Thached Roof

Owning A Period Property With A Thatched Roof

Thatched roofs are seen as a luxury these days, and are fetching higher prices for properties. Here we look at some basic facts about thatched roofs.

Period properties are often beautiful, quirky and have a lot of rules that come with them which dictate how we keep them to ensure they stay as they were. Thatched properties are certainly an aspect of a period property that has to be really carefully looked after to keep it preserved.

Some of the earliest records of thatch was in Anglo-Saxon times when it was used to make near enough all roofs for huts that held animals and animal feed. Moving forward in time it was then considered a cheap roof material for the poor man, with richer families using metals instead. There are still period properties being renovated that have thatch underneath their top layer of roof.

These days, thatch was once dying out, but is now being used again because it is seen as desirable, providing a beautiful quintessentially British aesthetic. That being said, many people still worry about thatch because of its upkeep, and safety. Whether or not the maintenance is worth it is a personal choice.


There are various types of thatch; water reed, wheat reed and long straw. Water reed is extremely durable against animal damage. Wheat reed appears clipped and is commonly topped with an extra water reed ridge. Long straw is different in appearance and is soft and round.

The appropriateness of any of the three is debatable amongst enthusiasts and experts.

How Long Should You Expect A Thatched Roof To Last?

It is difficult to say, because it depends on the area of the country the house is located in, even down to it being near winds from the sea. The skills of the thatcher, plus the quality of the thatch material, debris damage and maintenance levels all will affect how long the roof will last. Generally, you might expect water reed to last over 50 years, wheat reed over 20 and long straw over 15.

Repairing A Thatched Roof

Completely repairing a thatched roof may require listed building consent and any new work might need recording. Dressing up, brushing down and repairing holes are all common types of repair done on a thatched roof. In all instances an experienced and reputable thatcher should be sought for any maintenance completed.

Is A Thatched Roof Period Property For You?

If you want a real chocolate box home, then a thatched roof property might well be for you. What better than a gorgeous traditional exterior to protect your stunning home containing your very own luxury haven. Perhaps you have vintage floor tiles, raw wood timber and an exposed brick fireplace, or a porcelain tiled kitchen and ombre wall tiles in the bathroom. Whatever your interior design taste, with a period property like a thatched cottage, you can be sure externally, it always looks absolutely stunning.

Thatch & Safety

Many people are put off thatch because of fire safety, which is a shame as the likelihood of a thatch fire occurring is not as high as people might think. The higher likelihood of fire used to be put down to sparks, when in fact it is now thought that hot gases from chimney fires are the cause. Hot gases from the chimney stack are problematic, and so lining the chimney in ways recommended by skilled thatchers, is the best way to protect a thatched home from fire.

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