Renovating any type of home can feel like a monumental task. But, for many reasons, including increased health and safety risks, this is an essential project to undertake. When renovating period houses, in particular, the process can be a bit trickier, as all the contracted work needs to be carried out by specialist Heritage Certified professionals, like us at Ploughcroft. Where possible, great care must be taken to restore, rather than replace, original features.
In any case, this job is easier when you have a step-by-step renovation checklist that breaks the big job down into separate tasks that are more manageable. This will also give the remodeler a more accurate measure of the time that it will take to complete the job and the total cost required.
One of the most common period house renovation mistakes is going too fast. To avoid getting carried away, devising a realistic renovation timeline is essential.
This timeline should show all the major work with added contingency hours. For work in buildings that are particularly old, it can be difficult to quickly establish the work that needs to be done. Careful planning and building surveys can be a lengthy stage in the process, but it’s necessary for the long-term integrity of the structure. This may also require a bigger budget. A renovation timeline is a handy tool to help you identify and plan your budget so that you’re not caught out by an unexpected expense.
There are several types of survey that can be carried out on period houses to determine various factors, such as energy efficiency and roof access issues. Many people make the mistake of only fixing the current, persistent problems. However, this only leads to further work down the line. In some cases, past developments could be compromised, depending on the invasiveness of the job.
A detailed renovation timeline is good for all parties. It gives all contractors a clear, united vision of the entire project from start to finish. This way, there are no misunderstandings along the way. Creating this document should be the first step on your list.
Many people rush to ask the same questions when they begin to think about renovating a period house:
What order should I do the renovation in?
Which room should I renovate first?
How can I make money renovating a house?
These are similar to those asked by domestic homeowners curious about the process — you could say that these are the frequently asked questions on the topic. But before you can answer these basic questions for a period house project, determining the correct time period of your home should be your main concern.
For example, Victorian homes rarely have structural issues, due to their sturdy build which is characteristic of this period. By considering this, you can gauge a better idea of which types of surveys you should prioritise on your list. Specifics like the right building materials for restoration are crucial to know ahead of time. Victorian home renovations should use breathable lime render, rather than cement, for exterior work. These key details will change the answers to the above questions and, in some ways, answer them for you.
Paying close attention to this could even see you win an award, like this Victorian house in Liverpool.
Although we have used the Victorian period as just one example in this blog, the point is that you should take enough time to do your research before rushing into the project. Renovating a house while respecting the architectural era requires a delicate balancing act. All sorts of variables, such as paint that contains lead and the availability of colours in that time period, can impact the finer touches of your project.
Once you understand the logistics and the type of work needed for your specific property, you should create a clear and measurable end goal. This can help you remain focused throughout the lengthy process, improve your communications and manage your expectations.
When renovating a period house, many people push for perfectionism. While this is understandable, this can be a mistake when dealing with period buildings. Trying to over modernise the home can result in an off atmosphere. It’s vital to retain the property’s unique charm and character. The key rule to follow here is to only redefine things that are a genuine issue.
Many project leaders are motivated by the idea that they can make a tidy profit on their build. Lucrative case studies, such as The Telegraph’s Making a million from property renovation article, encourage this.
If this is the case for you, it is important to budget for the stuff that matters. Guides on how to renovate for profit show that prioritising superficial defects are important to achieve the sale. In the same vein, you shouldn’t get carried away with the overall scheme, as you could end up spending unnecessary money on something you will enjoy for only a short period.
For this intricate job, you should choose companies with relevant accreditations and a solid portfolio of case study clients. At Ploughcroft, we offer four types of building surveys, including a comprehensive structural survey, which is often needed for reviewing old properties. In many cases, this is also necessary to obtain planning permission (if the scope of the project requires this).
Our qualified building team can handle the entire project by organising all of the preliminary work, such as appointing an architect. All of our builders are accredited and have years of experience in heritage building work, which allow us to offer various home renovation services.
Deciding to start a large building project is not a decision to take lightly. We advise those who are considering a period house renovation to follow our Renovating a Period House Checklist to ensure you’re fully prepared for the task at hand.
Once you are ready to begin your renovation project, contact us for a free professional quote.