So you’re now the proud owner of a period home. Congratulations! Period property, that is property over a hundred years old, still represents a significant portion of today’s housing stock and is the ideal style to which many would-be home owners aspire, so you’re in quite an enviable position.
Unfortunately, owning a period home isn’t without its problems. Over the years your home may have suffered neglect and bringing it back to its former glory can be fraught with difficulties so it’s good to know how you can navigate the pitfalls and emerge at the end of the process with a beautifully renovated home of which you can be justly proud.
- It’s vital that you identify and remedy any structural issues first before you get started on the cosmetic ones. It’s advisable to get a full structural survey done before you purchase a period home, but if you didn’t get a chance to do this, for example because you inherited the property, then do so without further delay.
- The cost will be well worth it as you certainly don’t want to uncover issues which will be expensive to deal with later or which could cause damage to you décor and furnishings. Make sure the roof is watertight, timbers are sound and there are no signs of damp in the property. Your building surveyor will be able to advise on what needs doing and how much it’s likely to cost.
- Careful budgeting is essential in any home renovation, but especially when you’re dealing with a period home. Make detailed plans listing all your estimated costs from start to finish, based on the average estimates from three local tradespeople for every job you need doing. However, be aware that no matter how effectively you plan, it’s inevitable that there will be some unforeseen problems or delays, so allow an extra 15-20% contingency on your overall budget to make sure you’re able to deal with them.
- Thoroughly check any requirements for planning permission or zoning permits which may be attached to your property, and be prepared for the impact this may have on your schedule. Overlooking these details can have disastrous and very costly implications if you later find that the work you have done does not comply with local rules and regulations.
- Work out a logical sequence for the tasks that needs to be done. For example, engage contractors to do any plumbing or electrical work before thinking about things like plastering or decorating. Your period home may well be a little draughty, so improving insulation should also be on your list of things to fix first.
- With the major structural jobs done, you can move on to the rewarding tasks of bringing back your home’s period charm. It’s a good idea to start by researching what your home would have originally looked like. You may be lucky enough to find some original features intact, but for those that have been lost, looking around your neighborhood or in your local library can provide valuable clues. If you’re just looking for one or two specific items, local salvage yards and small ads can uncover some gems which may have come from a period home just like yours
- Alternatively, you could source reproduction goods from a company which specializes in the period your home was built. This is often a better option if you are looking to reinstate a range of features and want to make sure that you get a consistent look throughout the property. These companies often use traditional manufacturing processes too, so they can supply items that are in keeping with the era in every way.
The Victorian Emporium sells all the fixtures and fittings required when you are renovating your period home: from authentic driveway gates to Victorian chandeliers.