for People with a Passion for Period Property


Comprehensive articles to help you find, maintain and enjoy your perfect period property

As part of your property's renovation or restoration work you may decide to fit new flooring. In this guide by period property we will cover the most important aspects to consider when deciding on wood flooring for your period home as wood is one of the more common flooring choices.

The majority of reported problems with buildings have dampness as either a cause or a symptom. It is also the problem that most people have trouble 'living with.'

Large proportions of all buildings in use today, include brick in some way. For new buildings this is usually as an external wall finish. Older buildings will often include brick as the main structural material for walls.

An erratic climate seems to be here to stay. Greg Pullen asks what this means for our homes and what we can do about it?

Damp is the perennial bugbear of many a period home, but it's usually the owner's fault, says Greg Pullen

Greg Pullen advises homeowners on some of the building issues involved when undertaking work on their homes

Period Properties and the Party Wall Act 1996 © Justin Burns MRICS of Peter Barry Party Wall Surveyors

A concise, clear & informative article. A 'must read' if your house shares a wall with a neighbour.

A practical guide to rendering and plastering with lime.

Restored to glory © Period Property Ltd

A photo restoration story from Wales.

Cob and daub are both very similar materials, being composed of mud and straw, but they are used in quite different ways. Ian Pritchett priovides an insightful explanation.

The author (6'3'' tall and no lightweight) next to two new chimneys, traditionally constructed in the Tudor manner © Cathedral Communications Limited

Chimneys and flues are subjected to intense heating and cooling cycles, condensation and aggressive chemical reactions caused by hot flue gases. Above the roof line the chimney stack is exposed to the full force of the weather. To withstand such conditions, maintenance and repairs need to be of the highest standard, and it is important that design elements of such significance are conserved properly. Yet works are often badly executed by unqualified contractors using inappropriate materials and ill-conceived methods. The result can be damaging to the character and fabric of the building, and may even be dangerous

According to the London Weather Centre, the summer of 1996 had 23 per cent below average rainfall, 21 per cent above average sunshine and 10 per cent above average temperatures. As many buildings in the UK are built on clays which shrink when their moisture content reduces, these warm, dry weather conditions have led to an increase in building movement; more cracked buildings are being reported and insurance claims for subsidence are on the increase.

A new extension contructed with cob walls, rendered and limewashed © Cathedral Communications Limited

Most people associate buildings with earth walls with Africa, Arabia and South America. Yet, despite our damp climate, there are thousands of earth buildings in the United Kingdom, some of which are over four hundred years old.

Original Features (Restorations) Ltd explains how they restored a Victorian tiled floor.

Jeff Howell outlines some basics concerning the maintenance of a brick built house.

As the standard housing unit of the rural poor for centuries, the cottage home is in many ways the most traditional building type in Britain © Period Property Limited

As the standard housing unit of the rural poor for centuries, the cottage home is in many ways the most traditional building type in Britain. Certainly historic cottages have endeared the romantic hearts of many with their 'chocolate-box' rustic charm.

Sound advice for owners of Thatched Properties.

More dream homes were constructed in the 1930s than have been built in any decade since. Fixtures and fittings installed in 1930s homes were usually designed to complement the architectural style of the property, be it modern or traditional.

Metal Windows © Clement Windows Group Limited

A brief history of time in the world of steel windows...from medieval blacksmiths through to todays conservation

Today it is difficult to imagine how dark houses were in the past, not only at night but also, in the gloomy British winter, for much of the day. Despite the significant improvements made to oil lamps in the late 18th century and the increasing use of gas lighting in the late 19th, few houses had a level of lighting that we would consider to be adequate until electricity became generally available after the First World War.

When choosing to clean and protect Victorian tiles the householder has a choice between using traditional techniques or modern alternatives which provide a less labour intensive solution.

A timber framed house with panels re-rendered using a hard cement ©

Important information about valuing older properties.

Things to consider when buying or renovating a period property. An article from The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings.

Ian Pritchett discusses hydraulic limes, plasters, renders and mortars.

Dilys Wilson provides her unique set of tips for the budding property renovator.

If misunderstood, planning permission can create a lot of the anxiety for owners of listed properties. To help you over any pitfalls we answer the key questions.

Estimates suggest around 33% of the world's population live in houses constructed of unbaked earth and some of them are to be found in Britain.

The Brookvale Project is an unique initiative highlighting the importance of the 'heritage' value and renewed interest placed on the late Victorian/Edwardian terraced house.

Energy efficiency is no longer a buzz word or a futuristic plan, it is something that should be in our mindset through every activity we embark upon and every purchase we make. A large step in the green direction comes from looking at the homes we live in and taking steps to make them more efficient.

Department of the Environment, Department of National Heritage - September 1994

A useful resource that outlines Government policy on planning issues and provide guidance to local authorities and others on the operation of the planning system. They also explain the relationship between planning policies and other policies which have an important bearing on issues of development and land use. Local planning authorities must take their content into account in preparing their development plans. The guidance may also be material to decisions on individual planning applications and appeals.

Condensation is often considered as one of the most widely misunderstood causes of ill health and defects in residential properties. It is also often confused with other defects such as penetrating and rising dampness.

Cracking most often occurs in buildings either because of movement in the materials it is constructed from, or as a result of changes in the ground underneath or around the building.

Repointing a wall © Old House Store

To the novice, the prospect of repointing a wall may seem a bit daunting. But it can be done by taking a few simple steps.

The sliding sash window has been with us for over three centuries and the operating principle has remained almost unchanged throughout that time

500 year old cottage, new English oak stairs and casement beam © T Newell

Period properties normally have a greater amount of wood on show compared to modern houses, so properly finished woodwork really can make the difference between an average house and a really beautiful home.

It has become increasingly apparent that existing methods for the treatment of Death Watch Beetle attack are of limited success. New non-destructive techniques for locating and quantifying the extent of infestation provide a far more accurate assessment of the structural implications of Death Watch Beetle attack.

People's expectations of building performance have become unreasonably high and everything is too precious nowadays. It is time for reactions to be tempered by considering the issues.

Previously considered to be an inferior material to stone, brick construction was rarely used in Britain until the close of the Middle Ages. Gerard Lynch looks at its historical development over the last 600 years and its conservation and repair.

Perhaps the most noticeable and yet misunderstood feature of a historic building is that of its glass and the way that glass influences both the atmosphere and ambience of the building.

Sound advice about timber and damp treatments.

George Welbeck Street © Period Property Limited

Sound advice for owners of Georgian Properties

Sound advice for owners of Victorian Properties

An Introduction to Conservation and Repairs.

The art of wood finishing is a complex and fascinating subject. This article provides an overview of stripping of paint and varnish from wood.

Welsh Cottage © Dr Greg Stevenson

You can't spend much time in Wales without noticing the rich heritage of traditional cottages that are to be found in even remote areas.

Paint is all around us, yet few know much about it. This article contains answers to some frequently asked questions on the subject of paint

Remove paint from anything - find out how at this very informative website.

During the 64 years of Queen Victoria's reign, from 1837 to 1901, life in ordinary houses was transformed by a succession of technological developments which we now take for granted: flushing toilets, plumbed-in baths and showers, regular postal deliveries and light fittings capable of illuminating whole rooms at a time.

Rooflight © The Rooflight Company

Let there be light! How to get natural light into a period building whilst retaining its character.

by the BBC's Dr Nick Barratt from the House Detectives.

Ian McCall lets us know what to look out for.

Tree-Ring Dating © Dr Martin Bridge

Just about everyone is familiar with the idea that trees put on one ring a year, and that therefore you can tell the age of a tree by counting its rings. Almost everyone has heard of radiocarbon dating too - the technique that has revolutionised much of the dating framework of archaeology. Few realize however that radiocarbon dates are actually calibrated using dated tree-ring series, and that they give a range of years, sometimes quite a wide range, in which the item was living.

Old timber framed house © Period Property Limited

Ask anyone who has lived in Suffolk for twenty years or more "What is the worst thing that has happened to the character of the county during that time?" The answer will almost certainly be "The poor standard of new housing design and the way new housing design is eating into the character of the landscape.

Thatch has become the chocolate-box icon of country living and increasingly builders are constructing new houses in thatch to take advantage of their increased popularity and premium prices.

Septic tank © Period Property Limited

Once the little old lady moves out and your water-hungry family move in, water consumption increases dramatically. Then one quiet Sunday afternoon when you have invited the neighbours round for drinks, the loo's flushed, and bingo! Catastrophe - Instead of draining away freely it simple fills and overflows. How can you avoid this embarrassing scenario.


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