Understanding Your Old House Course

UNDER REVIEW - Understanding Your Old House Course

an introductory course on maintenance and care

Most useful day I’ve ever spent on the subject - previous course delegate

03/10/2020 - 03/10/2020
Course Type: 
Courses & Study Day


Introductory, General Interest, CPD
Dovecot Studios Ltd
10 Infirmary Street,
United Kingdom

£120 pp

Event details

Understanding Your Old House: an introductory course on maintenance and care

Saturday 3 October 2020, 09:30 - 17:00
Dovecot Studios, Edinburgh
£120 pp, includes refreshments and a light lunch

The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings presents this popular one-day introductory course on the maintenance and care of solid-wall buildings. This course is designed to help you understand the construction and performance of your old building and how to tackle common problems.

The course will introduce the SPAB conservation approach and offer guidance on how best to tackle common problems and maintain the character and value of your old house.

A beginner’s guide to lime will explain its use in the construction and repair of traditional buildings. The course also aims to demystify the legal framework that building owners and custodians need to be aware of when carrying out work to their property, and will offer advice on working with professionals and local authorities.

This course will be relevant primarily for owners and managers of period properties, but also for professionals who may need to brief their clients on understanding their old house. Certificates of attendance for CPD purposes will be available on request.

Topics covered by this course will be:
•    The Conservation Approach: character and why we value old buildings
•    Construction and Performance: understanding why old buildings are different
•    Introduction to Lime: a beginner’s guide 
•    Dealing with Damp and Timber Decay: spotting and tackling common issues and problems
•    Understanding the Legal Framework and Working with Professionals  
•    Maintenance Matters: the importance of the routine care of buildings

The course will be led by James Innerdale, an accredited architect, historic buildings consultant and former SPAB technical officer. A local guest speaker (details to be confirmed) will present the ‘Understanding the Legal Framework’ session. We are delighted to host this course at Dovecot Studios – a unique venue in the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town. Dovecot Studios is a landmark centre for contemporary art, craft and design built around a leading international tapestry studio. Dovecot Studios occupies the former Infirmary Street Baths, built in 1885, and which were the first public baths in Edinburgh.

With opportunities to ask James questions throughout the day, the course is also an excellent opportunity to meet and learn from other property owners who may be facing similar challenges. Copies of the SPAB publications Old House Handbook (RRP £25) and Old House Eco Handbook (RRP £30) will be available to purchase at reduced rates, and discounted SPAB membership will also be offered to those who join on the day.

Some of the wonderful feedback from delegates of our previous 'Understanding Your Old House' course (2019):
“Excellent. Thank you for organising and I wish I had done this earlier!”
“Most useful day I’ve ever spent on the subject”
"I found all of it interesting. I'm going home inspired!"
“A good mix of topics. Amazing commitment by James – excellent”

The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) was founded by William Morris in 1877 to counteract the highly destructive 'restoration' of medieval buildings being practised by many Victorian architects. The SPAB remains true to its founding principles and is now the oldest and most technically expert building conservation charity in the UK, fighting to save old buildings from decay, demolition and damage. The SPAB is a membership organisation and offers training, events and expert advice, as well as publishing a quarterly Magazine, technical pamphlets and advice notes.

Booking Terms & Conditions

Accessibility: please contact the SPAB before booking to discuss any special access requirements.


Image credit: Kirsten Drew (Unsplash)


Getting here