Reinstatement thatch - Dominic Meek Master Thatcher
Today, the majority of old oak-framed and clay-lump houses are tiled, but in the past up to 90% of them would have been thatched in either long straw or reed.
The pitch of the roof is the best way to tell if a house was once thatched: thatch needs a steep pitch to allow water to run off it effectively. Therefore, it can be safely assumed that most old houses with a steep, pitched roof were once thatched.
The advantages of reinstating thatch are numerous, including:
- Thatch’s traditional, timeless beauty can enhance a property’s value
- The outstanding insulation properties of thatch keep heating costs down, summer heat out and provide excellent soundproofing
- The lifespan of thatch is longer than many believe it to be; in fact, it is much the same as that of a concrete tiled roof
- It is cheaper than some materials, such as clay peg (pin) tiles
- In the future, grant aid may well become available for thatch reinstatement
- Planning consent is likely to be granted to return listed buildings to thatch
- Once a house is thatched it is much less likely that planning consent will be granted to allow low quality housing to be built nearby