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When restoring Edinburgh period property, you have some important decisions to make. Edinburgh builder and period property specialists, Mackenzie Hughes, outline 3 key decisions you should make before taking a sledgehammer to that partition wall.
The first point to consider when restoring Edinburgh period property is choosing the right builder. For many, the natural assumption is to contact an architect first. But, not every architect is familiar with the intricacies of period home construction methods from three hundred years ago. You may want to secure your specialist builder first – but where do you start? There are some basic guidelines which should apply to all builders. This includes being reliable, trustworthy and in a strong financial position – so they can complete the job. Of equal importance is hiring the services of a builder who understands conservation, is passionate about period homes and has a strong track record of successful period property restoration. If you do this, the chances are high that your builder will have close professional relationships with a select group of architects they can recommend to deliver the design and the outcome you’re looking for
Edinburgh’s New Town is a masterpiece of European urban planning. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. However, that doesn’t mean that Edinburgh is a museum. Far from it in fact. Modern architecture is to be encouraged and buildings such as the Scottish Parliament, which sits opposite the Palace of Holyrood House, prove that the modern and the old can happily co-exist. When it comes to restoring Edinburgh period property such as a Georgian home however, there is an extra safeguard in place, to ensure the property adds to the value of Edinburgh as a World Heritage Site, but can still be adapted for 21st century living – listed building consent.
Choose a builder who understands listed building consent which outlines requirements for the exterior and interior of a period home. In turn they will choose the most suitable architect. This is one who will deliver realistic designs and ultimately the restoration outcome you’re after, for the budget you’ve set.
Edinburgh is a city of two faces. This description also applies to New Town period properties. From the outside, they look the same. Behind the façade however, things are very different. Living in a period home doesn’t mean you must dress like a Georgian and swap the luxury of a W.C for a chamber pot under your bed. Most homes have the luxury of ultra-modern conveniences. So, let’s throw away the chamber pot – preferably empty – and take the bathroom as an example of what can be done.
There were no bathrooms in the Georgian period; they’ve simply been created from other space within the home. According to building consent guidelines there are some rooms that can be divided and some which can’t. Your specialist builder and architect will advise you however, and create the perfect bathroom for your lifestyle. This can be a beautiful wet-room with a walk-in shower and luxurious freestanding bath.
Underfloor heating is another innovation which is becoming increasingly popular in period homes. Because of its even distribution under the floor area, it’s the perfect solution for heating large, rambling properties in the middle of a Scottish winter. They also do away with the need for radiators if you’d prefer to free up some more wall space.
To summarise the above, three key decisions to make when planning to restore your Edinburgh period property are: