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Your home

The Old and New Towns of Edinburgh World Heritage Site is a unique area that contains a huge variety of buildings. These represent many different architectural styles and building materials from Edinburgh’s medieval past to the present day, though the city is particularly rich in Jacobean and Georgian architecture.

Many of these buildings are also homes – and property owners have a responsibility, as custodians of their buildings, to properly care for and maintain their dwellings. This can range from re-painting wooden window frames and iron rails, to hiring a contractor to replace or re-fix slipped Scots slate tiles on the roof.

Edinburgh World Heritage has compiled a series of guides to enable property owners to properly and appropriately maintain their traditional buildings within the World Heritage Site. These guides are free to download and available to everyone.

Looking after your roof

Your home

The topography of Edinburgh affords views of the city from many vantage points and is a quintessential part of the World Heritage Site. The consistency of Scots slated pitched roofs and massive masonry chimney stacks, with rows of buff coloured clay chimney pots stretching over a vast area is an impressive sight. This homogeneity is important to the integrity of the World Heritage Site and should be preserved for future generations.

The following leaflet is designed to help homeowners better understand their roofs, the materials used to make them, and how to spot problems quickly, so they can be rectified before they turn into costly and disruptive repairs.

Fixtures and fittings

Your home

Buildings in Edinburgh’s World Heritage Site, which encompasses both the Old and New Towns, are a living record of the community that built and used them, reflecting craft skills and available materials, styles and aspirations and personal whims. Appropriate door furniture is a very important part of any historical building, especially as it is the first detail you focus on and touch as you enter a building. Its removal and inappropriate replacement with modern alternatives gives a ‘fake’ feel to the building and should be avoided.

Our Historic Home Guide covers fixtures and fittings such as hinges, door handles and locks. Often these details were tailor made for the building, and as such are significant, but easily over-looked, original features.

Looking after exterior paintwork

Your home

We have compiled a booklet to give guidance to owners, property managers and other professionals who are concerned with the external redecoration and maintenance of property within the World Heritage Site. The topics covered include external walls, woodwork, doors and windows, down pipes, gutters and other rain water goods, railings, balconies and other ironwork and common stairs.

For each area, this guide will cover preparation, the types of paints that should be used, application advice and recommendations on suitable colours.

Apply for funding

Your home

Edinburgh World Heritage has a Conservation Funding Programme funded by Historic Environment Scotland, to help improve traditional buildings within the World Heritage Site and adjacent areas.

  • We can ensure roofs are wind and water tight.
  • We can restore and improve exteriors.
  • We offer grants that can cover up to 70% of eligible works.

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