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Digital Subscriptions > Build It > March 2017 > 11 COMMON PERIOD HOME RENOVATION MISTAKES


Thinking of revamping a heritage house? Alan Tierney’s expert tips will help you avoid some of the classic pitfalls and ensure you enjoy a successful project
Helena Chugay and Crawford Currie’s conversion and extension of a 16th century mill includes a raft of clever touches that celebrate its heritage, such as the introduction of picture windows to highlight the mill wheel

1 Going too fast

One of the oddities of the house buying process in the UK is that we inevitably have to make decisions based on very short assessments. Most purchasers will take possession having spent no more than an hour in their new house – and usually much less. Nevertheless, I regularly meet clients at this stage who already have detailed ideas of the alterations, improvements or renovations they’d like to make.

To my mind, this is always a mistake. It’s essential to take time to understand the building and what you like about it. There will be many features that you hadn’t had time to notice but are of vital importance to the quality and feel of the house. Elements that initially seem inconvenient or worn out will come to be favourite parts of its character as you get to know it. So if the property is habitable, I’d strongly suggest you live in it for a few months before you develop your plans. If not, go through every room carefully over a period of a few weeks – noting, measuring and drawing what is there so you can take full stock of what you’ve got.

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About Build It

The March edition of Build It magazine brings you all the inspiration & practical advice you need to complete your home building project on time and on budget, including: • A traditional timber frame house on a quiet Hampshire plot (page 22) • How to build an oak frame home on a budget (page 68) • What you need to know about underfloor heating (page 75) • Windows for renovations (page 78) • How to combine renewables (page 86) • Adding wow factor (page 92) • Common renovation mistakes (page 104) … and more!