There are around
800 master thatchers in the UK.
In truth, there is no overall governing body for thatchers, you rely on each individual thatchers’ judgement and expertise. The best advice is always look at their work from the past –
2 months ago is too soon – 2 or 3 years ago is better and references from previous customers, insurance companies or builders and architects is more useful.
Some thatchers are members of thatching organisations which are self regulating and may also be a limited company. These groups often are organised by area and have a specific local agenda to work to. They may have logos which their paying members can use. Some groups give apparent authority but, they have no powers other than to eject members from their groups who do not adhere to their rules. Independent thatchers are often just as good at thatching but do not need the umbrella of belonging to a group.
Always obtain more than one quotation for works and compare like for like eg thickness, flashings, wiring, clearing up etc. A good website does not guarantee a good thatcher, check out their claims and sometimes their pictures. Also a guarantee is only as good as the company underwriting it. Good references and word of mouth recommendations are an excellent benchmark. It is a good idea to check that they have insurance, both public liability and employers (if they have people working for them).
Some thatchers are one man bands and others are larger groups of craftsmen. The obvious difference here is the time it takes to work on your roof. It depends on what service you are looking for.
The words Master Thatcher are now used by all thatchers so we hope our advice helps you to ask the right questions and identify the right craftsmen for your needs.
We would love to know exactly how many Master Thatchers there are in the UK, but where to start counting? Calling all thatchers to get in touch so we have your details.