Tips and Ideas for Renovating a Heritage House

historic mansion

What is a heritage property?

These are buildings with historic and aesthetic values that are considered worthy of being conserved and protected for future generations. These properties can either be heritage listed or located within a “heritage conservation area” (HCA).

Heritage-listed properties can be purchased at a high priced but are tied with a complicated set of renovation do’s and don’ts. This does that mean they can’t be modified. It is actually encouraged so that the property is well maintained and fit for modern use.

Properties on HCA, on the other hand, can be modified without a Development Application. However, the local council may reject any further major alternations that may impact the look of the streetscape.

If you own a heritage house and want to make changes, whether it is a minor restoration or a major modern renovation, be sure to learn first the rules and regulations that apply from relevant approval agencies.

Typically, rendering the front façade or demolishing and rebuilding a heritage house are not permitted. But owners can be as creative as possible in their restoration ideas to make the property both attractive and functional. Here are more renovations that are permitted for heritage properties:

Make it suitable for living

Owners are encouraged to make their heritage home liveable by installing proper wiring, fire alarms, wifi, etc. Proper wiring is important because a building is useless without it. Hire a professional to make sure the property’s materials will not be damaged during the installation.

Putting in a modern kitchen and bathroom will always be permitted. Some of the elements you should consider are: a new splashback, tiles, hinges, benchtops, appliances, and more.

Exterior facelift

How the house looks from the street will typically have to be preserved. The thing to remember is to merge vintage and contemporary in a symmetrical balance, separating eras in a beautiful way, such that the overall appearance of the property is further improved. When the element you’ve added is no longer in style after many years have passed, you can take it down, install a new one and keeping the property intact.

Maintain the details

Installing new light fittings and fixtures is allowed. However, if the house has ornate ceilings make sure you keep the original appeal.

You can find antique or vintage windows or fixtures in second-hand building yards. Or you can use a joiner who can build a new timber window for you. Only hire professionals with experience on heritage home restorations.

Create an open-plan area

The structure of the front rooms of heritage houses is to be preserved. However, you can still create an open-plan living in the back rooms, with the appropriate permits.

You can take down the wall separating two bedrooms to create one big master bedroom and achieve an open-plan look.

Heritage properties give us a glimpse of by-gone eras. It is the owner’s task to conserve it, preserve it and maintain it for future generations.