How Much Does It Cost to Build a Thatched Roof?

Water reed combed wheat reed and long straw is the three main materials used in the creation of a thatched roof in the United Kingdom. They each have their characteristics and availability, and the types vary by region.

a thatched roof

Long straw is less common currently since farmers prefer to produce shorter wheat varieties because they are easier to grow and harvest. Previously, roof thatching was a by-product of agriculture, but it is now grown specifically for that purpose.

Here we will go through the different costs of a thatched roof, including the supply costs, additional costs, and labour costs.

We will also go through the duration to have a thatched roof installed and the benefits of a thatched roof, and how long it will take to have a thatched roof removed if you no longer want it.

So, if you are thinking about having a thatched roof built for your home, then all the information you need to budget for the job will be here.

Thatched roofs, like any other building job, have two costs: materials and labour. Both are influenced by the project's size and complexity.

As a result, a tiny cottage with a simple pitched roof will be far less expensive than a large, detached house with several chimney breasts, dormer windows, and other irregular characteristics.

A thatch property will require more upkeep, but numerous advantages outweigh this, including better property value when it comes time to sell, and thatch properties sell faster since they are more desirable.

When you look at the physical features of thatch, you'll notice that it stays cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter, indicating that it could be more energy efficient.

Furthermore, replacing an existing thatched roof will be less expensive than installing a new one in place of a tiled or slated roof. Thatched roofs normally charge by the square, which is 10 ft (100 ft2) or 3 m 3 m (9 m2) if you're looking for ballpark figures.

Prices vary, but an average price per square would be around £700 - £750.

A 45° roof on a tiny cottage (say, 25 ft x 25 feet) would have a roof area of 900 ft2. Installing that would cost around £6,500 - £7,000. A large, detached house with multiple dormer windows and two chimney breasts would most likely cost between £25,000 - £35,000.

For a new small, thatched-roof it will cost you £3,300 - £5,220 or for a new insulated thatched roof, it will cost you £4,700 - £8,800.

For a medium new thatched roof, it will cost £5,000 - £8,000, and a new insulated thatched roof will cost £8,000 - £13,300.

Large new thatched roof prices are around £6,700 - £9,400, or an insulated thatched roof will cost you £9,400 - £17,800.

Thatched Roof Prices

The table below will show the different costs of a thatched roof:

Job Cost
Price per square £700 - £750
A tiny cottage (say, 25 ft x 25 feet) £6,500 - £7,000
A large, detached house £25,000 - £35,000
A new small, thatched roof £3,300 - £5,220
Small insulated thatched roof £4,700 - £8,800
Medium new thatched roof £5,000 - £8,000
Medium insulated thatched roof £8,000 - £13,300
Large new thatched roof £6,700 - £9,400
Large insulated thatched roof £9,400 - £17,800


The cost of installing a thatched roof is influenced by the nature and size of the job, the number of tradespeople involved, the ease of access, and the location of your home.

Prices in the southeast of England (especially in London) are often higher than the national average. The contrary is true in places like the north of England, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.

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What are the Supply Costs of a Thatched Roof Installation?

Having a thatched roof installed is best to be done by a professional who knows what to do and how to do it properly.

However, if you want to buy your supplies without any labour or additional thatch roof costs, then here we will go through the different supply costs you need to have a thatched roof installed in your home.

Combed wheat reed is a slightly more expensive alternative to use. In some respects, it's comparable to long straw, but it's handled differently.

Water reed is the most expensive thatching choice, but it also has the longest lifespan. As a result, it may be worthwhile to pay the extra money now to save money on labour costs later.

You will need scaffolding for the job to be safe. The cost of erecting a scaffold tower ranges from £200 - £300. Scaffolding on three sides of a semi-detached house will cost between £800 - £1,000, while scaffolding on three sides of a detached bungalow will cost between £600 - £700.

You will also need timber if it is needed, which will cost you £33 - £50 depending on how many you need and the size of the timber. You will need a thatched cartridge which will cost £170 - £220. This creates the spars using wood.

You will need a twister which will cost £8 - £18, a drill driver will cost £25 - £120, and a set pin will cost you £10 - £20.

A spar hook cost £20 - £40. You will need kneelers to protect your knees. They cost £5 - £15. A mallet will set you back £3 - £7.

The table below will break down what you need for a thatched roof installation.

Supply Cost
Scaffolding £200 - £1,000
Timber £33 - £50
Thatched cartridge £170 - £220
Twister £8 - £18
Drill driver £25 - £120
Set pin £10 - £20
Spar hook £20 - £40
Kneelers £5 - £15
Mallet £3 - £7


When obtaining quotations, it's critical to inquire about what's included. Some quotes may have higher pricing but include everything you need to thatch your roof, whereas others with lower prices may have a few surprises in the shape of additional charges at the end.

What are the Additional Costs of Building a Thatched Roof?

When pricing for a thatch roof, a thatcher must consider a variety of things. Size, material, access, scaffolding requirements, features, complexity, and location are all aspects to consider. Therefore, a property visit is always required, and pricing might vary substantially.

Therefore, we have created this section to show you what you should expect when it comes to installing a thatched roof.

Replacement Conservatory Roof

Having a replacement conservatory is a good idea if you have a thatched roof installed. Therefore, it is good to know the cost of conservatory roof prices.

For a lean-to conservatory, it will cost you £2,300 - £5,000, depending on the size of your conservatory. A Victorian conservatory will cost you £3,300 - £10,000, depending on the size.

For a polycarbonate roof, you should expect to pay £2,300 - £4,500 depending on the size, and for a Victorian conservatory, it will cost you £3,300 - £10,000.

The cost of this work will be determined by a variety of criteria, including the size and kind of conservatory roof, location, the number of tradespeople engaged, materials, the convenience of access, and the location of the property.

The type of conservatory roof replacement in terms of design and material is an important consideration. Lean-to conservatory roof installations are typically less expensive than most other options, but Edwardian Conservatory roof installations are more expensive.

a conservatory roof

A conservatory roof replacement might take anywhere from one to three days, depending on the size of the roof. A 3m × 3m conservatory roof, for example, could take 1-2 days to replace, whilst a 5m x 5m conservatory roof could take three days on average.

The length of this project will be determined by a variety of criteria, including the size/type of conservatory roof, the current roof's condition, the number of craftsmen engaged, and the ease of access.

Please refer to our guide on the costs of conservatory roof replacement, for further information.

Guttering

When having a new roof installed, you should consider having a new gutter installed at the same time. But how much does new guttering cost to install?

Fitting PVC guttering to a terraced house will cost around £400 - £500, a semi-detached house £400 - £500, a detached house £500 - £700, a bungalow £400 - £550, a flat £240 - £360, or a garage £325 - £350.

The amount of time it takes to install new guttering varies depending on the thatch roof construction. Installing it can take anywhere from 2 hours to a full day. The time it takes to install guttering varies based on the type of guttering, the ease with which you can access your roof, and the condition of your roof.

You may decide to have your gutters removed if you are having your roof renovated or if you want new gutters installed because your current gutters are worn beyond repair or because you prefer a different form of guttering.

The cost of labour to remove outdated guttering is estimated to be between £100 and £150. Waste and obsolete guttering can be disposed of in a skip or by alternative services such as a 'man and van service.

Please refer to our guide on guttering costs, for further information.

Soffits and Fascias

The cost of fascia and soffit replacement varies based on the size of your home, but the average cost is between £1000 - £4600.

The amount of time it takes to replace soffits and fascias depends on a variety of factors, including the size of the property, the style of the house, the ease of access to the soffits and fascias, and the type of soffits and fascias you want to be installed. Soffits and fascias can take anywhere from 2 hours to 5 days to replace.

a soffit

You might choose to have your soffits and fascias removed and replaced with new ones. This may be done because the original soffits and fascias are too damaged to repair or because the homeowner wants to replace them with new soffits and fascias constructed of a different material.

The labour charges for removing soffits and fascias are expected to be from £20 - £26 per hour, with a two-hour minimum flat rate. The removal fees could range from £50 - £200. You may get rid of old soffits and fascias in a skip or by using a 'man and van service.

Please refer to our guide on soffits and fascias costs, for further information.

Scaffolding

You will more than likely need to pay for scaffolding as it makes the job safer and quicker to do. The cost of erecting a scaffold tower ranges from £200 - £300.

Scaffolding a chimney will cost between £450 - £550, £800 to £1,000 for scaffolding on three sides of a semi-detached house, or £600 to £700 for scaffolding on three sides of a detached cottage.

Minimum Fee

Labourers/companies may charge a minimum thatch roof installation cost in some instances. This could be added to the total bill or counted as part of it. Assume that a big scaffolding project is underway, with scaffolding being erected all around a semi-detached house.

If you were charged by the day, it would cost the same whether it took a day and four hours or a day and seven hours because two days of labour would be taxed.

Size

It should go without saying that the larger the roof, the higher the price. This would be significant not only in terms of material prices, as a larger roof will simply cost more, but also in terms of labour expenses, as a larger installation will likely take longer, raising the total trades to cost.

A larger roof replacement would also result in greater trash collection costs.

a large thatched home

Location

As labour prices vary across the country, where you live is important. On the one hand, labour costs in the north of England, Scotland, and Northern Ireland are often cheaper than the national average. However, costs in the southeast are higher (London in particular).

Duration

The length of time the job takes will almost certainly influence the labour cost. The majority of contractors bill by the day or hour.

However, the length of the project likely has no bearing on the cost. A contractor or corporation, for example, may have a defined rate regardless of how long the project takes.

Tradesmen Costs for Installing a Thatched Roof

Before you hire a tradesperson, you should have an idea of the average labour costs to build a thatched roof. Therefore, you won't be able to get scammed for more money as you already have an idea of the average cost.

Therefore, in this section, we will go through the labour costs for installing a thatched roof. This will not include any supply or additional costs.

installing thatched roof

Although the prices appear to be high, the truth is that planning and laying thatched roofs takes a lot of time, work, and expertise.

Depending on your location and the difficulty of the work, you can expect to pay between £100 - £225 per day for a thatcher. There's also the scaffolding expense to consider. The cost of labour will be increased if the old thatch is removed.

A thorough re-thatch, as well as the initial installation of a thatched roof, is a labour-intensive task. This process might take many weeks and is priced according to the size of your home. The larger the home, the higher the price.

Thatching a roof is a time-consuming and labour-intensive procedure. Thus it can take a long time to complete. When comparing quotes from different thatching providers, keep an eye out for any that offer labour charges that are significantly lower than those on other quotes.

This could be a sign that the thatcher or any of their general labourers are inexperienced.

When you need a new roof, start by asking your friends and family, as well as co-workers. Look around your neighbourhood. Is someone getting their roof replaced? If they are, you can inquire as to whether the thatching company is recommended by the owner.

Finally, obtain the quotation in writing and read it to ensure that it includes all you discussed during your conversation.

A thatched roof will add individuality to your home. It will also effectively insulate your home. The ridging will most likely need to be replaced every 15 years, but if properly maintained, the rest of the roof will last 60 years or longer.

How Long Does It Take to Build a Thatched Roof?

Thatch is a versatile and sturdy roofing material that may be used on a wide range of structures, from houses and cottages to bars and business establishments.

A thatched roof can be constructed from a variety of materials, including reed or straw. Because this is a labour intensive and time-consuming material to install, a roof thatcher must assess the job's size and scope, as well as the work that will be necessary on the roof.

Due to this, in this section of the article, we will go through the amount of time it takes to build a thatched roof; therefore, if you are someone who likes to be organised and has an idea of when your thatched roof will be done then carry-on reading.

The length of time it takes to do a thatching operation varies greatly depending on the size and design of the structure. Naturally, the larger the property, the longer it will take to install, which will be reflected in the price. However, there are other factors to consider when estimating how long a thatch installation will take.

It depends on whether there are any underlying issues and how well the roof is maintained. The time it takes to finish the thatch installation will be affected by factors such as removing the existing thatch, rewiring the roof, and re-ridging.

A typical re-thatch will take 6-8 weeks; however, this will vary depending on the number of tradespeople working on one roof. The unpredictability of winter weather also has an impact on how long it takes to complete a full re-thatch.

A re-ridge will typically take 1-2 weeks, depending on the complexity of the pattern and whether any areas of the roof need to be repaired.

Benefits of a Thatched Roof

Many people in the United Kingdom fantasise about owning a thatched roof home in a peaceful village. While thatched roof homes are appealing to the eye and offer several advantages, they are not without their drawbacks.

Here, we'll go through the various advantages of having a thatched roof and how they might benefit you in the long run.

Good for Insulating

Because thatched roofs provide excellent insulation, your home will stay warm when it's cold outside and cool when it's hot outside. In the summer, your house will be cool, and in the winter, it will be toasty, saving you money on heating bills.

an insulated home

Durable

Roofs made of thatch are usually exceedingly sturdy and long-lasting. Thatched roofs can survive up to 60 years if properly maintained. The longevity of a thatched roof is determined by how well it is maintained, the materials used, and the ability and experience of the thatcher.

With proper care and attention, the water reed can live up to 40 years.

Good for the Environment

Thatch is one of the most environmentally friendly roofing materials available. The materials are typically derived from rural communities and are grown and harvested without the use of machines.

Gives Your Home That Little Bit Extra

A thatched roof, without a doubt, lends a lot of character to a home. While many homes have a frigid and uninviting aspect due to double-glazing and a lock of brick, thatched properties offer a warm and rustic charm that simply cannot be topped.

Ages Well

Thatched roofs age well and take on natural features, adding to their beauty and character. With time, thatch darkens, allowing it to blend in with the surrounding trees.

Therefore, you don't need to worry about your thatched roof looking old anytime soon as the older it gets, the more people to apricate its beauty.

Thatched houses are frequently situated near a natural water supply and on sheltered, gently sloping soil, which provides adequate drainage and thus avoids damp concerns.

Cosy Feeling

Many individuals admire the ancient nature of the construction method and materials, while others enjoy the warm and cosy feel of thatch.

Thatching is a throwback to the UK's past, and local governments are trying hard to preserve it. Thatching may be the only option for owners of listed houses.

a cosy home

Adds Value

A thatched property adds value to your home, and there are many thatched properties on the market in the UK. It can increase the value of a home and is a good investment.

Flexible

Thatch is a flexible, soft material that can be moulded to fit any roof, regardless of size or shape. At the ridge and the edges, interesting designs and patterns can be produced, allowing you to personalise them to your liking.

Waterproof

The roof's waterproof thatch can endure very strong winds, even gale-force gusts, yet it rarely leaks. Leaks are normally caused by one of the ridge's wooden spars breaking, and the thatch may open somewhat after a period of dry, warm weather and then leak when it rains; nevertheless, this is self-healing because the thatch will close naturally.

How Long Does It Take to Remove a Thatched Roof?

Many people who have a thatched roof refuse to remove any, resulting in a variety of issues such as thick, sagging eaves, reduced daylight into windows, reduced chimney height, and additional weight on frequently very old rafters.

a thatched roof

The quality of the existing thatch, the type and quality of straw/reed used to construct your roof, and your local environment all have a role in the longevity of a thatched roof.

A good thatch maintenance plan will benefit your property in the long run, and it should involve moss monitoring, physical appearance (gullies, chimneys, and water flow), and ridge maintenance. As a result, your thatched roof may need to be removed or restored.

Here, we will go through the process it takes to remove a thatched roof, including the duration of the process. Having your roof removed seems like a lot of effort and money; however, when it is needed, you will need to have your thatched roof removed.

The durability of thatched roofs is determined by a variety of factors, including the skill and materials employed. A good water reed roof should last between 25 and 40 years; a combed wheat reed should last between 25 and 35 years, and long straw should last between 15 and 25 years.

Ridges must be changed within 10 to 15 years of installation, regardless of the materials used.

A typical re-thatch will take 6-8 weeks; however, this will vary depending on the number of labourers working on one roof. The unpredictability of winter weather also has an impact on how long it takes to complete a full re-thatch.

FAQs

Q: What is a thatch roof made of?

A: Grass, reeds, and other natural materials are used to make thatched roofs.

Water reed combed wheat reed and long straw is the most widely used materials in the UK, while heather, turf, sedge, rye straw, and veldt grass are also employed, especially when historic preservation is a concern.

Q: How often do you have to re-thatch a roof?

A: The durability of thatched roofs is determined by a variety of factors, including the skill and materials employed.

A good water reed roof should last between 25 and 40 years; a combed wheat reed should last between 25 and 35 years, and long straw should last between 15 and 25 years. Ridges must be changed within 10 to 15 years of installation, regardless of the materials used.

Q: How does a thatched roof work?

A: By utilising the natural qualities of the materials used to make it, a thatched roof provides both insulation and a water barrier. Master tradesmen apply bundles of thatched material to the underlying structure of a roof to create a topcoat that can be up to 12 inches thick. Because thatching material breathes naturally, no venting is required.

Q: Can a thatched roof attract pests?

A: Unfortunately, the answer is yes. Thatched roofs are ideal for pests since they are warm and dry, and they can even supply food.

A: Pests are more common in uninhabited homes that have been vacant for a long time. Pests enjoy this type of environment since the occupants do not bother them.

Pests that are commonly encountered include:

  • Birds
  • Squirrels
  • Mice
  • Rats
  • Flies
  • Wasps
  • Spiders

Large pests must be dealt with, and you should contact your local pest control department for assistance. They should be able to tell you how the pests gained access to the roof.

That way, you'll be able to take the necessary steps to prevent them from entering. Bees can be rehomed, and wasps can be smoked out by a pest controller.

Q: How do you maintain a thatched roof?

A: Under normal circumstances, thatched roofs do not require much care. However, property owners must evaluate their roofs regularly to ensure that everything is in working order.

Keeping the area above the roof clear (to allow for air circulation) and ensuring sure no one wanders on the roof are two simple maintenance measures. Loft spaces should be kept clear indoors to provide for simple access to the roof.

Sources

  1. https://www.thatchadvicecentre.co.uk/thatch-information/thatching-materials/thatching-tools
  2. https://www.trusted-roofing.com/thatch-roofing.php
  3. https://heartofenglandthatchers.com/how-long-does-it-take-to-thatch-a-roof/
  4. https://www.cleangreencars.co.uk/thatched-property-insurance/the-pros-and-cons-of-buying-a-thatched-roof-property/
  5. http://www.roofthatchers.co.uk/faq.html
Author: Emma M

I am a Liverpool-based freelance writer with a degree in Media and Communications. I specialise in product reviews, home improvement and DIY content. I am also experienced in social media management and content marketing.