Property - Do-It-Yourself

A room with a Victorian fireplace. PA Photo/thinkstockphotos.
A room with a Victorian fireplace. PA Photo/thinkstockphotos.

Period properties have enduring appeal and one of the main reasons is their original features, which add value and look lovely.

However, they weren’t always so prized - many period houses and flats have had their original features removed or covered up. The good news is, you can restore them to their former glory with some time, money and effort. If you have a modern home that lacks personality, there are plenty of ways to make it into more than a bland box.

Fireplaces add character, give a room a focal point and, if they’re functional, are a practical addition to reception rooms. eBay is a great place to find fireplaces of all styles, including period and reproduction ones. While some are expensive, many can be picked up for very little money.

Just as a chimney breast without a fireplace is a sorry sight, so are period properties with ugly plastic windows. Lots of people like UPVC windows because they’re double-glazed and low-maintenance, but some styles are more attractive and in keeping than others. For me, the best are UPVC sash windows, which are a good alternative to wooden sashes if you’re on a budget, as they’re much cheaper.

If you have more to spend, or your choice is restricted by planning laws, wooden windows are a beautiful and environmentally friendly alternative and metal windows are growing in popularity for domestic use. The style of the windows can make a big difference to the character of your home and while changing them is a considerable investment, it’s worth doing if you can.