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The 6 things you should know before renovating a period property

The 6 things you should know before renovating a period property

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For many of us, renovating a period property is a dream come true. Fusing the historic features of a period property together with modern open plan living makes for the perfect home.

But period properties can come with their own set of unexpected issues. This blog will help you to prepare for those issues so your project runs smoothly, and you can remain calm!

1.Plan a contingency budget:

“Two in 5 renovators overshoot their budget by an average of 20%.” Source: Hiscox

With period properties, you can never be 100% what’s behind those walls or under those floorboards. You have to expect the unexpected! When you do your research and get building quotes etc, the best thing you can do is add 20% to the pot as a contingency. That way, whatever lovely surprises your property has in store for you, you are prepared and calm when they arise.

And if your property doesn’t have any surprises, you’ve got the start of a nice decorating and furniture budget!

2.Get proper permissions

As you would expect you may need planning permission, but period properties can often fall into other categories too.

Is your property in a conservation area?

Is it a listed building?

These are all things which need to be explored so you are fully prepared for the renovation journey.

If the proposed work falls under the Party Wall Act you will need to notify your neighbours and get their agreement beforehand. This is only required if the work you are planning to do affects the structure of their home or the boundary line.

To find out more about planning permissions read our blog here.

3. Do your research

Make sure you do a full house survey to identify any potential future issues. Also make note of the central heating system and electrics as they may have been installed many decades ago and now be deemed unsafe. In period properties it can often be the case that your home would require whole new central heating and electrical installation which can eat into a significant chunk of your budget.

For example, if the house has storage heaters, is there a mains gas connection? If not, do your research into exactly how much that will cost to get connected.

4. Get detailed drawings

Your architect could save you a lot of money in the long run. By having fully detailed and comprehensive drawings before the renovations start, it means that there will be less surprises for you.

Changing your mind on a renovation project halfway through without having consulted your architect or builder could make things difficult with your chosen contractors and lead to a lot of stress. Get your plans out on the table right at the start and have them drawn up so everyone can work to the same goal.

5. Retain the historic features

The best bit about renovating a period property is showcasing the stunning period features you discover.

It may be repointing an open plan fireplace, it may be accentuating those ceiling roses, or it may be restoring and painting those beautiful original cottage beams. Take a good look at the property and its features before the renovation starts and make a choice as to which features you want to keep. Make sure that you are clear with your contractors as to which features stay and which features go so you’re all on the same page.

6. Expect the unexpected

This is the warning you will hear from lots of people who have already walked this path before you! Period properties are stunning and full of character. They are also unpredictable. Quite often a lot of these issues can be foreseen through thorough research and surveys. However, they can just arise out of nowhere and de-rail your plans. This is where that contingency budget really comes into its own so you feel calm and prepared for these issues.

Nobody said it would be easy, but they would say that it was 100% worth the effort. Creating your stunning new home with modern design and period features is the absolute dream. If you’d like a free no obligation quote for your period property renovation or would like some advice, please get in touch with us at JMW Carpentry and Builders.


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