for People with a Passion for Period Property
Ask an Agony Uncle!
Stephen Boniface - Stephen Boniface specialises in building conservation providing multi-disciplinary consulting services. He is Chairman of the Building Surveying Faculty and member of the Residential faculty. He serves on the RICS Building Conservation Forum Board and is the 'Agony Uncle' on the Period Property UK website (

Ask our Agony Uncles ...

You can write to our panel of experts free of charge on any subject, providing it's got something to do with Period Properties.

Our experts are all specialists in matters directly involved with older properties. So, if you have a problem with an older building - or if you think you might have a problem - ask an Agony Uncle...

  January 2006  
o Damp wall built into the hillside Sarah Husband (Northumberland)
o Cornicing and cracking Kate Ross (West Midlands)
o Is strapping the walls reasonable? Nicola Ireson (Staffordshire)
o Vibrating roller may have caused structural damage David Scott (Dorset)
o Minimun height above foundations Ralph Parkin (Wiltshire)
o Single skinned extension scares off mortgage company Chloe Leaning (Essex)
o Ever expanding cracks Gill Geach (Cambridgeshire)
o Sealing the beams Philip Porter (Worcestershire)
o Mould in a converted barn Geraldine Braes (Devon)
  May 2006  
o Traditional Methods or plasterboard for Lime Virgin? Paul Solerti (Oxfordshire)
o Help required to get through VAT minefield Helena Evans (Worcestershire)
o Hard as Nails on the Inside, Soft as Putty on the Outside. Robert Bottle (Herefordshire)
o Solution required for Crumbling Stone Window Lintels Colin Anderson (West Sussex)
o Guidance required on Restoration Repairs. Barry Marsh (Bedfordshire)
o Conservation Officer sits on Fence Catherine Edwards (Derbyshire)
o Help. Rats are eating my house Roland Rat (Some where in the South)
o Long-term Water Leak could lead to Fungal Growth Vugar Khalilov (Greater London)
o Wear goggles & mask & check joints carefully Tina Mullington (Devon)
o Heating Bill could drive us into Poverty Cindy Pickering
o It's still happening, but they don't believe us Fiona Davis (Herefordshire)
  June 2006  
o Lender does not like single-skin walls. Lorna Hunt (Essex)
o Does my clay lump house need stripping of modern materials. Mark Cheeseman (Norfolk)
o How do I repair eroded stone on terraced property. Howard Lawes (Somerset)
o Conservation says its a limeash floor, builders claim its cement. Whose right? Mandy McMahon (Staffordshire)
o Next door neighbour's wall has damaged my bread oven. Name Withheld
o Does my roof really need a lining if it's leak free? Colin Doyle (Cheshire)
o How do I deal with Death Watch Beetle? Alex Hardy (Surrey)
o How do I improve insulation and rid myself of damp in my listed property? Sally Mellor (Lincolnshire)
o I want my VAT back! Anne Eames (Bedfordshire)
o Hey, you've stolen my chimney! PoppyPatch (Midlands)
  August 2006  
o New cement render starts to fail after only eight years. Jim Givens (Lancashire)
o The property I want to buy does not have an agreement regarding a flying freehold. Emilia Price (Cornwall)
o Potential dry rot problem leads to legal quandary. M Dowley (East Midlands)
o Re-revealing my flint wall. Jacqueline Penticost (Surrey)
o What will buyers think of my Helibars. Luke Villada (Greater London)
o Damp in walls persists despite lime plaster. Melanie Gaddas-Brown (Durham)
o Should we fill our hallway cracks? Julie Wheldon (Greater London)
  September 2006  
o Are my bricks under attack? Ryan Eaton (West Midlands)
o Where does my extractor fan flue go? Andy Shelley (Essex)
o Listed building consent? Brenda Potter (Merseyside)
o Lack of consents Cal Johnson (East Sussex)
o Lead soaker? Peter Downhill (Cambridgeshire)
o Someone's sealed my 'Grumplings'! Ruth Talbot (Buckinghamshire)
o Mastic sealer Wendy Lund (Shropshire)
o So-called damp proofing Roland Brewer (Buckinghamshire)
  November 2006  
o Sealing stones Stephanie Reily-Collins (Oxfordshire)
o Deliberate debris? Nicholas Cole (Worcestershire)
o Causing havoc for no good reason Rajveen Gill (Greater London)
o A big jar of elbow grease. Rachel Weaver (Hertfordshire)
o Restrictive covenant Fiona Partington (Surrey)
o Installing solar thermal panels on a C19th semi Simon Lewis (East Sussex)
o Still experiencing damp problems Sara Eustace (Lancashire)
o Ball park thatch Michael Harper (Kent)
o Getting rid of death watch beetle once and for all Jill Wakeford (Kent)
o Bread oven fills the house with smoke Dominic Shepherd (Dorset)
o Plaster problem now worse than ever Lorraine Pretty (Essex)
  Archive from 2005  
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  Archive from 2002  
  Archive from 2001