barn conversion

If you own a Grade II listed home you are probably aware that renovating, altering or extending your home will involve more red tape than usual. Not only this, you will be more restricted in what you can do.

The privilege of owning listed property comes with a responsibility to protect its special qualities. However, this can be a very positive starting point for your design process. This sensitivity to your home’s most beautiful and interesting features will help guide you and your architect to the best design outcomes.


Image above by Matthew, architect who specialises in conservation from the Cotswolds, South West. Click here to see more and shortlist him for your home project.

Find your perfect design pro within minutes…

Here at Design for Me, we’ve helped thousands of homeowners all over the UK to find the best architect or designer for their project.

✓ Get matched within minutes and see who’s interested.
✓ Get no obligation quotes.
✓ It’s completely free.

Grade II listed homes

Grade I and II* listed buildings are of exceptional (or more than special) interest, but they make up only around 8% of listed buildings and very few of these are homes. So, if your house is listed, it’s very likely to be in the Grade II category.

However, there is a vast difference within the Grade II category in what you will be allowed to do. It ultimately depends on what aspects of your house are of special architectural or historical interest.


Search the register

Before you start the design work and apply for listed building consent, you and your architect will need to understand why your property is listed, and which aspects of it will need to be protected. Your local authority will have the details and will deal with your listed building consent application if required.

The list of listed buildings is compiled and maintained by Historic England. Search the Historic England database. This also contains information on individual properties, and what aspects of them should be preserved and protected.


A criminal offence

Please do note that it is a criminal offence to carry out works that require listed building consent, without consent having been gained first. With this in mind, we would recommend that you find an architect who has experience in architectural conservation.


What can I do to my Grade II listed house without consent?

Unfortunately, there is no definitive one-size-fits-all answer to this. Each listed property will have been listed for reasons that are unique to that property. So before you do anything to your home, you should seek the advice from your local authority.


Can I at least decorate my house without needing listed building consent?

If the decoration work alters the character of the building or changes the special historic interest of the property, then you will likely need listed building consent. At the very least, it’s worth checking with your local authority if you are unsure.

External re-decoration can be very positive to help protect and maintain the property. However, you would need to choose the paint type and colour carefully to match the existing paintwork. Painting over original, unpainted materials, such as brick or stone, would not usually be acceptable.

Re-painting internally doesn’t usually require listed building consent, unless the interior or the house or elements of it are of special interest.


Get professional advice

The above information is an introductory guide only. Please always consult your authority before starting work on your project. Your architect can do this on your behalf if you wish.

Choosing the right architect, with expertise in building conservation is a critical first step. We can help you find the right architect for your project for free.


  • Quickly see who’s interested in your job.
  • Create a shortlist.
  • Invite up to three for a no-obligation consultation.
  • It’s free!

Emily  Design for Me

facebook instagram tweet linkedin pinterest


Find your perfect design pro within minutes…

Here at Design for Me we match you with the right design professional, from thousands all over the UK. Get quotes & arrange up to three no obligation consultations. And it’s all completely free! Find out more here or get started below…



Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)