Thursday 04 April 2013

Traditional finishes for old houses

If you’re renovating a period property there are a few rules that you need to follow in order to achieve the best results. Period properties, when renovated appropriately can produce some stunning results. Get it wrong, however, and not only will it look odd but you could knock thousands off the value of the building.

The appeal of period properties is that they come with character. This is a quality that is hard to define but it usually involves idiosyncratic features and unusual styles that simply aren’t used any more. This is usually because a cheaper or more effective way of doing it has been discovered. For example, elaborate cornices and ceiling rosettes are rarely put into new build houses because they are costly and don’t add structural value. This sort of functional approach to modern building is understandable but where is the love?

It’s the love that transforms a house into a home. A neutral coloured box might be a blank canvas but the beauty of period properties is that they come with history. They have been loved before by previous occupants. Families have been born and raised here.

It is this sense of tradition that appeals to many of us – which is why it is so important to preserve it properly. Nobody ever said it was going to be easy but once the job is done, the results will be spectacular and give us a feeling of satisfaction far in excess of renovating a new property.

Traditional finishes usually involve sourcing the right paint for the surface and in the right colour schemes. Older wood needs to be treated differently to new wood and period features need a little more TLC. When it comes to windows, depending on the property, period houses love sash windows or wooden casement windows.

Essentially, you can’t go wrong with wood and never fool yourself into thinking that you’ll get away with PVC. You won’t. Spend a little extra time and money restoring or replacing the sash windows and the house and your wallet will really see the benefit in the long run.