Modernised houses: Renovating a period home

Published Sep 13, 2019 – 3 mins read

If you’ve previously ruled out living in an old property on the basis that you’d have to compromise on the home comforts found in modern properties it might be time to reconsider; modernised houses have much to offer.

The building trade has evolved significantly in recent years, where previously the only option, and perhaps the only desire of the owners, was to entirely rip out the inside of a property, erase all signs of previous designs and character to install the latest technology and finish with the latest interior trends, homeowners can now enjoy the character of a period home with all the ‘mod-cons’ of a new home.

Tradesmen are now able (in most cases) to install everything that a brand new home might have without ruining the historical features of a property. This ability to preserve the character of a property whilst still having the home comforts we’ve come to expect makes modernised houses all the more appealing.


Properties built hundreds of years ago were not designed to include en-suites and open-plan kitchens but a good designer and architect can reconfigure most historical houses and convert them to be suitable for modern-day living. Where possible properties are often tastefully extended to create additional space.

If you’re considering purchasing an older property be aware that many historical buildings are listed often limiting what can be done to a property, especially with regards to reconfiguration and extension. In these instances we’d recommend you speak with a local, reputable architect or design and build company who will be able to better advises you on what is possible, before you commit to buying a property.

Home comforts and modern technology

Top on the list of modifications to an old property is heating, most renovation projects usually now incorporate underfloor heating. Gone are the days of living in an old, cold and draughty property. Although fireplaces in country homes remain to be focal points, modern wood burners give out an impressive amount of heat and are often beautiful features of modernised houses

With smart home technology more accessible than ever before owners readily install systems which allow them to remotely control elements such as the heating and lighting especially if they are away from the property regularly. With the use of a WiFi mesh network even the thickest of walls in an old cottage can be overcome to allow smart technology to work throughout a property.

Practicable and pretty gardens

Particularly in the country when period properties undergo renovation the gardens, more and more are as important as the interior.

Where previously owners might have opted for something simple and low maintenance there is now an increased desire for the planting of pretty flower beds, particularly to include English flowers and having ornate decorations to make the garden a more interesting space.

A growing trend in luxury homes is for the garden to act as an extension of the interior of a property – whether it serves as an outdoor lounging area or dining area or whether an outdoor kitchen is installed, there is a desire for a functioning space.

In second homes where entertaining is a primary function of the property useful outside space might be key should the property itself be characterful but lack large internal entertaining spaces.

Converting outhouses

Outhouses such as barns and sheds that may have been being used for storage are being turned into annexes for visiting guests. Whilst it’s unlikely that you’d be able to turn a small storage barn into a two storey cottage, there might be some room for expansion of the existing footprint which will make the new space more useful.

Gaining planning permission can sometimes be difficult on such outbuildings but is often well worth it in terms of space gained and also value added to a property.

If space allows gyms and wellness rooms are also being installed. In some cases buildings which were previously detached are being connected via modern extensions.

Charming characterful homes

Period homes can often be far more unique than newer properties, especially when we are considering a country cottage. It is this uniqueness that makes historical property all the more appealing. Many architects and designers thrive when given the opportunity to redesign an old property and tastefully bring it into the 21st century.

Living in an old property does not have to come with compromise, with advancements in technology you can live as comfortably as the resident of a newly built home.

Buying a period property

If you’re looking for a period home to buy we would be delighted to assist your search for a property, with many years of experience sourcing and acquiring modernised houses our professional property finders are well placed to help, for a no obligation discussion regarding our property finding services please, contact us.