Renovating an old house is a popular choice for many Australian homeowners. It's an excellent way to craft the home of your dreams and dramatically increase the value of your property. Renovations can breathe new life into a tired home and bring dated features into the 21st century to create a modern and comfortable home.
If you're planning to renovate a period home, then you may be embarking on the project with the idea that it will follow a similar path to a regular home renovation. However, period homes can be a little trickier, particularly if you haven't undertaken this type of project before. Here are two things you should do before your period-home renovation project gets started.
1. Do check with the local council about heritage issues
Many period homes come with a heritage listing that aims to preserve the architecture and culture of Australia's past. If your home is heritage listed, there may be strict guidelines in place that govern what you can and can't do when renovating. Even if the house itself isn't listed, it may be part of a heritage overlay area which covers a whole street or suburb.
A heritage listing or overlay doesn't mean that you can't improve and modernise your home. It just means that you'll need to ensure that all work meets the rules laid out by your council. Although this may seem like it complicates your project, heritage listings and overlays can also be beneficial. It protects the character of your neighbourhood and can also add a sizeable premium to the property value.
2. Do rigorously check the home's condition
When buying any property, it's vital that you have the appropriate inspections completed before purchase. A building inspection and pest inspection should be considered as not optional before you sign any contract of sale. This is even more important when buying a period home because the age of the property makes it more liable for structural problems or pest infestations.
As well as the regular inspections, you should also have a thorough inspection done of the home's electrical system and plumbing system. Even if the wiring and plumbing have been updated since the house was originally built, it may still be a far cry from safe, effective or undamaged. Old plumbing and wiring aren't generally able to handle the demands of modern living and, in the case of wiring, can even be a life-threatening concern.