Using Your Research
Practical information about the style and construction of your home will be useful for carrying out good maintenance and repair, while understanding the significance of your building can enhance the sense of community and also guide your ideas about any changes you wish to make.
Knowing what is significant about your home - whether it's listed, in a conservation area, or simply an older building - is important if you are considering making changes to it.
You may need permission, especially if your home is listed or in a conservation area (see our section entitled What Permission Might I Need?) and you will need to show that the changes you propose will be sympathetic to its character and surroundings. Your research can be useful when you apply for that consent.
If you are thinking about making changes to your home, it can be useful to find out what changes have already been made over the years. Many older buildings will have been added to or adapted over their lifetime. Later additions may be built from different materials or other methods of construction may have been used.
Knowing what materials your house is made of, and how it was made, will help you maintain it efficiently and decide what changes you can make. See our section on Making Changes to Your Home.
Older houses can vary greatly in their energy efficiency depending on how they are built and maintained. Knowing the construction history of your home can go a long way towards helping you improve its thermal performance. See our section on energy efficiency.
Keeping a record
You should keep a record of the information you have collected. Not only is it of practical use, it's also interesting both for current and future generations. If you're selling your home, it could make an interesting scrapbook for a prospective buyer. Local schools, history projects or archives could also be interested in what you find out.