13Jan 2016

The do’s and don’ts of improving period homes

If you’ve got a home from the Victorian, Edwardian or Georgian era, you’ll know how important aesthetics are. The classic style and charm are part of the overall attraction for buyers and are therefore a primary focus for property valuers also.  For this reason, many who invest in period homes do so in order to turn a profit and improve the properties features. Even if you don’t plan on selling, ‘modernising’ a period home can make it more family friendly whilst adding value, but where do you start? What lines should you cross when considering new features and upgrades? Quite often with period homes, the thing you thought would add value may actually end up costing you in the end if it detracts from the overall theme of the build.  So here are some do’s and don’ts to help get you started…

Do… stay within your period

By this, we mean it’s important to stay within the era in which your home was built when considering aesthetic changes. For example, if you have a Victorian home with traditional sash windows, don’t pull them out in favour of contemporary UPVc windows in the name of ‘modernising’ – the likelihood is you’ll hurt your property’s value considerably. Each style is extremely distinctive in its aesthetic, so make sure you do your research before deciding on a new front door, a new floor or a new fireplace. It’s still very possible to maintain a modern aesthetic without removing these features.

Don’t… remove features without consideration

If you move into a period home with an old log fireplace or a dusty old floor, it’s understandable that you’d want to replace, or at least upgrade, them. The best advice here is to show restraint and do what’s best for the property rather than what gets you the quickest desired result. This might require you to do a little research on the internet or perhaps even get in touch with a local tradesman or joinery company who may be able to offer you free help and advice (most will even throw in a quote to help you make your decision). The most common mistake people make is ripping old windows and doors out to install more energy efficient ones. It’s perfectly possible to refurbish and preserve existing frames and still achieve a ‘modern’ level of security and insulation.

Do… get your paintbrush out

It’s not very common these days, but for the Victorians and Georgians, painting wood was all the rage. They’d paint everything from ceiling beams and window frames to skirting boards and dining chairs. If you’re hungry for a new look and feel to your property then why not consider painting your wooden features? Colour is an important consideration, with many modern shades not even available in those days, but the good thing about paintwork is that it’s very easy to change and rectify if you get it wrong. If you’ve got traditional timber sash windows then a lick of paint and some wood protector could be all you need to revitalise your home.