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Design Directory: Thatched Homes

Is there anything quite so quintessentially English as a chocolate-box thatched cottage? Here, we explore this unique style of architectural design. 
Design Directory: Thatched Homes
There are few architectural styles that evoke charm, history and romance quite like a timber-framed thatched home, nestled in a quaint village in the rolling countryside. Crafted from natural materials such as straw, reed or even heather, a thatched roof is a true testament to the skill of craftsmen who use centuries-old techniques to create durable and long-lasting roofs.

It is estimated that there are around 60,000 thatched homes in the UK, with around three-quarters of these having listed-building status. Whilst the majority of thatched properties are older, there are some more contemporary properties with thatched roofs, often found in conservation areas, striking the balance between modern and traditional architecture. 

So why is thatching used as an alternative to more common roofing types? The main advantage is that the use of this natural material helps to keep a home cool in the summer and warm in the winter, retaining heat well. Whilst straw itself isn’t waterproof, the way that it is expertly laid allows water to run off the roof, keeping the house dry inside. Depending on the type of material used and the location of the property, a properly-maintained thatched roof can last anything from 20-60 years. 

To minimise the risk of fire, it is recommended that chimneys are lined, maintained and swept annually. With sufficient fire protection in place, a thatched roof is no more likely to catch fire than tiled roof, however, the risk of fire spreading faster is increased in thatch. 

Aesthetically, a thatched cottage encapsulates the rustic and romantic charm of the British countryside. The opportunity to live in a property of such heritage has a certain allure, and this style of property truly showcases the expertise of traditional craftsmanship.

Take a look at this charming 17th-century thatched cottage, for sale in Towcester click here.