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When to Consider Restoration in an Older Home

You may be considering restoration if a key feature of your home has been lost or damaged, or if an addition or alteration is causing problems and needs to be removed or changed.

An older man wearing safety goggles and a yellow high-visibility vest is kneeling down removing screed from a floor with a hammer and chisel
Removing layers of floor-levelling screed from clay tiles

Going back in time

Restoration is defined as returning a building or part of a building to the way it looked at a previous point in its life.

If your home's design is of a single coherent period and some known key building element is missing or damaged, restoring it could enhance its significance.

However, restoration itself isn’t always the right step to take. Older buildings often undergo centuries of change and adaptation and this can be what makes them so special. Returning a building to some earlier single period may lose some of its character.

Reinstating lost features

Restoration needs to be based on strong evidence that your home did indeed look like that in an earlier period. This may require some research (see Your Home’s History). While some elements that are important to a building’s design - for example windows, balustrades or pinnacles - may have been lost in the past, you shouldn't put in such features simply because houses like yours often had them, or just because they were common of the period.

In the case of listed buildings, consent is very likely to be required for such work. See What Permission Might I Need? for more information.

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