Period homes are full of architectural gems and uncovering original details within the property can completely transform the look and charm of the place. If you’re looking to reinstate period features in an older property then it’s best to proceed with caution and always seek professional advice where necessary. Period features are often fragile and you don’t want to risk making any long term damages to the beautiful design. With this in mind, below are a few essential tips to guide you through the journey.
Do your research
Before you start on your restoration project, take some time to get to know the property and understand the right strategy to apply. Victorian properties have unique features depending on the year in which they were built. Early Victorian houses tend to be simpler, whilst mid- late Victorian properties usually feature more decorative items such as cast iron lacework. Learning about different Victorian properties can be really interesting, and it will make a huge difference to the end result of your restoration project.
Seek professional advice
Even if you’re looking to complete a lot of the DIY work yourself, it’s still best to seek advice from a skilled professional in order to prevent damaging any of the period features. This is also important to ensure that you are aware of any necessary building regulations that may apply to the building if it is listed. Any work affecting the character of a listed building will require listed building consent and so it’s important to consult the local conservation office before you start.
Take a methodical approach
Once you’ve done your research and planning, it’s time for the fun part- restoring these elegant features to their original value. Take it slow, and don’t try to get everything done in a rush. Period features are fragile, and you don’t want to tarnish any of the original character. When you’re ready to start the renovations, here are a few of the main features you’re likely to be looking to uncover:
Sash windows look absolutely beautiful, however can be a pain for letting in draughts and causing a rattling noise when it’s windy. If your sash windows are still in reasonably good condition, you can maintain their classic features but refurbish and draught-proof them. This will allow you to make the most of the original feature without sitting in a freezing living room in the winter and allowing your energy bills to skyrocket.
Most period houses will have a combination of tile and timber floors or stripped wooden floorboards. The first thing you want to do when it comes to restoring original flooring is to check for any rotten sections. If you’re looking to cover any floor area in other parts of the house, check to see if you can replace rotten sections with original flooring from elsewhere in the house.
Original fireplaces in a period home can act as a stunning, (not to mention incredibly cosy) focal point of a room. If you’re looking to reinstate the fireplace as more than just a decorative feature, it’s important that you get the chimney swept and inspected before use for safety reasons. If it’s a cast iron fireplace you’re restoring, your next job is likely to be removing any old paint before repainting, polishing or tiling it.
Period feature doors have a huge impact upon the look and character of a property. If the original doors are looking a little tarnished, you can strip and repaint them, or you can always invest in new period style doors that have been made bespokely to suit the character of the house.