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How To Redecorate When You Face Restrictive Rules

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Many people will see summer as a great time to redecorate the house. The paint will dry faster, doors and windows can be kept open for ventilation without leaving the place freezing and everything will show up beautifully in the sunshine.

However, one of the challenges faced by householders and decorating specialists in Surrey, as it is elsewhere, is what to do when there are legal restrictions on what you can do to your home.

There are two situations that can apply here. The first is when a building is listed. The second is when you live in a conservation area.

It is wise to refer to expert guidelines such as those produced by English Heritage. It notes that should either of the above provisions apply, the first step may be to get planning consent. Among the areas it mentions where restrictions apply could be painting the outside of a home a particular colour.

At the same time, English Heritage stated that if you live in an historic building, redecoration can be very important for helping to maintain its appearance.  It noted that this can help prevent decay especially in most kinds of hardwood, the exception being oak, which should be left unpainted but could benefit from other treatments like oiling.

In other cases, such as stucco plaster and lime render, the paint will need to be breathable to protect the material but not trap moisture, which could cause damp.

The effects of listed building status do depend on the level of listing, but in any instance you will need listed building consent to make any changes. There are three categories: Grade I, Grade II* and Grade II. Grade I are the hardest to make any change to as they are the most significant buildings, but for most people this does not apply, as 92 per cent of listed residences are Grade II.

Above all, you need to know that it is possible and often desirable to decorate when you have a building in restricted conditions. What matters is you establish what you can and can’t do and seek permission if necessary.

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