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Posts tagged ‘Thatch’

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Buying a thatched property

Many prospective owners of thatched houses are often dissuaded by friends and family who ‘wrongly advise’ that owning a thatched property is expensive, has an increased risk of fire and requires constant attention. This is not the case!

However, if you are considering owning a thatched property that is part of our national heritage, it is advisable to find out as much information about the property as possible.

Below are some suitable questions to ask:

  • Which thatcher does the current owner use?
  • What thatching works have been carried out and when?
  • What materials have been the used on the both the ridge and main coatwork?
  • Does the owner or thatcher know if any fire barriers have been fitted?

It may be worth considering a separate survey for a thatched roof. A local thatcher is the best person to offer an opinion on the current condition and advise when future works are likely to be required and what the costs will be.

It is also advisable to find out as much information about the chimney especially if there is an open fire or a wood burner installed.

  • Find out if a liner is installed. If so, ask what type of liner is it and who installed it?  Ask for copies of any related installation documents such as a HETAS certificate etc.
  • Has the chimney and/or liner been inspected by means of a CCTV inspection, if so request details
  • When was the chimney last swept and by whom?
  • Does the chimney have a spark arrestor fitted?

Find out when the electrical circuits were last inspected and tested. Insurance companies will require electrical test inspections, so request a copy of the last inspection certificate.

Finally, speak to specialist insurance companies beforehand. They may have a ‘check-list’ or certain criteria that has to be met.

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Chimneys in thatch

There are approximately 60,000 thatched properties in the UK, of which 50-80 suffer a serious fire each year, most of which are completely destroyed. 90% of the homes struck by thatch fire have a combination of a wood burning stove either a flexible chimney liner or no liner at all.

Condition
Chimneys should be checked to ensure the brick or stonework is in good condition. Old or poorly maintained chimneys with loose or missing bricks & mortar and not lined, could allow hot gases and smoke to escape into upper rooms, the loft space or directly onto the thatch. If re-thatching works are taking place and the thatch around the chimney stack is removed, the thatcher will be able to advise on its condition.

Maintenance
Ensure chimneys are regularly swept by an experienced and qualified chimney sweep. This normally needs to be done at least twice a year, however if the chimney is used frequently during the winter period then additional sweeping may be required. Your sweep will be able to offer you further advice. Many chimney engineers and other specialist companies offer a CCTV survey, this is recommended to check the internal condition of the flue.  Again check with your property insurer because some of them have a list of approved companies.

Liner
A number of thatch fires occur as a result of old or inappropriate flue liners, therefore chimneys serving either an open fire  or multi-fuel appliance should be suitably lined. Contact an appropriate professional body such as HETAS so a registered  chimney engineer can review the liner (if already installed) to ensure it is fit for purpose for the type of appliance or fire in  use.

An engineer will also be able to advise on the condition of the liner and recommend on how often it should be  checked. If you are considering installing a wood-burner or similar, again contact HETAS who will advise on the most  suitable appliance and liner for the property.

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Thatching Advisory Services – New Website

Thatched cliff-top shelter overlooking Seaton beach

Thatching Advisory Services (TAS) recently launched it’s new website. The new site contains the latest information on fire protection as well as comprehensive advice on buying, owning and maintaining thatched properties. There is a new section devoted to new builds and extensions which includes detailed information on roof construction and the latest building regulations.

There is comprehensive information on all our products and systems and a new facility to buy the products via our online shop.

Have a look around the site and feel free to contact us with feedback or if you have any further questions or queries.

www.thatchingadvisoryservices.co.uk

 

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Thatchsayf – Stream Cottage

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thatching Advisory Services recently completed the application of Thatchsayf fire retardant to Stream Cottage in Glynde, East Sussex.

The Grade II listed cottage is one of the oldest in the Glynde parish, dating back to 1556.

Prior to the new thatch, the roof structure also had TAS100 Thatch Fireboards and Thatchbatts® installed.

The 127m² roof was thatched by Gavin MacDonald Master Thatcher

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New Meeting room at Thatchers Cider

Thatching Advisory Services - Thatchers Cider

A new meeting room currently being built at Thatchers Cider has been designed to showcase sustainable construction techniques. With that in mind, the Sandford cider maker asked Somerset master thatchers, Dunbar & Bunce to install a new thatched roof.

Passionate about conservation, both Tom and Nigel – together with their team of highly skilled thatchers, provide an extremely knowledgeable and sympathetic approach to both historic buildings as well as modern applications, such as new houses and extensions.

It is being built with a solid oak framework and natural stone walls. Prior to the actual thatching,  the roof  timbers were covered with Thatch Firewall Membrane, which is one of the fire barriers provided by Thatching Advisory Services.

Martin Thatcher, Managing Director says, “Our new meeting room is being built in the heart of a beautiful part of one of our orchards, in a thicket, overlooking a pond. It is an opportunity for us to show how we embrace nature. Beinyears.”

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TAS asked to write for Listed Property Owners Club Magazine

Rob Norcott of Thatching Advisory Services was asked by Listed Property Owners’ Club Ltd.  to write an article for latest magazine.

Listed Heritage Magazine is published by the Listed Property Owners’ Club for their members. This is a full colour, perfectly bound A4 production; it is published bi-monthly and distributed to 19,000 listed property owners. The Listed Heritage Magazine includes amongst other things: suppliers directory, members letters, shopping pages, events and properties for sale.

The 4 page piece was centered around the importance of separation in construction on thatched roofs. The article also takes you through common causes of thatch fires, from old or faulty electrical systems through to bonfires or fireworks. It also discusses the various systems and preventive measures available such as Thatch Fire Board System, Thatch Fire Wall System; the use of Thatchbatts® and the Thatchsayf spray.

To see the full article click the link below:

TAS article for Listed Heritage – Issue 95

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Thatching Advisory Services – New Safety Advice Leaflet

Good advice for your thatched property.

During recent times we have seen an increase in the number of calls from people who are in the process of purchasing a thatched property and are looking for more detailed advice; covering areas such as chimneys, electrical systems, insurance providers, and much more to include the names of local thatchers.

In light of the increased requirement in the industry for more advice, we have updated our safety advice leaflet. The new leaflet gives guidance on areas such as chimneys, wood burning stoves, electrical systems, detectors & alarms and fire barriers.

Over the coming weeks we will be supplying thatcher’s with copies of the leaflets so that if required, they can hand out these to home owners.

Thatching Advisory Services - Safety Advice Leaflet

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Dorset Model – Technical guide to planning requirements for thatched properties.

Dorset Model

Thatch is enjoying a resurgence. Architects, builders and owners increasingly acknowledge the advantage of thatch insulation and aesthetic qualities. Recognising this increasing popularity the eight building control authorities throughout the county of Dorset reviewed current building controls for a thatched roof.

The result of these controls will:

  • Either protect the main structure of the building if a fire occurs.
  • Or provide better protection for the roof members if a fire occurs.
  • Require an acceptance to treat the thatch as sacrificial in a fire.

Companies specialising in thatch roof insurance welcome the “Dorset Model” and recognise that it will reduce the premiums paid.

www.thatchingadvisoryservices.co.uk/Dorset_Model.asp

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Thatchbatt® The Real Thing!! from Thatching Advisory Services.

---- Imitation Flyer - April 2014.

TAS has recently embarked on a campaign to highlight the authenticity of one its products – Thatchbatts® and has sent out information highlighting the levels of testing and approvals that the product has gone through.

In summary, when specifying a non-combustible insulation product for a thatched roof, this needs to been done on a like for like basis and therefore careful consideration should be given to the specification. Thatchbatts® are a vital component of both the TAS-Thatch Firewall & TAS-Fireboard systems.

For more information about Thatchbatts® or other Thatch Fire Barriers, please contact Thatching Advisory Services on 08455 20 40 60.

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Thatching Advisory Services attend NSMT AGM

Rob and Gary from Thatching Advisory Services attended the National Society of Master Thatchers Annual Conference and AGM on Saturday 15th March.

The conference, which was held at the Norfolk Arms Hotel in Arundel, was well attended and included some excellent presentations and discussions. These included the Thatchmark programme, Fire Barriers and Insulation, health and safety with the  NFU and chimney safety.

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