Master Thatcher, DorsetSteven Hewlett Thatchers Limited are your Dorset experts in roof thatching.
Call Steve today on 01980 611 880 or 07790 020 917
Member of the National Society of Master Thatchers
Traditional roof thatching services in Dorset
The largely rural county of Dorset in south west England is renowned for its thousands of thatched structures – many of them rare and unique. For example, there are two thatched museums, two model thatched villages, a thatched village hall, church, police post and a thatched brewery, to name but a few. In the town of Shitterton there is even a Grade 2 listed cob boundary wall with a thatched cap.
Not surprisingly one of the few Master Thatchers working in the county, Steve Hewlett, is kept very busy in Dorset keeping all that thatch in good repair. Steve is from a family of thatchers, the third generation to be passionate about this traditional craft, and it is very important to him to be keeping the ancient craft of thatching alive in Dorset and the surrounding counties.
Sustainable Dorset thatching
So important is thatch in the county of Dorset that a national set of guidelines included in the Building Regulations (as Approved Document B) for extensions and new buildings with thatched roofs has been called “The Dorset Model”. This lays down ways of dealing with issues of external fire spread in thatched properties.
Steve Hewlett is very much clued up on The Dorset Model, although most of his work pertains to restoring, conserving, maintaining and repairing old thatched roofs in Dorset, rather than building new ones.
He is also often contracted to install fire retardant measures into existing thatched roofs and cover them with netting to keep vermin and other creatures out.
Dorset thatch has a style of its own, distinct from that of other counties. It typically has a flush ridge and very little ornamentation. Travel through the county’s picturesque historic towns like Shaftesbury, Sherborne, Dorchester and Wareham and you’ll see many examples.
When Steve Hewlett works on a Dorset thatch he makes sure he sticks to the local traditional style. In the old days straw was usually used for thatching, but nowadays combed wheat or water reed is used instead, which utilise different thatching techniques. The long-straw thatch look, however, can still be achieved, especially with combed wheat, in the hands of a skilled thatcher such as Steve Hewlett.
Dorset thatched roof maintenance
Steve is an expert at repairing and restoring thatch on listed buildings in Dorset, having a profound knowledge of all the consents required and the guidelines pertaining to thatching heritage buildings in the county. He is very particular about keeping thatch on Dorset period properties as close to the original as possible and tackles every job with great care and attention to detail.
A Dorset thatched roof can last up to 50 years, but only if it is properly maintained. Steven recommends period roof inspections to identify any problems and rectify them before they become major issues. Ridges sometimes need replacing, and cleaning off any loose debris and moss can help prolong the life of the roof. Worn and deteriorated areas of thatch can usually be repaired without having to undertake a complete rethatch.
If you are fortunate enough to own a thatched building in Dorset, or are planning a new build with a thatched roof, call Steven Hewlett on 01980 611880 or 07790 020 917 to put your roof in expert hands.