollution and just general wear and tear can really take a toll on the delicate fabric of these structures.

Preserving old buildings is no small undertaking and is often full of unexpected challenges. It requires a delicate balance between preserving its history and maintaining the required updates to secure its future. So, with that in mind, what do you need to consider when restoring a heritage building?

Restoring a heritage building

What is restoration?

Historic England describes heritage building renovation as when a building is returned to a known earlier date. It is the process of accurately recreating the character, features, and structure as it would have been at a particular time. Restoration reverses any decay or modern alterations made to the building over time. It can provide an opportunity to reinstate any missing historical elements of the building, providing there’s satisfactory evidence that a replacement is required.

Do you need consent?

Before you begin any restoration work, you need to determine whether the building or at least part of it is on the National Heritage List. If the building is listed, it is subject to the statutory planning system. You will need listed building consent before you can make any alternations to it, even if you intend to restore the building to its former glory.

Will you be adding modern amenities?

Restoration aims to reach a high level of authenticity and replicate techniques and materials as closely as possible. Any modern features added to the building such as alarm systems, climate controls or updated utilities should be concealed so that they don’t undermine the historic character of the building. You also need to ensure that any changes made to the building are sympathetic to the original design and character and work around this historic fabric of the building to avoid damaging any character-defining finishes and features.

Which restoration methods and materials will you use?

Modern building renovation methods are fast and efficient. But when you are preserving a building’s integrity, history and character, you need to consider using more traditional methods, materials and listed building cleaning processes. While your priority is to retain as much of the original building as possible, sometimes you may have to repair and replace a damaged part of the building’s façade or roof.

If the building is listed, then you are subject to these very precise guidelines. But even if it isn’t listed, you should still focus on ensuring any replacement or alteration made to the building’s façade or roof matches its original design, texture, colour and materials as closely as possible. If substituting materials is simply unavoidable, you must ensure they convey the same overall appearance and document any such changes.

Get expert advice

Restoring a heritage building is no small task. Getting advice from professionals experienced in heritage building restorations will ensure that you preserve the building’s important heritage in the best way possible. A good place to start is by contacting Historic England, your local conservation officer or local authority planning officer and Building Transformation. They can offer valuable advice on heritage building and renovation, from sourcing materials to stone restoration.

Our team at Building Transformation have extensive experience working with historic and heritage buildings across the UK. Our approach to façade restoration, cleaning and roof repairs combines traditional and modern techniques that deliver fantastic results that respect the complexities of a heritage building.

To find out how we can help you on your heritage building restoration project, call our team today on 01234 589807.

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Building Transformation’s unquestionable honesty and enthusiasm for ensuring the client receives the correct whole-life solution (rather than a quick fix) resulted in us being able to ensure the building was not only returned to its former glory, but will stay that way for years to come. I would recommend them to anyone.

Kenny Gash - Carillion Amey

The work provided by Building Transformation was excellent. Their product and building exteriors knowledge is detailed, comprehensive and practically applied to the client’s needs. They offer a professional, detailed, high-quality and customer- focused service which meets the short, medium and long-term needs of the client, and provides practical, cost-realistic advice.

Kerry Quinn - Echo Arena

Customer service is paramount to Building Transformation and they invested vast amounts of time in providing me with a programme to facilitate what was a very complex and time-specific programme of work for the site. The quality and level of support provided by Building Transformation is priceless to any client/contractor.

Marc Blow MCIOB MBIFM - Carillion Amey

The approach and advice on setting up the works at the Wolverhampton Civic Centre were first-class. Building Transformation’s attention to detail was excellent and the RAMS were followed meticulously to every detail. We were delighted with the works and service, and would not hesitate to use them again, nor hesitate to recommend them to any organisation.

Kevin Egginton - Wolverhampton Council

A 200,000 sq. ft., four-storey leisure venue in the heart of Nottingham city centre surrounded by major traffic routes needed work to be done overnight to deal with the traffic issues, while the site remained open throughout. The project took around three weeks to complete and went exceptionally well; the Building Transformation staff were flexible and able to work round dynamic operational issues. The clean was of a high standard and has made a significant different to the image of the building. A very difficult job done well.

Suzanne Green - Land Securities

May & Co have worked with Building Transformation on a number of projects which have included external building cleaning and refurbishment. They provided a great service, supported by the high level of documentation from the initial quotation to books and industry-related guidance, all relevant to our project.

Anton Theobald - May & Co

I am very satisfied in the manner the job was conducted. Also the level of cleaning provided and attention to detail is much appreciated.

Waqas Bin Tahir - Ibis Southampton

I am using Building Transformation’s work to help justify façade restoration works around our business. They have produced excellent presentations on what can be achieved and is a brilliant piece of informed marketing that is helping slowly win people over in our business to take façade cleaning and restoration more seriously.

Needless to say Building Transformation is a name that is now becoming known and respected.

Simon Attwood - Broadgate Estates Ltd.

Building Transformation gave great communication throughout our projects.
It will be my pleasure to recommend Building Transformation.

Sarah Cameron - My Hotels Group

Just signed off the job with Richard. Myself, the bosses and the tenant all are very pleased with the work. It definitely looks rejuvenated just a case of painting the concrete window surrounds in the new year to finish it off. Have found your company and staff very professional and helpful which has facilitated a project with minimal inconvenience and disruption to our in situ tenants.

Mark Hollinshead - Headruddy Property Development

I had a walk around today with Dave and am impressed with the work so far. Dave and the team have done a great job.

I’d certainly love to work with you in the future so perhaps before the job is completed we could look at what opportunities there are for the future.

Marie Green - Novotel Sheffield

At this stage, from my point of view your team has been extremely professional, informing us of what was happening at all times and most importantly no disruption whatsoever to our guests and business.

Ludovic Verzi - Novotel Leeds

We are very satisfied in the manner the job was conducted. The operatives on site were very professional and communicated to us at all times.

Maria Pinana Mateu - Science Museum

The team at Building Transformation understood our challenge of finding a facade cleaning solution that would initially restore the glazing to its original state, protecting our building for years to come. Through intelligent and thorough testing right through to the full restoration of Block D, we have been very satisfied with the project management and delivery of the cleaning programme.

Colin Pilkington - Renaker Build Limited

Thank you for all the work that you carried out in cleaning the outside of our school. We are delighted with the results. You have managed to completely remove heavy staining from many areas around the building.

We found you extremely easy to work with: your quote was reasonable, you carried out the work quickly and you were very flexible in terms of timings.

Tamsin Griffith - Courtney Road Primary School, Bristol

have worked with Building Transformation on several projects within the hospitality industry and have found
them to provide high levels of professionalism and workmanship.


e will definitely be working with you again! Your engineers were very polite and accommodating every time they visited site and have done a first class job. I will be recommending Building Transformation to everyone!

Mark Healy - One Facility


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