As much as I love renovating listed properties, it can sometimes be a bit of a minefield! I love period homes and find it fascinating uncovering stories from the past.
Of course working in old properties invariably means that some are protected and quite rightly so! Buildings are listed for a reason. They may have special historic or architectural interest which is important to conserve.
tips for renovating listed properties
I’m often asked about renovating listed properties and how to add the conveniences of modern living into historical settings. It’s possible to update a listing building, but you must play by the rules! Here’s what I’ve learnt…
1. before purchasing your listed property…
Before buying, ensure the correct building consent has been granted on any works carried out by previous owners. You may have to rectify any unauthorised changes undertaken without the necessary consent, which can be expensive!
2. check your insurance!
Ensure your home insurance is suitable for listed buildings. If disaster strikes (eg, leak from roof), the conservation officer will insist you reinstate with similar materials to match that of the house.
3. hire an architect
Each property is different and needs to be assessed on a case-by-case basis so make friends with your local conservation officer.
I also strongly recommend enlisting an architect to help. Find a reputable architect in your area here.
Your local conservation officer is likely to favour changes which are like-for-like or sensitive replacements.
4. inside and out
Goes without saying but don’t alter or remove original architectural features such as cornices, fireplaces or windows. They are often integral to the buildings’ listed status.
5. just ask…
Seek advice before touching the actual fabric of your property, including any internal finishes or walls. Also, don’t combine modern repair methods. Again, this is something your local conservation officer can help you with.
Remember, you are living in a piece of history and it’s your job as custodian of your property to look after and conserve it!
Contact me if you would like help renovating your property.