Period features in a home are treasures you’ll want to preserve as far as it’s possible. It’s just knowing how… and here’s how…

If your sash windows are in good nick, you can get them refurbished and draught proofed by a specialist company and the cords replaced for their smoother running. However, if your windows are draughty and rattle, you might want to have them replaced. If the building isn’t listed and planning laws permit, here’s a chance to go for more energy efficient. It’s possible to install double-glazed wooden box sash windows in period styles such as Victorian or Georgian. Not a cheap option, but immeasurably superior to uPVC double glazing in a period building.

Floors will be either tiled or timbered in period homes. Dark-stained timber can be stripped to reveal the true beauty of wooden floors. Rotten sections can be replaced by pieces you can reclaim from other rooms where you might lay a concealing carpet, for instance. Or, you might decide to go with striking parquet flooring. If you’re laying new wood flooring in keeping, be mindful of the width of the boards in relation to other elements of interior architecture. Boards that are too wide in a small room can overwhelm, while those that are too narrow can look mean.

Stone flooring is easier to replicate. You can lay modern encaustic tiles, which are similar to Victorian ones, for example. Some companies specialise in laying them in intricate designs that match original ones.

It’s advisable to keep a fireplace in situ in a reception room. It acts as a focal point to the room and allows for air to circulate. If you find that it’s too draughty, there are inflatable chimney balloons you can buy that fit inside the flue.

If you’re looking to replace the surround to your fireplace, choose a traditional material. That’s marble, stone or cast iron for main rooms; wood or cast iron for fireplaces in secondary or private spaces, such as bedrooms. Or, if you’re looking to restore, a pine fireplace can be painted; rust on a metal surround treated with a metal paint; or an unpainted metal surface buffed up with very fine sandpaper or metal polish and wire wool.

If you’re looking for professional assistance in preserving your beautiful home and you’re situated in the West Country, give us a call. We’re Oxford builders with a reputation for fine craftsmanship.