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How To Renovate A Period Property Without Losing Character

Period properties are immensely charming and exude character from top to bottom. If you’re planning on doing renovations, the last thing you’ll want to do is jeopardize this.

Homes built before the First World War are generally referred to as period properties, but many different types and styles depend on age. From the elegant and spacious architecture of Georgian houses to the distinctively quaint black-and-white exteriors of Tudor properties, many traditional buildings still look stunning in modern surroundings.

So, how can you renovate a period property to provide modern functionality while preserving the character of times gone by?

Check the listed buildings register

Before you begin any planning or renovation work you must check whether your property is a listed building. These are buildings that have been declared historically significant and are legally protected.

If yours is a listed property, then you may need additional permission or approval for renovation work before you can begin. If it isn’t, you may still need planning permission from your local authority depending on what you want to do with the property.

Get a full survey done

You should have had a survey completed on the property during the buying process, but if you haven’t had one done recently, this should be your first step.

A building survey will identify any potential weaknesses and threats to the building’s structural integrity. This can help you to plan your renovation more accurately and should help to avoid nasty surprises during the project.

Retain and refresh original features

The remaining features of a period home carry most of the charm and essence that you’ll want to preserve – these elements should be central in your renovation plans and integrated into the final designs. You may have to support original features with modern materials, such as plasterboard if the walls are weak, but the final appearance is what counts.

Some of the most popular period features include ornate fireplaces, traditional coving, cast iron radiators and detailed wall panelling, but any feature can make your property special. Highlighting these characteristics allows you to add more modern styles without sacrificing the original character.

Combine new and old styles

Some of the best period property renovations do an excellent job of combining modern and traditional styles effortlessly. Achieving this can be done with colour palettes, furnishings, fixtures and fittings.

If you’re short of inspiration, sites such as Pinterest showcase many design ideas and examples to help you understand what you’re looking for.

Don’t neglect the exterior

Many period properties require just as much attention on the outside as the inside. Whether you’re working with brick or wood, wattle and daub, learn about how to best care for these materials and use them to your advantage.

Preserving the exterior is a great way to retain the character that people see from the outside, allowing you to have a little more creative flair with the interior. Good luck with your project!

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