October 15, 2019

How To Update A Period Property

Old houses typically exude a certain charm and character that is hard to replicate with new buildings. However, if you live in a period house, you will appreciate the need to update a few things. To this end, the aim should be to strike the perfect balance between installing modern comfort features and retaining the charm and character that attracted you to the period house in the first place.

How To Update A Period Property

1. Poor Quality Insulation

The vast majority of old houses have poor insulation that leads to a huge carbon footprint and expensive bills. CosyHome Company reckons that a period home loses in 5 major ways:

  • Loft 10%
  • Floors 15%
  • Glass 20%
  • Walls 25%
  • Draughts 30%

You should consider updating the insulation to your home. Preferably, you should have the insulation professionally installed to ensure quality workmanship – they can use floor plan software to ensure they carry out the job correctly. For instance, opting for professional installation with high-quality craftsmanship ensure you negate air quality problems and moisture-related problems.

2. Replace The Boiler

Replacing an old boiler is an expensive endeavour, but a necessary one nonetheless. Whilst investing in a new boiler, opt for a high-quality high-efficiency condensing boiler. This particular type of boilers typically converts at least 86% of the fuel input into heat. Older G-rated boilers are less efficient as they convert about 65% of the input. According to The Guardian, while the initial cost of a high-quality boiler can be as high as £2,500, it could save you as much as £235 annually.

3. Outdated Electrical System

Outdated electrical systems are a fire and electrical shock hazard. Additionally, their inefficiencies also make them very inconvenient to use. Period houses were most likely built before electrical systems for residential properties were a must. Real Homes reckon that you need to rewire (at least, partially) your home if your home has not been re-wired for 30 years or more.

Signs you need to rewire your home include:

  • If the house has an old-fashioned fuse box, you need to consider updating that the fuse boxes at the very least. Old fuse boxes were made of wood boxes, white ceramic fuses, and cast iron switches;
  • If the house has a wide variety of switches and sockets, you should consider a partial rewire;
  • If the electrical cables that make up the wiring are covered with fabric, black rubber, and or lead, you definitely need an electrical system rewire. Virtually all electrical cables are coated with uPVC;
  • If you are changing your light bulbs much more frequently, consider calling in an electrician.

4. Respect Original Features

For many people who buy period houses, the main draw is their charm and character, which is contained in the original features. Original features accentuate any décor you choose to install in the house. They can also be the focal point in any room. As such, you should do your research before tweaking original features. Additionally, The Telegraph advices period house owners not to struggle to restore the features to their original state. Doing would result in a loss of character, which will make your features blend into space, rather than stand out in the midst of contemporary décor.

With that in mind, you will need to update certain sections of the house. For instance, you will need to update the kitchen, especially if it is very old. While updating the kitchen try to incorporate modern elements all around to infuse functionality. However, ensure your design is clean and simple, which negates the possibility of your house becoming outdated very quickly. A recent FMB research showed that improving the kitchen by installing new cabinetry, flooring, and worktop can add as much as £27,000 to the property value for the average house in Dorset. As such, such an investment could pay for itself.

Living in a period property is a dream come true for the vast majority of us. That said, it is important to be mindful of the fact that period properties require some updating to get the living conditions on par with contemporary housing. Following the 5 tips above will come in handy while updating your period home.