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How to get a period house renovation right

Alan Tierney reveals how taking a sensitive, well-researched approach can provide you with a comfortable, characterful home
This Victorian house was built into the side of a hill; with water pouring in through three of the four walls underground. The homeowners’ only choice was to dig out the floor – by removing 45cm of shale rock – and add a damp proof course
MARC WILSON

When renovating period properties, certain familiar problems and pitfalls crop up very regularly. Some are common to all building projects but others are specific to heritage houses. Most of these are caused by unfamiliarity or a lack of understanding of older structures, how they work and the legislation that protects them – all of which can be true of homeowners, designers and contractors. The overriding solution to these problems is to do your homework, plan carefully and take your time. Here are the basic principles you should embrace to enjoy a successful renovation.

Understanding the structure

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About Build It

Build It magazine's new August 2018 issue is packed full of ideas and practical advice to help you successfully create your dream home. Here's our pick of some of the top features this issue: - Cover house - a characterful oak self build home on a garden plot - Design & build special: the companies who can take the stress out of your project - Wow-factor extensions that add space, light & value - Are heat pumps worth the money? - Why you should invest in rooflights - Create a summer-ready outdoor living space ... and more!