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Chocolate Box Cottages

Posted on 18 December 2018 by Julia Wilson-Sharpe

Chocolate Box Cottages

Looking at the local newspaper today, I noticed there are some very lovely looking, traditional cottages for sale. I couldn’t help but ponder on what it might be like for a person living in an older property? What are the downfalls – what are the benefits? How easy is this to weigh up?

We typically refer to quaint cottages as ‘chocolate box’ cottages - they are often pretty and regularly photographed. It reminded me of an old farm house I used to live in with my family. The ‘family’ did include the woodlice as they were always present, with spiders and the occasional mouse. We were, however, all happy living together - the only objection was an odd crunch underfoot indicating one of our family had been trodden on. Like with any property, there was always work to be done.

Many people may find an older property a bit of a worry – finding a contractor with the right skills to maintain and repair a thatch roof for instance, may be an issue.

Should we consider a cottage with a thatched roof or should they be left for photographs on chocolate boxes? At a time when many of us are think we should be greener and conserve energy to reduce our carbon footprint and slow global warming, it could be seen as a good move. Reed is sustainable, but can it be grown quickly enough? At the moment, with the number of existing thatched cottages, it probably could, however if larger developers took on board the benefits, would it be sustainable then? Maybe not.

Could we convert a tiled roof to a thatched roof and create a traditional cottage look with a modern property? Probably - but would a thatched roof suit the property? In most cases, probably not. Is the house detached? If not, planning permission would be required and you would need your neighbours to agree to it.

While the idea of moving into a thatched cottage in the countryside might sound idyllic, it’s worth doing your homework beforehand. More information is available at:



Posted in: Buying & Selling Your Home