brick wall
CategoriesPeriod Home Renovation

6 Tips on Renovating a Period Home Without Losing Its Character

After fantasising about how wonderful it’s going to be living in a perfectly restored period home, there is a lot to consider. Check out these great tips for renovating a period home without losing its character while adding modern luxuries to suit your lifestyle.

1. Understand the characteristics of your period home.

Whether your home is Edwardian, Victorian, Tudor or Californian Bungalow, it’s important to really understand what makes a home specific to that period. Look at designs, photos and videos of as many homes as you can from that particular era, so you know exactly what needs to be kept and restored.

2. Replace the front door.

At some point the front door of your property may have been replaced for a more modern version. Many period homes had solid wood doors, and some had glazing or stained glass as part of the feature. Find a new door that will be as close to what the original looked like and paint in a colour suitable to the period.

brick wall

3. Repair and restore the brickwork.

Restoring the old bricks will be a big help to keeping the character of your home, so it’s good to keep them unless they are damaged beyond repair. Bricks can be cleaned and you can patch up any large holes or broken parts with lime mortar. Cover this with stone or brick dust to blend in.

4. Embrace the fireplaces.

Fireplaces were often the centrepiece of a room, as they were the only source of heating. Restoring fireplaces and their mantelpieces certainly helps to keep the character of a period home, even though an open fire may not be suitable. Use a gas fire instead of an open one, or simply use as a lovely ornamental fireplace and use the mantel to put beautiful frames filled with loved ones.

5. Keep the original flooring.

We find that more often than not, the original flooring of a period home is still in good enough condition to use since it’s likely made from solid timber. Instead of replacing it, you can sand and stain the floorboards for an updated look. If you are keen on adding insulation or underfloor heating, it’s best to check with a professional for advice.

6. Make use of the loft or basement.

Needing more space is a common problem for many families, but rather than jumping at adding on an extension to your home, think how you can use the basement or the loft to get the room you need. These areas can be used for living areas or bedrooms, and you may be able to add more light to the basement with a sunken garden.

Let the experts help you with your period home renovation

Our professional design and build team at Period Extensions & Designs would be delighted to work with you on your renovation project to ensure that the right amount of character is kept while creating a comfortable home.

Take a look at some of the projects we’ve worked on, and give us a call on 03 9882 5255 if you’d like to have a chat.

renovation floor plan
CategoriesPeriod Home Renovation

6 Traps to Avoid When Renovating a Period Home

Planning a period home renovation? Check out these 6 traps to avoid so that you get the home of your dreams.

1. Removing too much of a home’s character

Removing parts of a period home because they look like they’ve seen better days is usually not a good decision if they can be repaired or restored back to their former glory. It’s better to try to preserve the detail that you have as much as possible to keep the character that makes the period home.

2. Thinking that DIY is the way to go

We know that you’d love to get stuck in and do as much as you can on your project, but period home renovations are always more successful when a design/build team is in charge. This doesn’t mean you can’t do the odd job here and there, but the project will run more smoothly and on-time if you enlist help from professionals.

3. Not removing interior walls

Just because older homes had mostly walled off living spaces, doesn’t mean you need to keep it that way. Removing your kitchen and dining room walls (if able to do so) to create open areas that are more comfortable for families to live in.

home floor plan

4. Not doing your research

Understanding the characteristics of your particular period dream home is important so you can have a vision of how the end result is going to look. Do your research and find out all about the different design techniques and features that can be incorporated into your home.

5. Using cheap materials

Original period homes were built with the best quality materials available at the time, and there just wasn’t the cheap knock offs or synthetic materials that can be available today. Don’t scrimp on the cost of your materials if you want to keep the value of your home.

6. Not listening to professionals

Design and build teams that have had many years’ experience with period home renovations and extensions understand exactly what needs to be done to make your renovation a success. While you may have many ideas, you should take the professionals word for it and work with them to come up with a plan to get the best result possible for you.

Are you looking for a professional design and build team?

At Period Extensions & Designs, we have a fantastic team of period home experts who love nothing more than starting a renovation or extension project with a new client. Feel free to give us a call on 03 9882 5255 and we’ll book in a time to meet and find out how we can help.

modern-style light bulbs
CategoriesPeriod Home Renovation

10 Ways to Give Your Period Home a Modern Makeover

Living in a period home does not mean that you have to do without today’s modern trends and technologies. In this post we are going to take a look at 10 ways that you can give your period home a modern makeover while still keeping that romantic and nostalgic aesthetic that you love.

1. Open up your living spaces.

Older homes tend to have a lot more closed off rooms, with a separate kitchen, dining and living room. Bring your home into the modern ages by opening up your spaces and removing some walls if you are able to do so. Not only does this create a bigger feel to your living areas, but also can make the whole place feel lighter.

2. Choose modern paint colours.

It wasn’t until the last century that the colour palette expanded for the interior of a home, with various shades of white being the common choice beforehand. Applying fresh coats of paint in modern colours can do wonders for a home facelift and will certainly wow people as they walk through the front door.

3. Install steel-framed windows and doors.

Changing out the existing windows and doors for steel-framed versions adds an updated industrial look that will never go out of date.

4. Add new shelving.

If your wall shelves are looking a bit aged, replace them with new modern styles. Glass shelves are a good option.

5. Make use of the loft.

A lot of period homes have a loft that was originally used for storage, but after making more storage space in your other living areas, you can transform the loft into a usable space. Some ideas include making it a spare bedroom, an office, a gym area, or even a playroom for the kids. Create a staircase into your hallway so that it’s easily accessible.

6. Brighten up your staircases.

Speaking of staircases, these are a part of the home that you can use to add some colour or personality. Use either one statement colour or a combination of two, with a modern handrail to complete the look.

modern-style light bulbs

7. Update your lighting fixtures.

We’re lucky that in our home furnishing and hardware shops there are countless styles of lighting fixtures to choose from. Get rid of all your old ones and find some new steel or glass options that you can put right through the house for an instant modern lift.

8. Replace curtains with blinds.

While curtains work well in many homes, sometimes the drapes used over larger windows or bay windows can date a home’s look. Swap them out for blinds in a shade of silver or black instead.

9. Consider your decorations & furniture.

Often a home can instantly feel older by the type of furniture and decorations that are used. Even though you still may need to make some adjustments to certain parts of the home, updating all of your furniture and homewares in the living areas can completely transform your period home.

10. Add a modern layer to the exterior.

A period home can still be a period home even with a modern touch on the outside. Consider putting wooden facades over half of the existing brick for a two-toned exterior with a funky contrast.

Unsure where to start?

Using the services of a professional design and build team who dedicate their lives to period homes is the key to success for giving your home the modern makeover you desire. Check out some of the projects that Period Extensions & Designs have been involved in and give us a call on 03 9882 5255 to find out how we can help you with your period home renovation.

living room furniture
CategoriesPeriod Home Renovation

Period Home Renovation: How Much Does It Cost?

How long is a piece of string? Since every renovation project is different, it can be difficult to know exactly how much it is all going to cost before things get under way. What we can help you with though, is understanding what type of costs are involved and why having a budget is so important.

Your budget is the first step

Putting a budget together is not only crucial for understanding how much your renovation project is going to cost overall, but it also helps with keeping track of what payments need to be made and when.  If you find that mid-way through renovations you have actually spent less on one room than you had intended, you could use the extra money to splash out on some fancier features that you originally thought you couldn’t afford.

If you are getting a loan from the bank, it is possible that they will want to see your budget to ensure that you have a realistic plan for the money.

One golden rule to remember is that it’s always best to over budget rather than make things too tight, so you have some room to move if anything unexpected should happen.

What costs do I need to consider?

As a guide, these are the things that you will need to include in your budget:

Planning fees: This includes fees for inspection and surveying, planning permissions and regulations.

Accountant fees: If you are using an accountant to keep track of your books.

Insurance: For your home and contents – you should have insurance before renovations begin.

Utilities: Power, gas, water

Materials: Wood, concrete, paint, windows, tiles

Labour costs: Fees for your contractors and builders, as well as designers and architects.

Waste removal: To ensure that waste is disposed of according to council guidelines.

Furniture, fixtures and homewares: Installing appliances, lights and taps, furniture and decorations

living room furniture

What is the best way of getting an accurate budget?

Unless you have many years of experience renovating period homes and understand all the ins and outs of how to go about it, it can be difficult to create a true budget. The best way of getting an accurate budget is by working with a professional design and build team that know all the pieces of the puzzle, from council permits to material and labour costs.

Having a clearer idea of what the whole project is going to cost right from the start will save you a lot of stress and sleepless nights later on.

Looking for a professional design and build team?

Our expert team at Period Extensions have an amazing wealth of experience behind them and would be delighted to work with you on your next project to ensure that you have a budget in place before the first tool comes out. Feel free to look around our site to see just what we can do, and don’t hesitate to pick up the phone – we’re happy to have a chat.

man measuring floor tiles
CategoriesPeriod Home Renovation

Period Home Renovation: 5 Golden Rules to Follow

Starting your period home renovations? Don’t do anything until you read these five golden rules to follow so that your project is a success.

1. Don’t think you can do it all.

Even if you like to get stuck in with a bit of DIY, renovating a period home is not always a straightforward process. Usually there is a lot more that needs to be done than a regular renovation, and it would be such a shame to miss out on important details that an expert could have easily picked up. By speaking to a period home expert, you’ll be able to get a detailed plan of what needs to be done and ensure that the whole process is managed in the best way possible.

carpenter measuring flooring

2. It’s not a race to the finish line.

While it is perfectly understandable to want to get your home finished as soon as possible, you must remember that good things take time. It’s a good idea to spend lots of time in the property going over ideas and even talking with family, friends and period home experts about different ideas. You may find that you are keen on one idea this week, and completely change your mind the next.

3. Have a realistic plan.

Planning what needs to be done with suitable time frames is key to your renovation process. But don’t forget that speaking with a period home expert will ensure that your plan is realistic, and you haven’t set your sights too high. Once you have a plan in place, make sure that it’s executed in realistic time frame so that tasks are not rushed, and you’re not left regretting things later.

4. Research, research, research.

Knowing that you want to live in a beautiful period home is one thing, but understanding the right type of home is another. Take your time researching the different period styles and find the design that you fall in love with. Once you’ve made a decision, look into any special design features of the period to ensure that you are able to renovate your home correctly without over modernising.

5. Accept that perfection may mean imperfections.

When renovating or building a modern home, square angles, symmetry, smooth lines and finishes are always going to be of upmost importance. But the beauty of period homes is that you can let go of the fact that everything has to be absolutely perfect. It’s very rare that you’ll see a long-standing period home without any imperfections – after all when these homes were originally built, they didn’t have the same building standards, tools and materials that we do today. So, if right angles aren’t quite what they should be and you have little cracks or rough patches, embrace them and consider them extra character for your beautiful home.

Need a hand with your period home renovations?

Enlisting the help of a professional design and build team with many years’ experience with period homes is guaranteed to set you up for success. Find out more about what our period home experts have to offer and feel free to give us a call at any time – we’d love to work with you to renovate the home of your dreams.