Period homes are some of the most desirable on the market. We love the feeling of character and history that comes with an older building as opposed to a crisper, fresher newly built property. But of course there are many challenges that come with remodelling a period home.

Period homes can be charming – photo by Jim Clark

Disrepair

Hopefully your new home will have been well cared for, but maybe you bought your house for a good price as it was a fixer-upper opportunity and you wanted to put your own stamp on it. This can be an extremely rewarding project, but it’s likely that you’ll face many unforeseen problems. Homes that have been neglected for some time may be suffering from unseen conditions such as extensive dampness and termite ridden woodwork, which can be hard to fix. Make sure you undertake a thorough survey when you buy your home so you know exactly what work will need doing, and keep in mind that building codes may prevent you from doing certain kinds of work on older buildings.

Modern Needs

The requirements of a family in the 21st century differ wildly from the family of the 1950s, or even 1850s! It’s likely that the kitchen will be too small for your needs as nowadays we use a lot more gadgets as well as larger white goods such as refrigerators, dishwashers and trash disposal that there simply isn’t room for in older kitchens. When planning to buy a home, think about the changes that you will need to make: can your period kitchen accommodate your needs and is it within budget to build a kitchen addition?


The same applies to bathrooms. Modern homes usually have more bathrooms than older homes and they tend to be much bigger. Think about ways you can adapt your new home to accommodate the space you’re going to need.

Remodel Sensitively

There’s no point buying a beautiful old home if you’re planning on covering it in chrome and glass fixtures with built in LED lights! There’s no reason you shouldn’t have all the modern conveniences you want in your new home, but you should make sure your décor and furnishings blend seamlessly with the charming character of your building. Natural materials are great compliments to older buildings, with rustic wood being especially popular for kitchens and bathrooms. Make a feature of period details such as wood beams, antique fireplaces and original plaster mouldings. Don’t be tempted to cover up or paint over every old thing in your new home – celebrate the building’s history! Get these features cleaned up so they look as good as new. With a little creativity and flair you can create a vibrant, modern home that compliments period features.