Tuesday 09 April 2013

The importance of preserving period features

We’ve all seen property programmes where a buyer gets their hands on a period property and proceeds to rip out the existing period features and replace them with bland modern alternatives. Original floorboards and fireplaces are ripped up or plastered over. Ceiling rosettes and cornicing are torn down and woodwork glossed over. Watching it from your sofa, you can hardly bear to look.

We all understand the logic behind it. For most developers there is no room for sentiment. It’s all about the bottom line, so why spend money replacing and repairing cornicing and timber sash windows when you can rip them out and replace with modern materials for a fraction of the price? After all, if you’re renting out or selling, then it really makes no difference to you as a developer.

That still doesn’t make it any easier to watch though, does it? For anyone whose home lacks a little character, watching someone else dispose of theirs without even a second thought can be galling. When you love your own home it can be hard to see someone with no emotional attachment work on a house. That’s what happens when it’s all about money. However, might these developers be missing a trick?

While it may cost more to restore period features than to start again with a blank canvas, in the long run period features will increase rental and sale value.

One of the reasons it’s so hard to see period features being dispensed with is because so many of us find them appealing. People are often willing to pay more to have them and restoration is a labour of love that is that brings financial rewards in the end.

While some developers are simply looking for a quick profit there are others that really do appreciate these features and look to preserve them for future generations of home owners.