This is a collaborative post.
Preserving the history of an old home can be important for maintaining its value and its character. But what should you do if the original features in your home are damaged? Is it worth preserving an old timber window that is rotting or an old roof that is starting to leak? This guide provides a few points to consider that could help you to decide whether to replace or restore.
Put safety and security first
Old features in your home could be a safety risk. Peeling lead paint on an old door is a good example of this – dust from this lead paint could be toxifying the air in your home and could make you ill. No matter how beautiful the door may be, stripping it down and replacing the paintwork could be necessary.
You should also be wary of old flimsy windows and doors that could be security risks. If burglaries are common in the area, it could be a sensible idea to replace these windows and doors with more secure options.
Sometimes you can preserve an old damaged feature while improving its safety or security. It’s possible that an old door could still be fairly tough – it may just need new hinges and new locks fitted.
Weigh up the costs
You should work out what is more expensive – to restore or to replace. If an old roof has started to leak, replacing a couple loose tiles is likely to be cheaper than replacing the entire roof. However, you also need to consider the long-term costs – are you going to have to do many more small repairs in the future? These repairs could start adding up. A new roof could also possibly provide other perks such as added insulation – and therefore lower energy bills.
In some cases, replacement could be very expensive and may not have much long-term benefits. In some cases, an old roof may only have minor damage and may actually provide adequate insulation. Hiring an expert to assess the condition is the best option in these instances.
Preserve your home’s character
Replacing old features in your home could destroy its character and reduce its value. Old floorboards and old windows can often be important to a home’s character and may be the types of features you want to preserve. But what if they’re damaged?
If old timber windows have become rotten and are letting in water and cold air (as well as posing a security risk), it’s probably better to replace them. However, you may be able to compromise by replacing them with timber windows designed to look like the originals. These could be more suitable than modern options such as uPVC and aluminium. Of course, there could be times when timber is just impractical, such as in areas prone to harsh weather. This is what makes AluClad windows stand out – such windows could provide a mix of aluminium and timber. This could be a way of preserving character while maintaining practicality.
Structural damage may not always have practical drawbacks. In fact, there are times where damage may add to a home’s character and value. For instance, it can often be worth preserving old scratched floorboards providing they still have good structural integrity. Even sanding them down to get rid of the scratches could negatively affect the value.
Consider if planning permission is necessaryWhen it comes to very old buildings in notable neighbourhoods, there could be laws in place against making certain improvements, unless it is a matter of personal safety. You could find that you’re not allowed to replace old windows or doors if a building is ‘listed’ and could be fined for doing so. Always get planning permission on an older building – especially when it comes to exterior improvements.