ArticleDon’t destroy your period property – these tips are crucial to your renovation!

March 22, 2019

Renovating a property is a huge undertaking in itself, and when it comes to a period home, they often come with a whole host of challenges you may not expect.

These properties are charming and have stories to tell, and yours will soon be a welcome addition, but they also come with their own issues that mean you’ll need to take careful consideration when deciding your next crucial steps.

So before taking those first steps in renovating your new, character filled home, we’ve got some great tips to prevent hitting those rough patches and keep you feeling confident moving forward:

First looks are for properties too

You’ve got your eye on an incredible period property, the pictures look great, and you’re ready to make it yours.

Before you rush in, consider getting a thorough survey carried out.

These will allow you to understand the current state of the property, the condition, and if there are any issues that need to be sorted during your renovation.

Also consider paying full attention to the outside of your property, whether the bricks need repointing, and the state of the gutters, as water may be a long term factor in the deterioration of your house.

If none of the above apply, or you’re given a clear bill of health on your property, then you’re good to start moving forward.

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Set clear goals

Start by creating a renovation timeline.

Once you’ve investigated the property and taken notes, you’ll be able to get an idea from hired contractors on how long each room should take.

Brett Martin from Home Beautiful has a great outline of estimated times that you can take reference from, but the biggest tip he offers is to know that delays are common and often inevitable, especially for large rooms.

Most contractors will often anticipate delays or time spent waiting, and build those days into the schedule.

It’s important to think about the time period of the property when plotting your renovation timeline, as different properties will require different building materials for restoration.

For example Victorian homes often need breathable lime – rather than cement for the pointing.

So when speaking to your designated contractor, talk about the average time-scale for doing more specific work on the property, that way you’ll be aware of what will happen as you go ahead in working on the house.

We have history

New builds may be reflective of a more modern society, but your period home has history, and there is no reason you can’t renovate whilst keeping the character of the house alive.

“A successful renovation should preserve or enhance the elements of a period property that make it special, generating a heritage premium in its value.” – Build It

Original floorboards can be a fantastic place to start, and are often hidden under carpets, vinyl or even cement screed.

If any of the boards are damaged you may need to get them swapped out, but if there is only scratches, or marks, a team of surface repair experts may be all you need to restore them back to their former glory.

Surface repairs can be applied to various areas of the home, including kitchen cupboards, doors and more, so if you want to keep original features, but notice they have scratches, marks or cracks, you can have them repaired at a fraction of the cost of replacing.

Don’t be restricted by perfection

If you’re guilty of being a perfectionist, it’s very easy to apply this to working on a period property. Be prepared to only redefine things that are a genuine issue, otherwise you may start losing the character of the house.

Our tip is to pull yourself away from the project for a while, step out to grab a hot drink at a nearby cafe for a few hours. After you’ve stepped back decide if the factor that was frustrating you before is really that detrimental. 

Consider why you chose a period home over a new build, and understand why the properties are very different to work on. Then head back with a renewed energy and take another look.

If you have a tight deadline on getting your property in shipshape, maybe request the advice of the contractors you have hired. They’ll have dealt with similar properties and may provide you with another opinion that you hadn’t considered.

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Get your team in shape

It’s time to start renovating your property, and getting a great team of companies and contractors together is the key in ensuring your property is whipped into shape.

Make sure your team have the relevant accreditations and a portfolio of case study clients that will allow you to ensure they’re fully prepared for the task at hand.

Our qualified surface repair team can help restore aspects of your property back to full health.

Once you are ready to begin, contact us for a free professional quote.

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