Ask a Master Thatcher

How long will my new thatch last?

For a Water Reed or Wheat Straw roof it is usually fair to expect 25-35 years before a complete re-work is needed, although some roofs have lasted longer than 40 years. It is advisable to have your roof cleaned and patched about every five to seven years, with the ridge needing tending to every ten years.

How long will the job take?

This depends on the size and complexity of the job. An average three-bedroom cottage requiring a rethatch could take our efficient team three weeks to complete. You may find a team that could complete the job in less time with subsequent loss in quality. On the other hand, a single craftsmen outfit could take many weeks. KS Thatchers professional thatching team will provide the best of both worlds with top quality workmanship in the shortest reasonable timeframe. Contact us now to arrange a site inspection and free quote on your property.

What is the standard lead time before my job will be started?

hatch damage from storms, fire, pests or water leakage needs urgent treatment. We aim to give our customers a 36-hour response time. For general non-urgent maintenance and rethatching jobs we will do our utmost to fit in with your requirements and ensure your job is completed on time.

What happens if the roof timbers and chimney are found to be in poor condition when the work starts?

KS Thatchers are qualified for all aspects of roof carpentry and chimney rebuilding.

What protection is there for my property while work is being done?

KS Thatchers have Public Risk Insurance for £5 million and are local authority recommended.

What type of thatch is most suitable for my house?

It is usual to rethatch a house with the same materials as existing, which retains the variety of thatched roofs that makes England so special. We will be pleased to give you experienced advice should you wish to change the kind of thatch on your roof.

What are the most popular forms of thatching?

A Many forms of reed exist of which the most popular is Norfolk Reed. This grows naturally on lake sides and river estuaries in the wetter areas of the country. Devon, Dorset and Hampshire often use Combed Wheat Reed. Long Straw thatching tends to be found in cereal-growing areas such as Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire. Refer to our Types of Thatch page for further information.

What style of ridge should I use?

It is possible to have either a flush ridge, or at a slight extra cost, a raised ridge which gives opportunity for various artistic crescent-shaped scallops, points or other effects. We will be pleased to offer you advice on what will suit your property and budget best.

How are the best materials grown?

Materials grown for longevity will typically be grown in rotation with natural nitrates such as kale, mustard or turnips. Artificial chemical application substantially reduces the straw quality, as confirmed by studies done at Bath University in the 1990’s. At KS Thatchers we take personal interest in the growing of our materials and only natural organic fertilisers are used. Further information can be found on the page, Growing the Materials.

What fire safety measures are taken in the thatching of my property?

KS Thatchers provide a variety of fire retardants to ensure your property is protected. Please refer to our Fire Safety page for more detail.

If you have any other questions not covered here of elsewhere on our website, please contact KS Thatchers.


I would like to say how good your workers were keeping it tidy every night and when they left last evening. The new ridge looks very smart and the thatch all very tidy with it’s new netting.
— Customer in Andover