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Period Home Renovation: Frequently Asked Questions

Period home renovation isn’t something that can happen overnight.  It takes a lot of time and effort to get up and running. That applies when you are renovating or extending properties of all period styles. Therefore, whether you’re new to period renovation, or if you are midway through the process, you will likely have plenty of questions to ask. This is not a bad thing!

We’ve put together some of the most common home renovation questions people ask when taking on Australian period property. Think of this as a brief guide to what you can expect from the process. For more detail and advice, we recommend you take a closer look at our resources and guides on getting started. For now, however, let’s address some of the more burning queries people have been known to pose.

What is a period home?

‘Period property’ refers to homes which were designed and built after a particular trend or aesthetic. These buildings are historic, with some dating back more than a century. For example, you may find Victorian period homes still standing from the late 19thand early 20thcenturies. They act as time capsules which show us what properties looked like in times gone by.

Why do people renovate period properties?

Period homes have a beautiful aesthetic to them.  In a sea of similar-looking dwellings across Australia, it’s nice to see the odd Art Deco or Foundation property still standing. Therefore, people choose to renovate them to bring them up to code. While period homes look wonderful on the outside, they will often need extensive work on the inside so that they are liveable once again and to meet your modern lifestyle needs.

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How much will a period renovation cost?

Sadly, there is never going to be a straight answer to this question. Unfortunately, one of the most common home renovation question is ‘what do I need to budget for’?  This will largely vary from project to project. We’ve produced a complete guide on what to expect from your renovation in terms of budgeting and planning, which should help you to get started.

Otherwise, you will need to consider all possible scenarios.  A professional period home expert will be able to help you work out a reliable estimate.

What things should I consider before I start?

Along with budgeting, there are a few things you should be careful to bear in mind with any home renovation. Most importantly, you’re going to need to think about how feasible your project is.

You should never think about taking on a period renovation alone. These projects require dedication in terms of time, effort and skill. You should always plan to work with a period renovator or design expert who can help you to manage your project.

Do I have to find ideas and materials myself?

Finding ideas for period home renovation is part of the fun of the whole process. However, it will be to your benefit if you discuss such plans with your builders or renovation team. They will be able to let you know how feasible your design ideas are, and will help to look for ways in which you can retain period charm while bringing a house up to modern code.

It is never recommended that you source materials yourself. It will save you time, money and effort to draw up a ‘shopping list’ with a design or renovation specialist. This way, you won’t run the risk of the material or equipment working out to be a poor fit.

Porch of a white house

Can I mix period styles and looks together?

There is certainly nothing stopping you from blending your unique look. However, it is never recommended that you take on a blending of styles and aesthetics without doing some background research.

Effective period home renovation relies on a delicate balance between the old and the new. If you don’t look for this balance, you will run the risk of your property looking too much like one style with none of the features of the other. Even worse, you may run the risk of your home looking garish or poorly-planned.

We have posted a series of guides on what to look for and how to balance classical charm with modern innovation. There are also plenty of great ideas elsewhere online which you can look at and take inspiration from. The key is to honour the period, but not too much. In the same vein, you should never be too willing to remove its original charm. Otherwise, what is the point of renovating at all?

What can a specialist renovations expert offer me?

We recommend you look for a specialist with specific experience in renovating and extending period homes. While there are many companies offering building services, you need a qualified design and build team. One that will breathe new life into your period home. A specialist who has the eye for aesthetics and the time to put the effort in.,

The danger in hiring a generic builder lies in the fact that you may end up with a renovation that detracts from the original look of the property. It is better to look for a company with period experience who can help.

I need a period renovations expert. What should I look for?

When looking for a building team or period renovation specialist, you should, of course, look for a portfolio. A company or specialist with a demonstrable portfolio of work will give you greater confidence when hiring than one without. What’s more, you should take a close look at accreditations, awards and material they have written on the subject.

Period renovations experts will always be happy to share their knowledge of their trade. They may specialise in one or more periods of architecture or may offer a wide-reaching approach. In any case, you should never feel afraid to reach out and ask questions.

As always, you should also read customer reviews. These may be hosted on a specialist’s website, available via Google, or through social media channels.  Word of mouth can be very helpful when making a final decision.

Carpenter at work

How long will a renovation take?

This depends heavily on the condition of the property in question. Arranging a renovation project alone can take time to map out and complete. We have explored the general process you can expect from period renovation elsewhere in our guides.

Some renovation projects will require you to put a lot of your life on hold. It is, therefore, crucial you make a firm estimate, with help, as to what you can expect from project timescales. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice via consultation.

The short answer to this question is – of course – ‘it takes as long as it takes’. If you are interested in starting a period renovation but want it to be completed as soon as possible, you may not get everything finished on time. Period renovations should never be rushed, under any circumstances.

Further Questions

We hope this period home FAQs guide has helped to answer some of your queries. These are just some of the most common home renovation questions people ask before getting started. You may have your own specific concerns. In which case, we always invite you to speak to our knowledgeable and experienced team at your convenience.

If you have further questions you’d like to ask us, call our team directly on 03 9882 5255, or email us via web form. No matter how complex or straightforward your renovation ideas may be, our design and build team at Period Extensions & Designs is here to help.