Please see below for a list of questions you may have that help you gain a better understanding of your thatched roof. If you wish to gain a better insight.

Frequently Asked Questions

Modern day materials don’t seem to last as long as they used to but as a general rule the following materials should last as below:
  • Wheat Reed last approximately 18-25 years  
  • Water Reed last approximately 30-40 years 
  • Ridge lasts approximately 8-12 years

It’s all the reed! They act just like tiles, except instead of there being hundreds of them, there are thousands of strands of reed. The steeper the roof the better as this give the water the chance to run off more easily.

If you go over the top of the existing reed on your roof, this just adds extra weight which ultimately will begin to damage the structure of your house itself.

It also raises the height of the thatch which reduces the distance between the roof and the chimney top which is a fire hazard. According to building regulations it should be 1.8 metres between the thatch and the top of your chimney.

By stripping a roof you also expose any rotten roof timbers which can then be replaced while it is clear strengthen the structure of your house. Also by making sure that the roof timbers are well set it lays a good foundation for the straw and ultimately gives a better finish to the look and structure of it.

If you take a look at the eaves on your roof (the overhang of thatch) you might be able to see some dark stains. This is the water inside your roof. The dark staining will get closer and closer to the wall of your property. Don’t wait until it reaches the property, give us a call before that and we can make sure we do a repair before the roof is compromised. Weak spots also include by your chimney and in the valleys of your roof.

Yes, it is very normal to see straw from your attic space, especially on older cottages. What you can see inside is what we call the “waistcoat” or the under/first layer. It is only on modern day houses that we lay down fire board, felt, and breather membrane before laying the straw down.

Plastic spars tend to be cheaper to buy than traditional hazel spars. However, we do not use plastic spars on any of our jobs due to their destructive nature. If you use plastic spars when you come to do a repair to extend the life of your roof, it damages the roof as they are being pulled out meaning you have to increase the size of the area you are repairing. They also look very ugly on a beautiful traditional thatch.

Thatch is a favourite material of birds, mice, and rats to chew on as well as nest in and it can cause considerable damage to your roof. By adding netting this helps deter vermin from getting into your roof. Water reed doesn’t require netting as much as wheat reed but all our quotes include netting as we feel it is best to protect your roof as much as possible.

Repairs are possible and can add years to the roofs life span. It is also possible to just re-thatch just one side of your roof at a time to spread the cost and make the most of the roof.
Contrary to popular belief, moss is actually good for a thatched roof. The majority of the damage comes from the sun and the rain. Moss helps keep a thatch at a gentle temperature. Similar to a painted house. The moss can be wiped off and the paint underneath will be able to be cleaned and look as good as new but the side on the sun is often blistered and damaged.
It really depends on your house it may be listed or in a conservation area. If so, then you have to stick to what you already have. However if it isn’t listed or in a conservation area then you are free to choose whatever pattern you like. Feel free to look at our ridge gallery for inspiration for your roof. We can advise you on your ridge when we come to your house to do a quote.
It depends on the roof but usually, yes, we can re-shape the thatch around the windows when we re-thatch your house to increase the amount of light that can get indoors.
Yes you certainly can. You can extend with thatch or non-thatch (ie slate). We can advise architects and builders as to what needs to be considered for the work.