Skirting boards and listed buildings

This blog post is designed to give you some advice and information about these two things. During the course of the post, we will mention a real-life case that you mind find unbelievable, but it certainly will give you some pause for thought before you start thinking of changing the skirting (or anything for that matter) in a listed building.


Above: Listed buildings can be found anywhere.

What are Listed Buildings?

Many of us are aware of what a listed building is, but might not understand its precise meaning. Essentially listing buildings are those which are classed as special in some way either because of their historical and cultural importance to the area/country or because of their architectural factors and properties.

Listed buildings are split into grading categories:

Grade I means that the building is of utmost importance and these are only awarded in exceptional circumstances.

Grade II means that the building is of special interest, and it is important to note that most homes that are classed as listed buildings fall under this section.

Many people think that having listed status means nothing can be touched, and the building will have to be left until it falls apart. Actually listing is all about preserving so this is certainly not the case. The actual key point (and the one which scares people the most) is the way this preservation is carried out.

There are important guidelines set out in legislation for how to tackle changing/renovating parts of listed buildings, and we strongly suggest you read this or seek some advice before starting anything.

Real Life Listed Building Case

The above is sound advice when considering the tale of what one man encountered when he came to change his skirting board in his listed property.

Hammersmith and Fulham Council decided to take action against again the homeowner (Mr Braun) because they felt his works and changes had breached the rules concerning Grade II listed buildings.

What do you think the problem was? Totally altering the building perhaps or something else along those drastic lines? Well no – far from it. The council stated he breached guidelines by installing skirting boards 0.8 inches too high!

This case went on across many appeals and cost the taxpayer hundreds of thousands of pounds.

While this case was a few years ago, it does rather prove the point and bring the issues together quite nicely. Even if you are doing what you might regard as trivial and minor work to your listed building – including altering a skirting board, it’s best to check before commencing.

It’s unusual for skirting boards to make news style topics, but this is one to best avoid!