I’ve been saying this for many years, and it is really important that homeowners understand the message. When doing repairs, whether small or large, always use the best quality materials that are appropriate for the building – not simply the cheapest or easiest option available. Have a look at this thatched roof. It is water reed and obviously hasn’t been maintained, but that isn’t the fundamental problem. The real problem here is that the water reed is a poor quality import. This roof was doomed to premature failure from the day it was finished. It is a waste of money and a false economy. Use materials that would always have been used locally. Keep the traditional skills and businesses alive. This was totally avoidable and now it will need to be done again.