Maintaining Your Home’s Heritage

Maintaining your homes heritage can be extremely rewarding. There are grants available that may help you conserve your property and at the same time help protect England’s built heritage.

Living in older buildings often means trying not to compromise its historic character, whilst still endeavouring to make it meet your needs. Regular and effective maintenance is extremely importance in older houses to help slow the process of deterioration, and, keep your home a safe and pleasant place to live in. It makes sense to keep a check list and draw up a maintenance plan. Keeping an older building dry should be at the top of a maintenance to do list. Regularly check roof coverings, guttering’s, downpipes and drains to make sure they are in good working order.

If your home is listed or in a conservation area, permission may need to be granted if you want to make repairs rather than carry out maintenance work. Finding out about the style and construction of your home is useful when carrying out maintenance and repair, this will help guide your ideas about any changes you may wish to make.

According to English Heritage, you will need Listed Building Consent for all work to a listed building that involves alterations, extensions or demolition and will affect its character as a building of special architectural or historic interest.

Some conservation areas are subject to special controls, specifically when the local authority wants to protect particular building features, such as doors or windows. Contact your local authority if you are unsure.

The Victorian period began with the ascension to the throne of Victoria in 1837 and ended in 1901. It was divided architecturally into several phases. Windows and furnishings can be particularly authentic if you do your research. Sliding sash windows were common throughout the Victorian period, however, that said, in the 1870’s, the Queen Anne Revival style came into fashion, which saw the return of glazing bars.

The Georgian period began in 1714, and is regarded as having ended in 1820. This overlapped with the Regency period. This is a bit of a confusing period with many stylistic differences. The double-hung sash window is the preferred window of that period. It is thought that virtually no Georgian windows were constructed to a standard size. The mid-Georgian sash window was usually of six-over-eight panes. As that century progressed however, they were superseded by windows that were larger in size, including four-over-four or even two-over-two panes. Glazing bars were thinner and the look was more refined. Refinement was the buzz word of that era.

Treating your house as a prize possession rather than an investment plan, will hopefully spur you on to maintain your homes heritage. If your building is listed for example it is considered to be of merit, either due to the architecture or because of the historical value. These buildings are listed so that the heritage invested in historic buildings is preserved for future generations.