Key Considerations when Planning a Restoration Project

Heritage buildings are some of the most important, but challenging construction projects we come across. Restoring a building, keeping its vital links to the past, whilst creating a building that functions in the modern world is no easy feat.

When embarking on restoration works, there are several considerations you need to take into account before your project can begin. In this article, we look at some of these, and how you approach them Ito ensure your project is a success.


The first step in any project is usually figuring out how you are going to pay for it. Many heritage buildings are owned by charities and trusts. This means they might not have access to the funds needed.

There are grants and schemes available. But how do you know which you should apply for? Options include the likes of Historic England, The National Lottery as well as smaller funds targeted at specific types of projects. These may be helpful if there is a particular architect or historic element to the building such as a notable past owner or designer.

Once you’re identified an appropriate fund, you’ll need to put an application together. This will likely need to identify how your project will benefit the community as well as the heritage building.

Beyond that, you will also need to evaluate your project and understand the risks. This is where getting support from experienced professionals can help you.

Challenging Programmes

As part of your bid, you’ll need to develop a programme of works. This can be challenging when funding is not certain. We often see heritage projects grind to a halt when funding runs out. Once funds to restart have been secured, budgets can look very different. Particularly at present when inflation means material costs rise rapidly over time.

The fund will expect you to produce a detailed risk matrix. This will need to consider all eventualities, planning for worst case scenarios and how you might manage them. An experienced team can help you understand where pinch points might be. With their support you can develop a realistic risk profile, meaning you will be prepared for every likely eventuality.

Listed Status

The listed status, and which Grade your building is considered will determine what works you can carry out. There is a minefield of complex rules to abide by. Whilst we understand you want to preserve your building, doing so in the right way is key.

We can support you to understand what works can be planned, and help you make changes to your plans to fit within the rules.

Even something as simple as painting or urgent as a roof repair will be subject to strict guidelines. You’ll need to identify experienced professionals across the supply chain who understand the significance of the work to be undertaken.

State of the Building

Many heritage buildings have been neglected for many years. It may that funding was not in place. Or even that previous owners were not so mindful of the building’s historic significance when carrying out maintenance.
Sometimes, it is only once the works start that the true lack of care and attention becomes obvious. At this stage, you may need to look at innovative solutions to deal with problems that could quickly impact your budget.

What Next?

If you are considering work on your heritage building, the most important step is to take advice from an experienced professional. We have worked on historically significant projects such as Oxford Castle, The City and County Museum in Leicester and Admiralty Arch.

Get in touch today to find out how we can help ensure your next project is a success.