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Historic Buildings

A large percentage of our work involves historic buildings from medieval castles to Victorian villas and from cottages to stately homes.  We have built up a wide experience in dealing with the historic building methods and techniques of the past and can readily interpret them in terms of the modern engineering requirements so that they can be repaired and adapted without losing the intrinsic historic value and character.  

An understanding of the materials and construction of historic buildings is essential for their sympathetic and effective repair without causing damage to their historic fabric.  Wherever possible, the principles as promoted by the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings are applied when dealing with historic and vernacular buildings.  Our knowledge and engineering know-how can be applied to historic buildings to ensure they are retained and to maximise the preservation of the existing fabric.  Wherever possible, we will go the extra mile to save the historic fabric of the building rather than replace it with modern materials.  We are conversant with the use of traditional materials and techniques such as oak carpentry and lime-based mortars, renders etc which is necessary for the effective and sympathetic repair of historic and vernacular buildings while also knowing when modern interventions are appropriate.

Our specialisation in structural timber enables us to deal effectively with the structural elements of historic properties, which are commonly in timber.  We regularly design the strengthening and repairs of historic roof structures and are particularly practised in the repair and strengthening of the vernacular oak frames used in the South West of England which incorporates jointed crucks.

We are often asked to advise on buildings that are suffering from structural defects in the historic fabric of buildings where past dilapidations or inadequacies in the construction have led to structural movement and cracking.  In these instances, we will carry out a detailed investigation and analysis of the existing construction so that we can diagnose the source of the problem and advise and recommended appropriate repairs and remedial works.

Being situated in the heart of Devon, a county that contains the highest concentration of earth buildings in the country, the Practice also provides a specialisation in the care and maintenance of cob buildings.