If you’re lucky enough to own a period property, then you’ll definitely want to protect your investment and conserve its beauty for future generations to come. There are many do’s and don’ts when it comes to restoration and conservation projects but here are some activities you’ll want to avoid at all costs when renovating your period home:
- Do not hire contractors who don’t specialise in period work
The huge appeal of historic buildings lies in both their visible character and what they tell us about history. When it comes to any work on an old building, they simply do not perform like modern builds and as such, need specialist professionals who understand the materials and techniques used to construct these historic properties. Small changes or using the wrong materials can do an awful lot of damage to such properties, no matter how well-meaning the owner.
- Painting of natural surfaces
The majority of modern paint is non-porous, and this serves to trap moisture inside the walls. In older buildings, evaporation will occur where any cracks in the wall are present, causing crystallisation of any salt and resulting in decay. Moisture is forced to remain in walls which could also lead to damp patches appearing inside the home. Materials used in the construction of older buildings include cob, earth, daub and timber which will all rot when exposed to excess moisture.
- Use of cleaning materials
Unless you’re an expert in stone masonry, you’ll want to avoid any attempts at cleaning original surfaces. Stone and brick can easily be damaged by both air abrasive methods and chemical cleaning agents. Some chemicals react with stone and brick, leaving harmful residue behind on the surface. Even plain water can lead to staining and decay. If you think your property would benefit from having any unsightly marks or stains removed, then always consult a professional. For a reputable Masonry Cleaning Company, visit https://www.stonehealth.com/
- Unnecessarily replace
Don’t be tempted to replace any features if you really don’t need to. Many people rip out timber frames at the first sign of dry rot when it can be halted through increasing ventilation. Replacing with upvc windows is devastating to the appearance of a period property, completely changing its character. The same can be said for other period features such as original doors. All efforts should be made to gently restore original doors and not replace with bright, synthetic modern equivalents.
- Mix and Match
The mix and match of styles is another activity that greatly lets down the beauty of a period property. Adding kitsch features like carriage lamps, window shutters attached to the wall and press-moulded front door panels look cheap and fake. Introducing reproduction décor and fixtures that were never a part of the history of the house will simply look out of place and confusing.