Thursday, December 20, 2012

Renovating historic homes ? good idea or risky business? - Aussie ...

Old Victorian

Quality renovations can bring a new lease of life to historic homes, making them more liveable and providing enhanced opportunities for capital growth.

From the terrace houses of Paddington to the mansions of Toorak, Australia has no shortage of historic homes. But along with the charm of pressed metal ceilings and wrought iron lacing, character homes also bring downsides. They don?t always offer the layout and features essential to today?s modern living, and in their original state, older homes can be bedevilled by small rooms, poor natural lighting and outdated kitchens or bathrooms.

That can make renovations essential ? though the key to successfully updating a historic home is creating a seamless blend of old and new. Done properly, a sympathetic renovation can boost an older home?s value and achieving a quality result calls for careful planning and professional expertise.

A skilled architect is a must

Enlisting the support of a skilled architect is a sensible starting point especially for large-scale renovations. ?This will help to identify problems relating to structural soundness or council heritage restrictions at an early stage while providing clever design solutions.

It?s also worth speaking to local real estate agents about your planned renovations for advice on whether the proposed improvements will add to the property?s value.

Colour is critical

Colour plays a surprisingly large role in retaining a historic home?s character. Knowing when the property was constructed will help you choose the right palette for the period. Victorian houses for instance were traditionally painted in hues of stone or cream trimmed with Brunswick Green and Indian Red. If you?re considering a contemporary interpretation have a look at what works on other homes in the area, or visit specialist paint outlets for free advice on the colour scheme that will enhance your home.

Budget for surprises

As with any renovation, draw up a budget and allow room for contingencies. Older homes have a habit of dishing up surprises that can lead to budget blow outs, and the last thing you need is to compromise the quality of your improvements because of unexpected expenses.


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