Semantically, the term ‘period home’ is a little problematic. Some have gone as far as to say it could refer to, well, any time in history. But generally, it’s used to describe a style of architecture and interior design from a particular, recognisable moment in history, such as Edwardian, Victorian or Georgian. And the problem with renovating a place with such an obvious grounding in its aesthetics is that, if you stray too far from the original, the effect will be jarring.
What’s more, owning a part of history means that you have a responsibility to preserve that history, and in some cases, properties are listed and therefore have restrictions on what alterations you can make to them. A fine balancing act indeed, then, but one we’re here to help with; our 4 IDEAL considerations when renovating a period home.
TAKE YOUR TIME
When you’re taking on such a big project, and one where the finer details make such a big difference to the end result, it’s tempting to try and get everything done all in one go. With period houses this can be difficult, as everything requires handling with that little bit more care. In general, in such instances, it pays to take things one step at a time.
Over hundreds of years, these buildings can accumulate concealed elements that need attention from experts prior to updating, and when you start your renovation, you’re likely to unearth some of these hidden gems. If you try and get everything done in one go, without thorough planning and foresight, these defining features of the period property may become an obstacle rather than a blessing. Fall into the latter camp instead, and take your time.
KEEP & MAINTAIN ORIGINAL FEATURES
Period houses were often built with such high-quality, rare materials that they can last hundreds and hundreds of years; hence, the name. Sure, they need a touch up from time to time, but often, things like sash windows and other period features have surprising longevity if you get them repaired rather than replaced. It’s possible to keep that much coveted classic style whilst bringing in a little modern functionality, if that’s your thing, with such updates as double glazed sash windows. Of course, you want your building to meet modern standards and bring comfort into the 21st century whilst not compromising the integrity of the feature. Rest assured, it is possible with a gentle update.
HAVE AN EMERGENCY BUDGET ON HAND
We all know that building project budgets can quickly go out that sash window we just mentioned, but it can be especially true when you’re working with a period property, as the amount unforeseen costs tend to be even higher than usual. No matter how well you budget for your period property renovation, it’s likely you’ll encounter some issues you couldn’t have expected. In these cases, you need to have a little extra wiggle room to make sure you can get the project finished on time. Whether that takes the form of a credit card, home improvements loan or one from a family member is up to you.
ONE EYE ON THE FUTURE
Updating a period property is just one of those things you have to accept when you own an old house; a necessary evil exchanged for the joy of living in a place of history. Though the build quality of these properties is generally of a high standard, there are things that are going to go wrong from time to time, and that will require updating. Whenever you carry out work, make sure you have an eye on the future and are planning what renovations need to come next. If you have a clear blueprint of what needs doing, then it’s easier to form a cost-effective strategy. A game of chess, we think.