Building Restoration and Conservation

Every historic building restoration is unique, and our team has the specialist skills to meet a whole range of challenges, bringing buildings back to life and helping them tell their stories for generations to come. We repair brick, stone, terracotta, faience, roofing, railings and gates, preserving original materials or sourcing carefully matched, reclaimed alternatives if need be.

Our stonemasons can supply, dress and carve new stone to exacting standards, and we can accurately copy historic joinery and mortars to recreate original finishes. This includes pointing, rendering and plastering with traditional porous lime mortars, which have been used for centuries to allow historic buildings to breath.

Lime Mortar

Lime is a wonderful, heritage building material and lime mortars and renders have been used in traditional construction for centuries.

Today they play a very important role in the conservation, repair and maintenance of historic buildings, and our skilled craftsman are highly experienced in using them.

We use these mortars and renders because of the excellent breathability they give to heritage properties – an essential part of safeguarding their long-term future.

Lime Render

Lime render is a lime-based mix applied to the external surfaces of traditional buildings. It allows the building to 'breathe' because lime is porous. This permeability allows moisture to evaporate from the masonry, and reduces problems of condensation. Lime render is also more tolerant of movement and appears less hard on the surface and does not produce the hard sharp edges of cement based renders. Bonsers are fully conversant with the traditional techniques required for the application of lime renders and only use high quality materials. An excellent example of this is shown on the restoration of a building facade using lime render at Silver Street, Leicester.

Lime Pointing

The wrong type of pointing can have serious consequences for historic buildings. Traditionally it was always carried out using a lime mortar and Bonsers always point brick or stone using a lime based mortar. Lime mortar is flexible permeable and allows buildings to breath, cement is strong, inflexible and impermeable and not appropriate for historic buildings. Bonsers are conversant with all the appropriate mortar mixes for all types of brick and stone. Shown below is lime re-pointing on stables/out buildings at Hickling Pastures, Leicestershire and Hepworth Retail Park, Swadlincote.