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How to maintain an old property

Owning an older property is a privilege in its own right, but the allure and timeless elegance of older homes means that some upkeep is required, especially if you’re planning on putting it on the market.

Beyond your home’s overall value, neglecting to maintain an older property can also result in costly repairs and the gradual loss of its unique appeal.

If you’re wondering how to preserve the charm and character of your old home, here are some top tips for keeping it in tip top condition.

Related: The pros and cons of buying a period property


Weatherproofing is an essential step in keeping a historic building intact. Draughts and unwelcome moisture can be avoided by caulking cracks and holes in any walls, doors and windows.

To tackle chilly British weather, install draught excluders and weatherstripping where possible. By strengthening it against weather, you can make your home more comfortable while also protecting the structural integrity.

More home improvement tips

Embrace regular inspections

Routine inspections are a great way to keep on top of your home and any minute changes that may occur over time.

Older houses frequently develop hidden quirks and eccentricities that often need attention. Consider hiring a certified specialist to evaluate the plumbing, electrical and structural integrity of the property.

Keeping your finger on the pulse will enable you to take preventative measures against potential problems, rather than costly remedial measures.

Set aside emergency funds

If you’ve owned your home for many years, you might be used to regular maintenance and upkeep. But even still, unanticipated repairs could catch you off guard and create quite the financial blow.

It’s a good idea to set up a fund for maintenance and repairs to lessen the impact on your finances should anything go wrong.

Respectful renovations

When it comes to renovating beautiful period properties and traditional homes, it’s often important to strike a balance between modernisation and preservation.

If you want to incorporate a few modern touches to improve the aesthetics and comfort of your home, look for specialised contractors who have experience working with historic buildings. By using their knowledge, you can restore and enhance your home while also respecting the original character of the building.

Timely painting and maintenance

Make a regular habit of inspecting the inside and external walls of your home for any signs of deterioration. Check for things like flaking plaster, cracked paint or rotting wood and immediately treat the issue if you find any evidence of it.

When redecorating or refurbishing your old property, opt for breathable paints and finishes. These allow the walls to regulate moisture, reducing the risk of dampness and maintaining the integrity of the original materials.

If your home is ready for a fresh lick of paint, choose shades that harmonise with the architectural period and the style of the building for an updated look that is in keeping with the home’s charm.

Preserving original features

Part of the appeal of older homes is their unique and original features such as inglenook fireplaces, exposed beams, and vintage tiles.

Preserving these features means maintaining the property’s historical value, so consult with experts who can advise you on the best methods for repairing and preserving your home.

Upgrade for energy efficiency

Due to a lack of modern and eco-friendly features, older homes are typically much less energy efficient than new homes. While preserving the historic character of an old home is important, it’s also essential to make your old property energy-efficient and comfortable for modern living.

Consider upgrading insulation, heating systems and windows to minimise energy wastage. These small changes will not harm the aesthetics of the home but improve its comfort while also lowering energy bills and reducing its carbon footprint.

Are you wondering about your home’s energy efficiency? Find out all there is to know about EPCs here.

Pay attention to the roof

The roof serves an integral role in protecting your property, so it requires special attention. Regularly inspect the roof for leaks, decayed wood or damaged tiles as addressing these issues promptly is vital for protecting the building’s structure from things like water damage.

Related: Winter property maintenance tips

Consult preservation experts

If you’re seeking the best approach to maintain or restore your old property, consult with a preservation expert as they will be able to recommend skilled contractors, offer valuable advice, and guide you through any legal requirements related to period properties.

How much is your period home worth?? Contact your local Martin & Co branch today to book a free valuation.

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