Earlier in the month we discussed some of the most common challenges faced by owners of period properties. Whilst these issues can prove difficult at times, they are not insurmountable. Here are a few thoughts on our solutions:

  1. Working with building regulations – earlier in the year, we wrote a blog about working with complicated building regulations. Important things to remember include: talking to your local authority or council in advance of any actual construction work; considering what type of work is required; understanding what type of permission you need, and budgeting for necessary planning fees.
  2. Damp – whilst this is a common problem that affects most period properties that haven’t been modernised, there are plenty of ways to tackle the issue. Replacing affected plaster with breathable plaster and using a permeable paint. Consider replacing cement based pointing with lime based mortar and try to contain climbing plants, like ivy, which can cause damage to walls and allow ingress of damp.
  3. Condensation – another common damp-related problem, condensation can lead to mould and timber decay. Insufficient ventilation and poor roof insulation are just 2 common causes. Condensation can be easily avoided by reducing the amount of moisture in the air and not attempting to block draughts and sources of ventilation, especially in areas such as kitchens and bathrooms.
  4. Out of date services – services such as gas and electricity are often as old as the property itself which means that they might not be as efficient or effective as modern installations. These can be assessed and replaced by professionals, hopefully with little structural disturbance or damage.
  5. Poor insulation and energy efficiency – although period homes weren’t built with modern efficiency standards in mind, good maintenance can go a long way in keeping your home running to its full potential. Finding a way to control moisture levels in your home can also help to improve thermal performance. Make sure any materials you use in improving efficiency are breathable to ensure damp doesn’t build up. Ventilation (but not draughts) is another essential in improving energy efficiency in your period property as well as ensuring damp stays away.