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

13/03/2021 - 13/03/2021
Course Type: 
Courses & Study Day


Introductory, General Interest, CPD
The Society For The Protection Of Ancient Buildings
37 Spital Square,
United Kingdom

£120 pp

Event details

UNDER REVIEW: due to the ongoing Covid-19 restrictions, we are considering ways in which we can deliver this course safely. If you have a booking for this event we will be in touch with you soon with further details.

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

Saturday 13 March 2021, 09:30 - 17:00 (rescheduled from 25 April 2020)
SPAB HQ, Spitalfields, London
£120 pp, includes refreshments and a light lunch

The SPAB 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 traditional buildings and how to tackle common problems – whether your home is listed or unlisted, a timber-framed medieval cottage, Georgian, Victorian or Edwardian.

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. It will be held at the SPAB headquarters in London - an opportunity to view the inside of the only remaining Georgian house in Spital Square. The building dates from around 1740 and originally belonged to a Huguenot silk merchant. It was rescued from dereliction by the Spitalfields Trust before being sold to the SPAB in the early 1980s.

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.

The SPAB will also be offering this course in Edinburgh in October 2020. 

Some of the wonderful feedback from delegates of our 2019 'Understanding Your Old House' course:
“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. The front steps outside (6) and internal stairs unfortunately restrict access for some.

Image credit: Kirsten Drew (Unsplash)


Getting here