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Tudor houses

(30 Posts)
girlwhowearsglasses Thu 14-Sep-17 19:48:49

Talk me in/out of them.

Relocating and my dream is a 15th C Tudor Hall house. Where we are looking this is possible. They are all Grade II listed.

I don't care about: wonky floors and walls, not being able to decorate in a modern way/ smaller windows (the ones I've looked at tend to be detached with light all around which I love), doing work ourselves

I do care about: large garden, outhouses, living rurally, insulation and noise, design, being part of the history of something amazing ( custodian?) and quirky unique buildings.

I have discovered wooden framed buildings are very well insulated - more than your average Victorian house, and if it's got floors that have been there for 200+ years it's only going to improve...

I'm not stupid enough to believe that an old house doesn't need work - we're quite handy and love researching ans doing things in the way they're supposed to be (lime plaster etc)

Any wisdom to share?

MakChoon Thu 14-Sep-17 20:07:53

My last two houses have been 400 years old so a tad younger than Tudor but hardly spring chickens.

I adore old houses and would tolerate almost any amount of draughts, damp, wonkiness and flaking walls rather than live in a new one.

I think if you have that same attitude then you'll be happy with your home, regardless of the faff of old houses.

My main advice is to budget to maintain it every year - windows, roof, exterior paint and drains tend to be the things that need doing regularly. If you don't keep an eye on them then they cost more in the long run (e.g. We just had to pay £££ to have a window restored because we let it go too far).

MakChoon Thu 14-Sep-17 20:09:09

Oh and both of the houses were grade 2 listed and it's not been an issue for us, we'd prefer to respect and work with the character of the building.

girlwhowearsglasses Thu 14-Sep-17 20:12:57

Yep we're all for working with it. I'd get a kick out of getting something right and thinking it might be there in a hundred years.

MakChoon Thu 14-Sep-17 20:13:31

Then I'm not going to be the right person to talk you out of it grin

Ttbb Thu 14-Sep-17 20:35:22

Make sure that ALL alterations have planning permission otherwise you may be forced to put them right at great (and unexpected) cost. Good luck-old houses are lovely!

OCSockOrphanage Thu 14-Sep-17 20:36:03

Be careful of letting yourself over do the insulation. The family that bought our family house woke up the death watch beetle by installing central heating and it chewed through masses of structural wood.

girlwhowearsglasses Thu 14-Sep-17 20:38:24


yongnian Thu 14-Sep-17 20:40:32

I've got one for sale that's not actually listed. 500 yr plus and in Peter Smith's book on historic Welsh buildings. PM me if you want, you could lime plaster/paint to your heart's content!!

girlwhowearsglasses Thu 14-Sep-17 20:43:14

Oh @yongnian I'd love to see it out of interest but it's not in the area I'm looking unfortunately.

That sounds like an interesting book

yongnian Thu 14-Sep-17 20:47:31

I'll PM you a link smile

Hulder Thu 14-Sep-17 20:55:56

Well insulated - not necessarily.

My house is middle ages timber framed and fucking freezing. Generally speaking, it will be warmer outside most of the year.

Bear in mind: there is no double glazing, any central heating will have been retro fitted and probably is crap, big fat chimney for air to come down, wooden windows, nothing fitting properly.

Plus if you do start insulating everything properly you risk affecting how well the house 'breathes' and upsetting it and making it mouldy.

It takes a lot of maintenance and all the maintenance costs are higher.

mrsRosaPimento Thu 14-Sep-17 21:16:20

My house is 3. It's super insulated, double glazing and has heat exchange thingy. It is so unbearably hot. They sell it as insulated, money saving, blah blah blah... It's insulated in the summer too, so hotter inside. I grew up with one coal fire and single glazing. Happy days.

BubblesBuddy Thu 14-Sep-17 22:30:25

Listed buildings will need consent to add insulation because it can alter how the building breathes. Go for what you want to buy but be utterly realistic about what you may and may not be able to do. Lots of insulation may not be permitted!

girlwhowearsglasses Thu 14-Sep-17 22:42:52

I don't want to add insulation! No I mean that a wattle and daub building is naturally more insulating than a Victorian brick or a 1920s brick. I wouldn't ever try to retrofit modern insulation.

IHeartKingThistle Thu 14-Sep-17 22:58:32

You really don't mind being cold?

I love old houses but I was miserably cold in our beautiful Victorian house. I'm now super-happy in my 70s box! I'm so not the person you need on this thread!

With Tudor houses I'd be worried about the light but you've seen some light ones. So why not? I'll come over and adore it for a bit and then come back to my warm house!

JoJoSM2 Thu 14-Sep-17 23:22:31

My MIL used to live in a house that was 400+ years old. It was all very quaint and postcard-worthy. However, I hated staying there with a passion. It reminded me of an old church with a constant temp of 10-15 degrees. I was always freezing. It was also never sunny inside. Lighter than I would have expected but there was nowhere to just soak up the sunshine.

We live in a 1920's house and if you think it could be remotely as toasty in a historic house, you'll be bitterly disappointed.

My MIL did love that house, though, despite it being a complete pain in the backside. If that history speaks to you too, then perhaps that's they say forward and you won't mind all the inconveniences and expenses.

Crumbs1 Thu 14-Sep-17 23:35:58

Part of ours is very, very old. It's not cold at all unless we go away for a few weeks in winter and turn heating off. Once warmed it stays warm. It's cool in summer though. It's quirky. It's wiggly. It's pretty. There are odd nooks and crannies - a salt cupboard , a bread oven, fireplaces almost bigger than the rooms and a well.

On the downside people bump their head a lot in the places with low ceilings. Planning consents are a nightmare even to replace windows or paint the place. Repair and maintenance is costly. We can't get furniture in and out easily so things have to be built on site - sofas with removable arms or reupholster the existing seating. The uneven walls mean furniture doesn't fit flush and things like built in wardrobes have to be bespoke carpentry. It makes lots of noise at night with creaking and whistling.

Extension was possible but very bureaucratic, pedantic and time consuming. We had to go completely modern rather than pastiche. There are three very distinct sections to our house each from a different era but coming together around the kitchen. Interestingly, we seem to spend more time in the older part of the house as it's cosier on cold, wet evenings.

Notonthestairs Fri 15-Sep-17 08:35:39

I grew up living in a wattle and daub house. The curtains moved in the breeze. The side came away from the house (big exprnsive job to put right) and ants came up through the kitchen tiles. Spiders bigger than my hands. Two chimney fires. You had to wear wellies to use downstairs loo (frogs lived in their it was so damp). I loved it!

EditorEllie Tue 14-Nov-17 16:14:08

A lot of companies may not insure listed buildings but HomeProtect do -

Sunisshining12 Tue 14-Nov-17 18:35:24

It sounds like you are interested in history & would be sympathetic to the property & wouldn't complain about lack of modern amenities. You seem to appreciate it so you are the right person for this type of property..go for it!

scaryteacher Tue 14-Nov-17 21:02:05

Currently renting (abroad) a 1750s parsonage, tomette (old terracotta tiles) floors, brick barrel vaulted ceilings, beams in every room (except the bathrooms and the kitchen. Underfloor heating - and the place could do with an Aga, or a Range,, and I would be making various alterations were it my house, like double glazing; but that is why thick socks, thermals and fleeces were invented.

Mil has a late 1400s house, which has been sympathetically modernised over the years, but she kept it so hot, you could wear a T shirt in January.

I have to say I am sleeping better in the new rental - less insulation and single glazing seem to have got rid of the insomnia; and being colder seems to have kick started my metabolism as well. I've dropped 2kg since the moving process started at the end of June, and it has stayed off, despite the chocolate consumption remaining the same.

mummyG2C Tue 14-Nov-17 21:19:19

Hi we bought our first house nearly a year ago and is a three bed Tudor hall house is 500-600 years old. We absolutely adore it, because it’s a hall house it was deemed a significant build at the time so has high ceilings and lots of windows so doesn’t feel like a Cottage and dark which I don’t really like. I love living in a house like this what we have learnt in the first year is yes they are slightly cooler and cost a little more to heat but when we have the massive inglenook roaring in the front room it just makes the house, it’s cold and November and I probably only having the heating on for an hour in the morning and afternoon so not massively, we are rural and have oil but so far have only topped up tank 2 times in a year at about £300 each time (1000l tank) the floors all downstairs are pretty straight upstairs is a little different we do have a few bits of furniture propped up on bits of wood! Haha but adds to the appeal in my eyes. In the front room two windows have secondary glazing which probably helps and would possibly look at doing that to other windows if planning allowed. Admittedly having a grade 2 house does restrict but we bought the house looking that we wouldn’t really do a massive amount to it while we were here. We have redecorated a few rooms but I must admire it was in very good nick when we bought it and decorated in a lovely way! We have a cellar which has amazing historical features like candle alcoves etc which was a dusty storage place but had been ground damp proofed we have redecorated and painted and laid some laminate and made a rather excellent man den for my husband. I have an 19months old and she is absolutely fine with wobbly floors etc in fact she learnt to walk in the house. We also love the chimneys outside have all engravings from past owners with the years they lived here some back in 1700’s we love the history. You have to look after them sweep chimneys get boilers sorted and yes there are bits that could be done (pointing on chimney, bugger gutters etc) but nothing urgent. I would highly recommend living in a Tudor hall house as long as you are aware of slightly higher costs of running and limited scope for improvement I you find yourself a good one go for it!!!

Bluntness100 Tue 14-Nov-17 21:20:45

Ours is younger, four hundred years old, grade 11 listed. Timber framed.

It’s alll original fixtures and windows, exposed original floor boards., beams everywhere you look. Insurance was fine. We got it through the nat west who provided our mortgage, usually with listed you just need to call them, it’s simoly you can’t do it on line.

Is it cold?downstairs yes, if we weren’t to heat it, but not upstairs, if anything it gets too hot. Downstairs we have large rugs covering 80 percent of the floor, and wood burners plus central heating throughout. It’s not efficient down stairs by any stretch of the imagination but I think we have it nailed now in terms of How to manage the heat.

But it’s gorgeous. You either love these houses or you don’t. You can decorate it internally as you please. What you can’t change is the fabric of the building, remove original features, change the structure, knock down walls, change the windows to a different style, but you can change your kitchen, your bathroom, wallpaper or paint it, carpet it or do as you please. The government wants these houses lived in.

The grounds are also usually part of the listing so you can’t build something out of character on the grounds.

Is it a money pit, yup, but only because we modernised it after the last owners didn’t touch it for many decades. We have large grounds and out buildings. And I’m as in love with it today as i was when I first viewed it. I love the history of it. The fact it’s so unique. The chocolate box prettiness, the high ceilings, the large rooms, and the big fireplaces.

So I’d also say go for it.

borntobequiet Tue 14-Nov-17 21:33:49

Less old - Jacobean but grade 2*. Basic plan very similar to a medieval hall house.
Uniquely beautiful but very draughty. Wind blows through windows and walls. Very expensive to keep even moderately warm. Can never keep sufficiently on top of maintenance to relax. Always that faint worry about the roof/drains/water supply (private).
However, the pleasure of living in such a lovely place more than makes up for the downsides.

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