Monday 23 May 2016

Advice for extending your period property

Planning an extension to a period home will require careful attention to detail to ensure that the property retains its unique character. One of the most important considerations for period property extensions is to ensure that any addition to your property is in keeping with the existing proportions of your home, so that your property doesn’t lose any of its original charm.

Here are just a few tips for extending your period home.

Design and materials

When designing an extension for period homes, it may not be necessary to replicate the exact era the property was originally built in, as your property may have been influenced by a number of architectural style movements over the centuries and decades that you can incorporate into your extension.

However, for those who want to stay true to the original look of their period, it is worth bearing in mind that although conservatories were often a feature of Victorian homes, they may look out of place in homes from other periods.

When working on the design of the extension, you will want to ensure design coherence. For example, if your existing house has sliding sash windows, then install sash windows in the extension. This will help you to add value to the house and is the essence of a successful extension project.

Think about going upwards (or downwards) as well as outwards and be clever with your use of space. Try not to eat too much into your garden space and instead think about using any space that is not currently well utilised.

The reversibility of extensions is also key, as future buyers of period property may want to return your home to its original condition. This can be achieved by creating an independent structure with the minimum number of fixings to the old building.

The use of traditional materials, such as lime mortars, plasters and renders and materials like hemp lime or clay blocks, can also be used alongside more modern materials to stay in keeping with the period of your property.

Planning and regulations

You will need to bear in mind the planning restrictions that are in place for most homes. There are quite strict guidelines about how far you can extend depending on the age and type of your house.

If your property is listed, or falls within a conservation area, consulting the government’s Planning Portal or speaking to your local authority’s conservation officer will give you an indication of the regulations you will need to adhere to. If you own a listed building you will need to apply for listed building consent for any planned extensions.

Groups such as The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, The Victorian Society and the Georgian Group may also be able to provide additional guidance on your extension plans.

If you are renovating or extending your period home, The Sash Window Workshop can help with many aspects including manufacturing and installing exterior french doors.

For a free, no obligation on-site survey and quotation, please contact us on 01344 868 668.