General questions about thatched roofs

How long does a thatched roof last?
The life span of a thatched roof depends on a number of factors, the materials used on the roof, pitch of the roof, which way is the house facing ( North or South), any over hanging tree’s, whether it is set in a valley or on a hill, the actual style and shape of the thatched roof ie valley’s, window’s, gables, hips, how long the actual roof is from top to bottom all these features effect the life span of a thatched house. On Average: Water Reed: 40-60years Wheat Reed: 25-40years Long Straw: 20-35years New Re-Ridge: 10-15years

Is thatching a dying trade?
Thatching is not so much a dying trade there are over 1500 thatcher’s nationwide. It is a question of just trying to teach someone on the job starting as a labourer and then progressing onto the roof, teaching all the different techniques styles and materials, but basic thatching training will take 2-4years.

How long does it take to thatch a roof?
On average a 1000sq foot roof it can take between 3-5 weeks depending on the shape and style of the thatched house

What type of material are you using?
Long Straw, Wheat Reed and Water Reed
Are thatched houses more expensive than tiled or slated house?

Are thatched houses more expensive than tiled or slated house?
Predominantly yes, a thatched house is unique and it is a craft, everyone loves a new thatched house and a lot of peoples dreams are to live in a thatched house so the prices are nearly always at the top of it’s price range compared to tiled or slated houses.

Can any roof be thatched?
To thatch a house the pitch of the roof should be no less than 45 degrees as the water would penetrate backwards into the thatch and the life span would not make it commercially viable.

Do you get pests in thatched roofs?
Yes unfortunately you can suffer with rats , mice even squirrels. Prevention is better than cure – as a rule all Long Straw and Wheat Reed Thatch property’s are covered in wire netting , with Water Reed Thatched property’s the Ridge only , Make sure all wire netting is joined together properly with no holes, The wire is tasked under the eave leaving no holes for the vermin to intrude. A common way of vermin gaining access to the thatch is over hanging trees and creepers up the wall. Try to keep them at least 2 feet below the thatch or it becomes easy access.

Where do you get your materials from?
I have been lucky that since I have been thatching I have always used the same three main suppliers of thatching materials and products because there standards are as high as mine, they source there material locally, nationally and worldwide.

How far do you travel?
Normally within 50 miles of Reading or in traveling time 1.30 hours, I have thatched before in Wales, if the work is just we will travel. I am lucky we are based 10 minutes from both the M3 and M4.

Finally the favourite question asked,

How much does it cost to thatch a roof?
Please get in contact and I will gladly give a free no obligation quote.

Master Thatcher Steve Bowen