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Thatching - WHat should I know...

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Les Mahon

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Hiya,

I'm in the process of looking for a new house, and found a potentially interesting one last week - however it has a thatched roof. Apparently it was re-done 4 years ago, and to the untrained eye seems in good nick. Has anyone got any info on thached roofs they's like to share? Principally I'm interested in how often does it need renewing, and how hard is it to get insurance?

Thanks
Les
 

wizer

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from what I remember from watching about it on the TV. Re-thatching is every 10yrs. Be best to look for a local thatcher, chances are he will be the one who thatched it last (as thatchers are few and far between).
 

Neil

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Hi Les,

I wish you had found it a week earlier - we could have given you lots of info when you visited! We lived in a thatched house up until May this year - it is a brilliant roofing material IMO.

Basically there are two main types of thatch used in Ireland - water reed and straw. If the roof is straw, forget it - it would be overdue now if it was done 4 years ago. But I expect it is water reed, in which case it will be absolutely fine. Life expectancy for reed is up to 60 years in the UK, but less over here seeing as we get a bit of rain occasionally. Ours was 28 years old when we left, and was looking a bit tired in places but probably had another 10 years of life in it. Our site wasn't ideal, and you could probably get 50 years down south if the reed and the thatcher were both good.

You can case-coat before the roof gets completely knackered - basically the existing thatch is cut back to firm, dry stuff and a new layer of reed is fixed over the top. Much cheaper than a complete re-thatch.

The ridge lasts for 6-10 years depending on material - its usually done with reed here, but sedge is much better as it will bend over the ridge forming a more watertight seal. I know a reed supplier over here who can supply sedge btw.

Re: insurance, ours had a tiled roof under the thatch which made it a bit cheaper. Allow for a loading of 50-100% :( . Some insurers won't touch it, but there are a few that will, including some of the big guys.

Ask the vendors what sort of reed it is - Turkish is better than Irish (high use of pesticides over here gets into the rivers and weakens the beds of water reed)

PM on its way...

Neil
 

tim

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Re-thatching is every 10yrs.
If its done properly, it should be at least 20.

It used to be difficult or impossible to het mortgages for thatched houses and you may find you need to use a specialist lender.

Cheers

Tim
 

chiba

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Re-thatching is every 10yrs.
If its done properly, it should be at least 20.
If it's going, just shave it off. People can tell, you know? You could try for a Status Quo pony tail of straw hanging down into the back garden, but it'll just be a lame effort... :wink:
 

Les Mahon

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Thanks for the replies guys - it's given me some peace of mind that it is probably not a comlete lemon that I might be pouring money into for ever!

You could try for a Status Quo pony tail of straw hanging down into the back garden, but it'll just be a lame effort...
:lol: :lol: :lol:


Now I'll just need to see if I can get it at a price I can afford!

Thanks
Les
 
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