With a lot of discussion or re-development and revitalization of town centres, many an old town is finding that there are changes afoot that will affect many inner city residents. There is, however, an argument to keep historic parts of the country and communities by simply upgrading them instead. If you live in a street that is regarded as historic, here are three ways that you can change your street without altering its historic nature.
While old stone or brick won’t paint very well, you can do lots with it. Cleaning is, however, always the first step. A good pressure wash and clear sealant is a great way to set the tone and provide a clean canvas. Then begin to focus on the smaller, more detailed features. Consider making changes to the window frames and doors to add character and colour and be inventive and innovative yet keep within the theme. For example, using both external and internal stable doors, keeps the historic theme, but adds a real freshness. The latest products are weatherproof, improve insulation and will last a lifetime.
The roof of any house not only protects the inside and its occupants, but in historic or traditional buildings the roof often also holds great historical significance. Shapes, shades and structures are diverse across the country and it is important to be familiar with the covering so you maintain traditional features. Beyond the materials used to insulate and keep a building watertight, think beyond function to form. Remember that many of the external period features of your building maintain its character. Whether this is the chimney and pots or ridges and embellishments, you can highlight these to promote their historical origins.
Moving from outside to inside means making sure your building is dry, warm and cosy. Whether you are inviting in customers, guests or visitors, insulating your old building in modern and efficient ways is essential. To start with, windows, doors, glazing, gaps and all the uneven openings need to be sealed. If these seals are visible, you should be true to traditional methods and looks. However, for those mechanisms that are not visible, you can use technology and innovations in heating and cooling systems to add real comfort to any historical building. Think about how you can also modernise the insulation and heating to make it as environmentally friendly and carbon-neutral as possible.
Having enticed and wowed visitors with the frontage of your building, making sure anyone who comes inside is able to wax lyrical about your wonderful street on their Instagram means making sure your historic building has fast and reliable Wi-Fi. Part of remodelling any historical building is upgrading and maintaining all the amenities inside. Whether that is internet connectivity, water, gas or electrics, they can be modernised and upgraded like any new building while maintaining the historic character.
These are the simplest ways to take your street into the future without having to tear it down and start again. History is what makes much architecture and many buildings unique – it’s worth keeping ours.