Thatched Roof Cost 

If you’re looking to have your thatch roof replaced or fixed, you’re going to need to hire the right team. Finding a team of trusted, proven thatchers can be tricky, especially when you factor in costs. At the National Society of Master Thatchers (NSMT), we’ve made the process a lot easier. As the largest recognised body of thatch specialists in the UK, we can help you find a professional team to come see to your roof.  

Most modern roofing companies are unable to deal with thatched roofs, so it’s nice to know that there is a single point of contact that can arrange any assistance you require. Thanks to our intuitive ‘Find a Thatcher’ tool, finding a thatching professional to come to replace, fix, and maintain your thatch roof has never been easier. If you would like to make enquiries beyond this tool, you can do so by contacting the NSMT today on 01530 222954.  

An Introduction to Thatched Roofs

Thatched roofs have long been a mainstay serving as one of the most commonly utilised roof types, from water reed to wheat reed installations. From the early 19th century onwards, the introduction of Welsh slate saw the rapid decline of thatched roofs. However, thanks to renewed interest in historic architecture, the use of thatch is now on the rise again. While it’ll never regain its coveted spot, this at least ensures its preservation.

Many rural properties still sport thatched roofs. If your property sports a thatch roof, it’ll need upkeep to maintain it in full working order. It’ll also need replacing once it reaches the end of its life. Fortunately, that’s where you can turn to the NSMT.

What are Thatched Roofs?

Thatched roofs are roofs comprised of dry vegetation, such as:

  • Straw
  • Water Reed
  • Sedge
  • Rushes
  • Heather
  • Palm Branches

Thatched roofs are made by taking this vegetation and layering it in a way that sheds water away from the inner roof. In terms of costs, thatching has always been seen as a very cost-effective way to build a roof. It’s an old technique that dates back centuries, with thatch roofs found in both temperate and even tropical environments.

Because of the fact it’s been largely supplanted by modern materials, thatched roofs have been in sharp decline for the last couple hundred years. As a result, most modern roofing companies aren’t equipped to work on them, but the companies NSMT works with are.

Benefits of Thatched Roofs

Thatch roofs offer many excellent benefits that make them an investment worth considering, especially if you own a property boasting historic architecture. Benefits of thatch include:

  • Excellent Durability
  • Efficient Insulator
  • Sustainability
  • Flexibility
  • Lightweight

What Materials are Used in Thatching

With the renewed interest in thatch roofs, thatching is making something of a comeback. Modern thatched roofs are built using three main materials – water reed, longstraw, and combed wheat reed. Interestingly, while water reed is often referred to as Norfolk Reed, a large quantity is actually imported from Eastern Europe.

Sedge is also still widely used today though this grass-like plant is almost exclusively used in ridging. Ridging is the protruding section that runs the very top/ centre of the roof and juts out. It can be both plain and ornamental in design.

Water reed is almost always used when re-thatching properties as it is the heaviest and most durable of the available materials. Conversely, while wheat reed is similar in appearance, it is actually straw. It is lighter and less durable, though such durability can be directly affected by factors such as roof shape and design, pitch, and location (geographically and topographically).

Longstraw looks different to both water and wheat reed. It has the appearance of having been poured on, contrasting with the closely cropped look of the two reeds.

How Much Does a New Thatched Roof Cost?

Likely owing to its decline, thatching has become a very highly sought-after skill. That’s because installing and maintaining thatched roofs is a task requiring a great deal of knowledge and skill. For this reason, costs can often be quite high when compared to modern roofs. Costs can vary also depending on what material is chosen. On average, you can expect to pay around £15,000 for a new thatched roof, with costs going as high as £30,000.

You’re usually looking to pay around the same for a new roof as you would replacing a roof. Thatched roofs are not priced by square metre. Instead, they are priced based on a ‘thatcher’s square’, which measures around 10ft x 10ft, or 3m x 3m (9m2).

With thatched roofs, you may also need to consider other costs too, such as netting to deter birds and pests, water-repellent coatings, and fire-retardant sprays. And if you opt for a decorative design, this will increase your costs further.

Are Thatched Roofs Expensive to Replace?

As discussed above, thatch roofs can be very expensive to replace owing to the level of skill required and the fact thatched roof professionals are in such high demand. The average cost of replacing a thatched roof is estimated to be around £22,500. Though once replaced and if well maintained, a thatch roof can last for decades before it needs replacing again. At the NSMT, we can help you find a thatcher that can meet your requirements and budget.

How Often Should They Be Replaced?

A thatched roof, if properly installed by a professional team of thatchers and maintained regularly, should last anywhere from 40-50 years. However, this depends on what material the roof was made from. For instance, if wheat reed was used, this is a lighter, far less durable material. Such a roof would be expected to last around 15-25 years. Once you’ve found the right thatched roof specialist and reached out, this is one of the things that will be discussed.

Incredibly Durable

Even the lightest, least durable option has a rated life of 15 years minimum. Most thatched roofs can last upwards of 50 years or longer with routine maintenance.

It is also lightweight. Even water reed which is the heaviest option, does not require the heavy support structures and other materials needed to reinforce modern roofs.

Natural Insulator

Thatch is a natural insulator, so it will help retain heat or cool air during the winter and summer, respectively. This means that you won’t need to run your heating or air conditioning (if present) anywhere near as hard as you would otherwise. The result is cheaper energy costs and a knock-on effect with lowering your carbon footprint.

Extremely Environmentally Friendly

Speaking of lowering your carbon footprint, the impressive insulating capabilities of thatched roofs not only saves you money but also helps keep your heating costs down. It’s also comprised entirely of materials that can be grown and, as such, does not rely on materials created through the consumption of fossil fuels. The growing and harvesting process is a very low-impact activity, the effect of which on the environment is negligible.

Flexible and Can Be Shaped on Any Roof

Thatched roofs can be shaped into soft, aesthetically pleasing forms. Such flexibility offers a nice alternative to the hard lines of modern roofs. Plus, when you combine thatch with other materials, it serves to create a pleasant contrast, resulting in truly eye-catching designs. No wonder that thatched roofs are making such a comeback.

Find A Thatcher

If your property has a thatch roof that requires urgent attention, locate your nearest team of thatchers by utilising our ‘Find a Thatcher’ tool.

If you’re concerned about costs, this tool will help you find thatched roof specialists that offer fantastic value for money.

Why Choose NSMT?

You should now have a better understanding of the thatch industry and why thatched roofs are making such a comeback. If you’re looking to help with your thatch roof, you’ve come to the right place. At the National Society of Master Thatchers, we’re immensely proud to be regarded as the leading recognised body of thatching professionals in the UK. We serve as a convenient way for customers to find local thatching companies quickly and easily.

We also serve in an educational and conservational capacity. We’re actively engaged in research, and we seek to encourage new and innovative design while supporting the mechanism of conservation. If you would like to read through a brief history of the NSMT along with our mission statement, you can find both of these on our website.

And if you would like to learn more about what we do or have any questions you’d like to put to us, we encourage you to get in touch using the contact details below.

Contact Us

If your property is equipped with a thatched roof and you’re looking to enlist professional thatching services, look no further than the NSMT. We’re the largest recognised body of thatchers in the UK, with members dedicated to maintaining and installing thatched roofs up and down the country. If you’re concerned about costs, you’ll find plenty of affordable thatching services in your local area. Our goal is to make it as easy and affordable as possible for those with thatched roofs to access the services they need.

Get in touch with the NSMT to learn more about what we do and how we can put you in touch with the best thatched roof services around. Give us a call now on 01530 222954 to speak directly with a member of our highly trained team. Alternatively, if you’d prefer to enquire about thatch services using a written method, you can do so by completing our contact form or emailing info@nsmtltd.co.uk.

National Society of Master Thatchers