Renovating an Older House

When you live in, or have recently bought, an old house it’s really tempting to completely modernise it so that none of the original features remain. This is usually the cheapest approach to renovating and gives you a clean, up-to-date feel, but removing original features and taking away the character of a property can actually decrease it’s value in the long run, so it may well be worth staying true to the original style of the house and renovating it using architectural antiques rather than modern fittings. Here’s a list of areas that you should consider “backdating”.


Getting rid of fireplaces and blocking chimneys off was a bit of a trend a decade or so ago, but these days a fireplace is probably the number one original feature that house buyers hope to see in a period property. If you live in a property where the fireplace has been blocked off, you might be REALLY lucky to find that the original antique marble fire surrounds and tiling have been left intact, but if not, replacing it with a reclaimed on is a really good idea.

Chimney Pots

If you have a fireplace, you’ll need a chimney and there’s actually a surprising amount of detail that goes in to chimney pots. They may sit at the highest point of your house, but getting the pots right is an important feature for character-loving house buyers, so finding one which fits your house, style-wise, is a must.


The plasterwork which goes around the top of the room is also an important feature which is usually in keeping with the period in which the home was built, from the highly decorative designs of the late 1800’s to the bolder, more blocky plasterwork of Deco properies. Many modern properties don’t have features like this at all, so finding it in a period property is a bit of a gem. If you already have existing plasterwork, it’s possible to have it renovated or even replaced in parts with replicas.

Light Fittings

Because of updated electrics in housing, even period properties tend to have the (rather ugly) white plastic light fittings and this can really detract from the overall look of a room if everything else is in keeping with the era. Opt for brass lighting plates and vintage switches for a look more fitting.


Using reclaimed flooring can be a MUCH cheaper way of giving your room the finishing touch. Brand new parquet flooring can be thousands of pounds, whereas using reclaimed parquet will reduce your materials costs by a LOT. If you like a soft covering for your floors, opt for rugs instead of carpet as this will allow you (or your buyers) to change the scheme of the room more easily and make it more appealing to them as a purchase option.