When we mention windmills these days, it is likely that your first thoughts might be of the gigantic wind-farm turbines currently operating (or under construction) across Britain and in various off-shore locations around us. Though these wind harvesting behemoths are a principle part of our plans to move toward renewable energy and reduce our national carbon footprint, feelings about them remain conflicted and many are against having them anywhere near their homes. It makes you wonder whether millers over nine hundred years ago met the same adversity when they wanted to develop a more efficient way of grinding flour. Windmills in the UK date back as far as the 12th century, with many still existing today (though few survive as actual functioning mills). Many windmills have been saved from destruction by being converted into fantastic character-filled homes, while only a few have been preserved in working condition.
Though you are unlikely to find a windmill today that has not been already renovated to some extent, because many were originally renovated some time ago, you may be able to find one that needs to be renovated again. Taking this into account, you should know that the maintenance costs of managing a windmill home are likely to be considerably higher than other types of property. You will also need to be aware that most windmills are likely to enjoy some level of listed status, so any renovation work might need to be agreed with relevant authorities before you begin. In most cases, you will be permitted to keep a windmill in a reasonable state (in fact you might be required to), but adding extensions or modifying rooms are less likely to be allowed. You should always do any required research before committing yourself to buy in any situation, but especially so with windmills.
When considering buying a windmill, you really do need to consider maintenance and restoration costs alongside any asking price. Not only that, but you need to think about whether all of the utilities you require are available. When a mill is miles from the nearest drainage, water and power facilities, the cost to connect it to the suppliers can be immense. You also need to worry about things like structural integrity, particularly with older properties (just because they have stood for hundreds of years, doesn’t mean they’ll stand forever. Have the site fully surveyed before you get yourself into something you can’t handle. A windmill maybe a beautiful place to live, but if it is in a poor state of repair then you need to be realistic about your ability to put it right. You need to be able to get a mortgage, which is likely to be released in stages if you need to undertake renovations, and in order to get finance you will need to have adequate listed buildings insurance.
Home insurance for listed buildings might be harder to come by than insurance for regular properties, particularly if renovations are required (and especially if the building in question is as unique as a windmill). Listed buildings of non-standard construction and older properties are costly to repair/rebuild when damaged, and damage is more likely to occur during renovations, so listed building insurance is all the more essential. With HomeProtect insurance you can find an online competitive quote for listed building insurance or Grade 2 listed buildings insurance as and when you need it.