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Maintenance Restoration and Repair in Heritage Properties

Maintenance Restoration and Repair in Heritage Properties

If you are lucky enough to live in a heritage property, then you will be only too aware of some of the drawbacks to living in older houses. Creaky floors, draughty doors and windows and dodgy wiring being just a few.

Whilst they are full of charm, history and atmosphere, they are more of a challenge when it comes to decorating or repairs.

Victorian homes, for example, are often beautifully fitted out, with stunning fireplaces, mouldings and if you’re very lucky, panelling or original doors. These all add to the beauty of such houses and when well cared for, these make wonderful homes.

But it’s that very word ‘care’ which can have different meanings to different people. Some people will avoid doing any work on a house for many years and that means that there comes a time when decisions need to be made because wear and tear has become too extensive to ignore.

Depending on the age of your property, you may come up against a variety of issues which aren’t as easily solved as those you might come up against in modern houses.

First of all, it’s a good idea to look at the difference between maintenance, repair and restoration.

What is Maintenance?

This is what most of us understand to be regular care and work on the fabric and features of a building and which are needed to ensure the survival of the original features.

It includes regular checking of a building to make sure that there has been no damage and looking for issues which may cause damage. A small leak for example might not do any damage immediately but will over time.

Good maintenance ensures that your property remains in good order and protects its value as well as saving on larger repairs at a later date.

How About Repair?

Repair is obviously the mending of features as and when damage occurs. It can include slight modification or full replacement of parts. For example, a slate on a roof or a tile on an original fireplace.

Sourcing original parts can be very challenging but is more than worth it in the long run as complete replacement of any feature is to be avoided in a heritage building. Remember that reproduction timber doors can now be so beautiful that they will be barely discernible to the casual eye as replacements.

It pays to make friends with your local salvage yard if you own a heritage property as they can and will find items which will fit in well with houses from most periods.

Restoration

Occasionally, damage or wear occurs which means complete restoration of an area or feature is necessary.

In older houses, this is common in areas such as floors and windows as these suffer a lot of wear and can be weather damaged.

Restoration is avoidable to a point but there will usually come a time in the life of an older house where something needs replacing or totally restoring.