Your older home

No matter how modest they may appear to be, older buildings are valued as they tell us about the past, meaning a lot of them are protected by authorities due to their special historic or architectural appeal. When living in or owning a listed building or living in a conservation area there are other things to consider, but we’re here to help you discover more about owning a different, but exciting home.

Owners and conservation

There are challenges when owning a historic home, in regards to structural decay and modernisations. As the owner, it is particularly important that you look after your home. The best way to make sure the building stays in good condition is by keeping on top of the maintenance. These involve a number of little things, including preventing leaks, clearing gutters and repairing windows – all things to help keep the building watertight and weatherproof.

Four vital points for owners

Living in an older building means you need to find the balance of ensuring it meets your needs but doesn’t compromise its historic features and character. Always ensure that you:

  • Carry out regular maintenance: just little amounts of maintenance carried out regularly will keep your home in good condition, especially when it comes to historic buildings.
  • Respect its craftsmanship and materials: when working on your building, use techniques and materials that sympathise with what is already there.
  • Find out if any additional protection applies: if your building is listed or in a conservation area, before you carry out any work additional permission might be needed. Contact your local authority to see if you are in a conservation area.
  • Understand your building’s importance: this can be anything from the people who lived their previously, or the materials used to build and design it. By knowing the significant features of your building, you can use this as a guide if and when planning extra work.

Complex changes and repairs

Larger work or changes to your home are likely to need specialist advice. A specialist can give you advice on what materials would be most suitable to use and what type of proposal would be best.

Also, you will also need specialist advice if you plan on making your home more energy efficient, due to the materials likely to be used in your home.

At Nicolas Jacob Architects we specialise in the conservation of historic buildings, and we are always very happy to assist and advise.

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