You may want to update a number of things in your period property, even though it is already charming and unique. To maintain the charming nature that attracted you to the property to begin with and add some modern flare and comfort with the planned upgrades, you need to strike a balance. Before starting upgrades on any period property, it is wise to carry out detailed surveys to understand the building you are working with as much as possible; companies such as Lewis Surveys offer topographical and measured surveys, aerial photography and CAD & BIM services to help with this important, first task.
Your carbon footprint and personal finances will be quite unforgiving if you fail to upgrade the poor insulation that is normally found in most period homes. Homes experience heat loss in five different ways according to CosyHome Company:
• 30% of heat is lost through draughts
• 25% of heat is lost through walls
• 20% of heat is lost through glass
• 15% is lost through the floor
• 10% is lost though the loft space.
If you want to, you can install the insulation on your own, remembering to put on protective clothes, goggles and a face mask; however to prevent indoor air quality and moisture related problems, it is recommended that you hire a professional installer.
Though costly, you need to have the boiler replaced. A high efficiency, condensing boiler might be your best option. Older G-rated boilers only convert about 65% of their fuel into heat while high efficiency, condensing units are said to increase the conversion up to 86%. You can save up to £225 annually, by making a boiler upgrade, which costs around £2,500, according to the Guardian.
You face an elevated risk of electrical shocks or fire by living in a home with an obsolete electrical system, which is not only a safety hazard but also an inconvenience. Electricity was not standard in all homes when period properties were being constructed. You need to upgrade your home’s electrical system, wiring included, if it has not been upgraded over the last three decades, according to Real Homes.
To ascertain whether you need to upgrade your home’s electrical system, look for the following signs:
• You need to get a professional electrician if your home’s fuse box is obsolete. White, ceramic fuses or a variety of fuses and cast iron switches are some of the main characteristics of old fuse boxes.
• Have your home’s electrical system inspected by a professional if you spot a variety of switches and sockets bearing different styles, as these indicate that it has been partially rewired.
• Modern, electrical cabling is coated using uPVC. If you spot fabric, lead or black rubber coated electrical cables around your home, an upgrade is necessary.
• You also need to consider an electrical system upgrade if light bulbs need to be replaced all the time after blowing out.
There’s no doubt that you bought your period property due to the charming nature of its original features. For any room, these features are stunning focal points. Before upgrading any original features, conduct some research. Restoring these features to their perfect, original condition is not recommended according to the Telegraph. In a contemporary setting, perfectly restored, original features lose part of their unique character, making them blend in and not stand out.
Of course, you will want to upgrade the kitchen if it is too old, regardless of how much you treasure your period home. You can add modern kitchen features to a period home without fear. To keep the space from looking too dated for years to come, keep the layout functional and clean. You can increase the value of an averagely priced, period home in Dorset by up to £27,000 in just eight days by investing in straightforward kitchen upgrades such as, new doors for the cabinets, a brand new worktop and new flooring – according to recent FMB research findings. So it can turn out to be a smart investment decision.
For many, living in a period property would be a dream come true. On the other hand, to get these properties up to modern living standards, you need to make a huge effort. You can get started with the four useful tips described above.