The British are in love with their period homes; a recent survey found that we are prepared to pay 16 per cent more to live in a Spa town partly because of the large number of period homes in these towns*. Whether you are considering taking on a wreck in need of major work or you simply want to maintain an old house, the Haynes Period Property Manual is the essential guide.
Owning a period home can be an emotional rollercoaster, as you strip away the layers of modernity you may discover hidden gems such as original features, but you may also find some unseen horrors – damp, woodworm and subsidence. The Haynes Period Property Manual will guide you through the renovating process alerting homeowners how to spot the serious problems and how to carry out essential repairs.
Every area of the house and every era of home-building up to the early 20th century is covered in typical practical Haynes style. With step-by-step photo features and easy to follow diagrams the book takes a no-nonsense approach to how old buildings were built, what can go wrong and how to fix it.
The Period Property Manual explains in detail how to maintain traditional building materials such as brick, stone, timber frame, mud, thatch and tile. The typical and desirable elements of period property including wooden floors, original doors and sash windows are covered explaining how to repair them and bring them back to their original glory.
The causes and remedies for common problems such as rising damp, cracking masonry, beetle infestation and rotten woodwork are explored, helping to take much of the fear and confusion out of the renovation process.
If you are tackling large projects such as extensions or other improvements the Period Property Manual has advice on what listed building status means, how to choose the right builder and how to manage the building work.
The author Ian Rock gives clear advice on how to treat damp and warns against expensive and potentially damaging chemical damp proof courses that may simply mask the problem. Ian Rock says: “Home owners are paying high prices for work that very often doesn’t need doing. Clearing away earth that is building up against the outside wall, repairing mortar, and mending leaking guttering can all solve damp problems over time and will normally be far more effective, as well as considerably cheaper, than chemical DPCs.”
There is also a chapter on retro-fitting sustainable energy-saving techniques. The author Ian Rock advises readers to choose carefully as some companies are recommending inappropriate materials to upgrade their thermal efficiency which can cause the destruction of the very qualities that make an old building so appealing.
The Haynes Period Property Manual is essential reading for all owners of older houses. Whether you want to get your hands dirty or just want to know the key points for employing trades and professional advisers, this manual will guide you safely through each part of the house
Ian Alistair Rock is a chartered surveyor and the author of several Haynes House Manuals. After witnessing the neglect and unnecessary destruction of historic buildings in the late 1980s, Ian was inspired to start his own business to secure their future through repair, conservation and conversion. Today he is the director of a residential surveying consultancy and a well-known speaker at property conferences. He is a regular contributor to radio shows and property magazines. He recently advised Channel 4 on their Blitz Street TV series with Tony Robinson.
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