© Tuscan Foundry Products Ltd 2020
Domestic conversion is not always suitable for old farm buildings. Where it’s the only way to secure an old barn’s future, ensuring the detail of the conversion work is sympathetic will be crucial to the scheme’s success. Sympathetic detailing is also likely to be a condition of consent, if the barn is listed or in a conservation area. New openings should generally be kept to a minimum and should be of a simple form that respects the farm building’s character. If rooflights are needed the Local Planning Authority will normally require a flush-fitting type.
There are specialist rooflights that are manufactured for the heritage property market. Conservation rooflights are easily recognised by their low profile which means they sit flush and remain unobtrusive to the building’s original architecture. Another characteristic is their slender appearance as conservation requirements stipulate that a minimal amount of framework should be visible, particularly if rooflights are placed next to each other. All of our traditional conservation skylights have a genuine glazing bar. This particular design feature is integral to the rooflight and not only provides a more authentic look but offers increased strength for the opening section.
Other manufacturers of conservation roof windows have opted to remove the traditional bar in favour of sticking something to the double glazed unit. Whilst this may provide a minimal benefit to the thermal performance, we believe it significantly detracts from the appearance and moves the product even further away from the original.
Neglecting a property’s rainwater disposal can cause serious structural deterioration, especially with old buildings. Regular inspection could prevent the need to spend hundreds of pounds at a later date on dealing with a serious outbreak of dry rot in timber roof trusses.
Today alkyd-based oil paints are the most common, applied in two coats over a zinc-rich primer. (Three top may be necessary in more agressive environments such as coastal areas.) When repainting, make sure that all areas of paint that are in poor condition are properly covered; patches of missing paint should be primed and re-primed before painting.
The standards for rainwater goods have remained remarkably constant for many years which means that replacing or intergrating new with old is fairly easy. The physical properties of cast iron are sustained throughout its lifetime thus maintaining its effectiveness. Couple with its durability and proper maintenance, we would expect our products to last for over 100 years under normal conditions.