Advice on building repairs

Jo Parry from Hypostyle Architects offers advice on property maintenance and how to handle those communal repairs.


We are living in a city where a large proportion of buildings are in poor repair due to general weathering and maintenance neglect.  As a result many properties are now in need of upgrade and repair. Stone falls throughout the city continue, along with water ingress concerns, failing roofs and rainwater goods, causing damage to both the internal and external fabric of the property.

As a property owner you may become aware of water leaks or fabric deterioration.  If you are part of a tenement block, ascertaining the condition of your property can be difficult, and if a problem becomes apparent getting together with your neighbours to collectively repair your block can be challenging.


How do you arrange a communal scheme?

There can be problems to overcome when trying to organise a repair within your block. The first starting point is to talk to your neighbours, compile contact details and ascertain if everyone is in support of the repairs. A group meeting is an excellent way to start, with an aim of forming an owners association or stair group. A bank account should be set up within the group with two signatures. This has to be done at the start, as if any repairs are going to be carried out a contractor will want this in place. It also allows you as a group to start putting money into the account or treat it as a sinking fund, so that money is there if repairs are required.


Top tips to prevent unwanted repairs

Firstly know the condition of your property. You may need to have a Building Inspection report be prepared at the start so you know the level of repairs or maintenance required.  Arrange for these repairs to be carried out and once complete keep on top of them by following a maintenance plan – checking your roof, gutters etc. annually and attending to any apparent defects as soon as they become evident.


Grants for building repairs

Funding may be available depending on the type and location of your building.  If your property is listed and within the Edinburgh World Heritage site you may be eligible for some grant funding. You can either contact Edinburgh World Heritage directly or appoint a conservation accredited architect to do so. Should you wish to apply for Funding EWH stipulates you must have a conservation accredited architect working on your repair project to oversee the work and ensure that the work is being carried out to the appropriate standard.


For more information

If you would like more information, you can attend one of our seminars that we host with ESPC. Our next one is at the ESPC showroom on Monday 18th April 2016 starting at 5.30pm with a finish time of 7pm. This is a free event but you must reserve a space by contacting Jo Parry on