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Tony Graham & Co. - Our Approach to Building Conservation

We believe that what makes an old building special lies in what is commonly referred to as a building's "character". However, it can be difficult to define exactly what "character" is! All the features of a period property combine to make each building special, but the subtle importance of each one may not always be obvious to the untrained eye. Often such details become noticeable only after being insensitively replaced or 'repaired'. We try to preserve these aspects of your property. Practically speaking, this may mean attempting to salvage a crumbling lath and plaster ceiling rather than replace it with plaster-board; using specially matched blown glass to repair period window panes; or endeavouring to retain the pleasing irregularities of a stone slate roof rather than 'upgrading' it.

Modern building methods and materials are often used to maintain traditional buildings. Such work looks neat and appears to fix the problem, but in the long-term may cause decay, often occurring unseen and at a fast rate. Examples include injection of damp proof courses, widespread chemical treatment of woodworm and the use of modern wall paints or 'coatings': these may all do more harm than good.

We use appropriate methods and materials as advocated by conservation bodies such as SPAB, IHBC and English Heritage. We evaluate how a building was traditionally designed to perform so that we can accurately determine the root cause of a problem. Only then do we consider what remedial action, if any, is required. Our conservation work is designed to cause minimal intervention in order to preserve as much of the valuable historic fabric of your property as possible.


©Copyright 2004, Tony Graham & Co.
About Tony Graham:
Tony Graham has been in engineering for 15 years, gaining excellent experience in the management of complex projects.

Tony has experience in timber-frame repair, diagnosis of structural instability, lime plastering, limewash and pigment, causes of damp and remedial action, glazing repairs, beetle infestation (woodworm) and the study of classical architecture. He also has a particular passion for the conservation of wattle and daub: a fabric much-neglected by the conservation industry.

Other than a Master of Science (MSc) in the Conservation of Historic Buildings, professional training includes timber frame repair, lime-based mortars and plasters, infill panel repair.