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Adding value sympathetically

Heritage homes are full of character and historic interest, but making alterations, whether structural or decorative, could have a negative impact on their market value. Here, Alan Tierney takes a closer look at how to maximise the potential of an older building
While Geraldine and John Whittaker thought that renovating their 18th century property would simply involve cosmetic updates, they soon realised that structural work would be needed. Years of moisture damage from its seaside position meant the walls needed a dampproof membrane and the floor joists were so rotted that they had to be replaced. Not put off by the challenge, the couple persevered with the project and worked hard to respectfully restore the house’s original features. The result is a striking period property that benefits from careful attention to detail throughout
COLIN POOLE

The value of a heritage house is always intrinsically linked to its character and historic interest. In fact, research has recently shown that property prices are up to 50% more than the regional average in areas with the highest proportion of heritage buildings. So it stands to reason that the primary focus of any project on a period home should be on protecting and, where possible, enhancing those inherent qualities. So what areas of an older house are key to its market worth and how can you tackle updates without disrupting its distinctive allure?

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About Build It

The February edition of Build It magazine will help you get your self build, renovation or extension project off on the right foot. It’s packed with inspiration and advice, including: • A run-down barn transformed in to a stunning contemporary home (page 22) • A beginners guide to self build (page 62) • 8 hot ideas for stoves & fires (page 69) • Create your ideal kitchen with our in-depth guide (page 74) • Get room sizes right (page 96) … and more!