Renovating a period property

If you live in a Victorian or Georgian home, you will know that properties of those periods can offer many advantages over a modern home. Sometimes, however, such properties have fallen into disrepair or are simply no longer ideally suited to modern ways of living. Renovating Victorian and Georgian properties can be a rewarding experience.
There are, however, certain things that it is important to bear in mind when undertaking a sympathetic restoration project:

Keeping original character

One of the most important things when restoring an older home is making sure that you keep the character that attracted you in the first place. Where possible, retain old features and where elements are damaged beyond repair, try to replace like with like, using reclaimed materials where possible.

Underlying structure

Renovation work should always be carried out with a thorough understanding of the underlying structure and an awareness that what works with a contemporary build will not always suit a solid, old home. It is also important to analyse any relevant parts of the house’s skeleton to make sure that more serious repairs are not needed and that there are no underlying problems with, for example, woodworm or damp. When carrying out a renovation, always start with the bare bones and work your way up to the cosmetic.

Breathability

Old stone walls, natural renders and traditional plastering methods all work together to allow the structure of a period home to ‘breathe’. A sympathetic renovation should ensure that breathability is not lost. When period properties are not allowed to breathe, that is where problems with damp and condensation occur. Natural materials such as clay plasters and lime renders allow a period home’s wall structure to function as it should. It is important not to misplace waterproof membranes or use cement renders in a period home.

Regulations

When renovating an old property, it is important to make sure that everything you undertake is above board. Regulations and restrictions may be tight if you own a listed property or live in a conservation area. In some cases, you may need to make yourself aware of building regulations or apply for relevant permissions, though much can be done without building consent. Make sure you are aware of all your obligations.

For more information or a free no obligation quotation call RF Building and Maintenance on 01752 930159