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Just How Easy Is It To Renovate Period Properties

We know Chester loves period properties, but just how easy are they to renovate?

Chester is so fortunate to have such a fabulous collection of period properties. Many purchasers will only look at period property to purchase because of their love of history and the unusual and unique features that they often have. But despite the romantic charm of unique features and historical talking points, property owners can often find that renovation of these period properties becomes something of a labour of love.

We find that period properties can prove to be a minefield of planning constraints and unforeseen problems.

Permitted Development

Many character properties have limited permitted development rights on them, especially when located in conservation areas. So it’s a clever idea to check with your local planning office to see whether the area you’re looking to buy in has relaxed rights. If not, it could make the renovation and planning process just that much more difficult.

If permitted development rights have not been relaxed, check how strict the local council is on renovation.  Sometimes it’s considered that such renovations are an opportunity to ‘Improve the appearance of the conservation area.’ Now in theory this makes sense, but sometimes it can work out to be even more costly than originally anticipated (especially when working to a tight budget).

Depending on your property, conservation officers may insist that you use traditional building materials and techniques. Although this gives a wonderful finish to the property, it can usually be more expensive and will likely lead to a knock-on effect on the overall budget. For example, some lime plasters (which many character period properties use), require special breathable paints that are costly. That being said, they do lend very well to adding wonderful character to the property!

Survey to identify issues

One of the major factors to take into consideration when seeking to purchase and renovate character properties, is to undertake a structural survey, to see if there are any underlying problems that may affect the property, it is also key to look out for is obvious signs of damp or cracking, if there are any obvious signs of this, it may be an idea to look in more detail and potentially bring it up with the current owners to assess the severity of any potential problems.

Although the renovation process can seem stressful and daunting, the reward it can provide once the property is finally finished to your exacting standard, then there is nothing more satisfying, bringing an older property back to life and enter a new era of the properties history.

At Homesale and Homelet we’re well practised in managing period properties. We’d be delighted to help you with any questions you might have in relation to your period property, so please contact us on 01244 313900 or email me at lisa@homesaleofchester.co.uk to talk further.


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