5 Practical Tips To Help You Find A Master Thatcher
It’s time to repair or replace your beautiful thatched roof, but where do you find a reputable Master Thatcher?
This can be a difficult business for all thatched property owners, so we’ve gathered together some pointers to help you. But before we share our 5 top tips, let’s start by finding out a little more about what exactly a Master Thatcher is.
What is a Master Thatcher?
A roof thatcher is someone who specialises in a traditional roofing technique using natural materials, mostly straw or reed. Thatchers layer these materials to create a beautiful waterproof roof, which can last up to 40 years.
A ‘master’ thatcher is no different to one known simply as a ‘thatcher’. Contrary to popular belief, any thatcher can call themselves a ‘master’ of their craft. This is because this craftsmanship is unregulated, so anyone practising as a roof thatcher can subsequently adopt the term ‘Master Thatcher’.
How long does it take to become a Master Thatcher?
Thatching is a skilled craft, which means it takes several years for someone to learn and then master. However, there are no formal qualifications. Most thatchers therefore learn through apprenticeships, receiving guidance from Master Thatchers who have built up years of experience and knowledge.
During these apprenticeships, trainee thatchers learn about the different materials used for thatching, their advantages and disadvantages, and the challenges presented by different types of thatched properties.
How to find a Master Thatcher
Repairing your thatched roof or having it completely redone is a costly exercise, which means you need to find the best Master Thatcher for the job.
To ensure you get a premier Master Thatcher with the right experience, here are our top tips:
- Check out the National Society of Master Thatchers and other associations
The National Society of Master Thatchers (NSMT) represents around a third of the thatchers in Britain, all of whom have had examples of their work inspected and/or vouched for by executive members to ensure standards are maintained. To check if someone is a registered member of the National Society of Master Thatchers, take a look at the ‘Find a Thatcher’ list on their website.
There are also lots of local associations you may like to look at, although they have differing standards, objectives and aims. Members of The East Anglia Master Thatchers Association, for instance, must be thoroughly assessed by existing members before joining, which may make them a helpful port of call when looking for a local roof thatchers.
- Get examples of their work
To get a true idea of a Master Thatcher’s quality of work, you need to get reviews from past customers and ideally see the work for yourself.
Ask the thatcher for some references from customers – it is best if they are examples from at least 2 years ago, so you can find out how the thatching holds up over time. If you personally get in touch with the customer, make sure you also ask about how long the work took, whether the master thatcher kept the area clean and tidy, and how they interacted with people affected by the thatching work.
- Check their insurance
Before you hire a Master Thatcher, you should ensure that they have the right insurance in place.
This includes Public Liability Insurance, which protects them against claims from third parties, as well as Employers’ Liability Insurance if they have employed a team to help them.
- Find out when they’re available
It is estimated that there are fewer than 1,000 Master Thatchers in the UK, which means that the best are always in demand. If your chosen Master Thatcher is available straight away, this could be a red flag, particularly as thatching work also requires access to quality materials that are unlikely to be immediately accessible.
- Get more than one quote
As with most things in life, you should not necessarily go with the very first quote you receive. Shopping around, collecting reviews and examining completed work will help you to find a Master Thatcher who will carry out the best quality work for your property.
Keep your thatched home protected
If you want to protect your home with the right level of Thatched Property Insurance, speak to us now. Our experienced and knowledgeable team will help you to find the right insurance to protect your special property.
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