Restoring a Heritage Property: What Not to Do

Patching Up vs Replacing

While it may seem like a small hole in the wall or a tiny crack in the bricks can bepatched up easily, this is often the first sign of a much bigger problem that will demand a lot more time, attention, and money if you let it progress. For instance, cracks can highlight issues with the building’s foundation, and crumbling bricks may be a sign that the structure needs to be reinforced by a professional.

Irreparable Damage

There are heritage buildings that have not been lived in or used for decades, sometime seven centuries. When these properties were designed and built, they were done so with materials that are irreplaceable. That means today’s physical and chemical construction tools will permanently damage or destroy parts of the building. Using the correct tools is paramount to the success of your restoration.

Inappropriate Additions

One of the most common pitfalls in heritage property restoration is unwelcome additions. Modern or historically inaccurate additions to the building will undoubtedly mean that it loses some of its historical value. Removing elements of the building can also have the same effect. If you want to make changes that are described as ‘Material Changes’ (such as taking out a wall or removing a chimney breast) you must apply to your Local Authority for consent. However, in many instances, changes to things such as windows and doors can be done if you don’t disrupt the overall character of the building. The Benenden Conservation Range by The Heritage Window Company accurately replicates the appearance of traditional steel windows, while delivering exceptional performance.

Modern Building Codes

Safety is the number one reason that modern building codes exist but what you must remember is that these have been formulated with today’s construction methods and

materials in mind. Heritage buildings were built very differently, therefore overcoming certain building codes to prevent any irreparable damage to the building may require some creative thinking on your part.