Other Services

Minor timberwork to the roof structure is a service we offer and we are always happy to work with builders and architects to ensure that whatever is built will be suitable for thatch.  We are also able to provide temporary protection for emergencies such as storm damage.


Rarely do multicoated roofs need to be stripped down to bare timber. It is much more common for them to be stripped of wet and decayed material until a firm base is found. This base may need to be consolidated by various means before the new coat of thatch is fixed. Coating of existing thatched roofs is achieved by the sway (hazel, straw bond or, occasionally, twine or steel rod) being fixed with twisted spars. Spars are split coppice wood, usually hazel but sometimes willow, pointed at each end and twisted in the centre to form a hairpin-like peg. The spars are driven through the new thatch into the base. Hence the need for a good firm base.

Protecting Thatch

Netting is used to cover long straw and combed wheat reed roofs (except in the West Country) but only the ridge of water reed roofs. In exceptional circumstances (such as when the roof is old and weak) whole water reed roofs are netted and in exposed, windy areas gables and hips are also sometimes netted.

Repairs & Maintenance

Often small repairs are needed to prolong the life of the roof.  These can range from repairing gulleys and bird and vermin holes to rethatching just parts of the roof.  Preventative maintenance is cost effective because some small areas of damage will inevitably become worse if left unattended.


Design and building for thatch is significantly different than for conventional roofing materials and requires expert knowledge. If you are an architect, builder or developer about to take any thatch related work we are happy to discuss working with you on your project. As well as practical experience of thatching existing buildings for over thirty years we have helped create new projects and renovate historic buildings such as Queen Charlotte's Cottage in Kew gardens.

Roof Surveys

If you are buying or selling a thatched property or just need to know the condition of your thatch and its potential remaining life you may want a roof survey. After a site visit you will know the present condition of your thatch, it's probable life span, any work immediately required and an estimate as to when any further attention may be needed. We will also provide a breakdown of the costs associated with this. Once completed you will be confident in the knowledge of what to expect from this roof.


As with any building work, on very rare occasions, disputes can arise between the property owner and third parties. If you need an independent professional evaluation or expert witness testimony, should it become impossible to resolve the matter amicably, we are prepared to take on this role for you.



If any of the above services are of interest please write to us at 1, Marlston Cottages, Marlston, Thatcham, Berks, RG18 9UN or you can contact us via email (barney@bardsleyandbrown.co.uk) or on the telephone (01635 201546)

Copyright © 2016 Bardsley & Brown Ltd
Site developed by ITsECPC