Georgian House Restorations
Nearly all Georgian buildings are listed, which means that you have to apply for listed building consent to carry out any building works, inside or out.
You also need to be judicious with the contractors and tradespeople you employ. Damaging protected buildings is a criminal offense, and it is the householder, not the people they hire, who will be held responsible.
Listed status doesn’t mean that Georgian homes have to be frozen in time; they can still be altered and extended, but the quality of the works needs to be exceptionally high and sympathetic to the historic significance and style of the property.
Our director, Terry Clark, is a trained member of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings. He ensures that all our works on Georgian buildings follow SPAB’s principles and guidance for conservation and care.
We offer the following Georgian home restoration services:
- Brick cleaning, repointing and repairs
- Timber sash window restoration
- Repair of roof tiles and timbers
- Painting, decorating and joinery
- Period mouldings restoration
- Loft and basement conversions, renovations and extensions
- Building services such as plumbing, wiring and ventilation
- Damp proofing for rising, penetrating and lateral damp
To find out more about our Georgian home restoration services, call us now or request your call back.
Why do Georgian restorations require specialist work?
The Georgian era spanned over 100 years and hosted a variety of architectural styles, but Georgian architecture is typically defined by an elegant, restrained style, symmetrical proportions and Greco-Roman-inspired decorations.
Features include multi-pane sash or casement windows, yellow or brown brickwork with lime mortar pointing, decorative stonework and ironwork, plaster or timber mouldings and flat, parapet or m-shaped tiled roofs.
Authentic restoration of Georgian homes requires historic knowledge, attention to detail and detailed inspection of the original structure to establish the most appropriate construction methods. Such works are far beyond the realm of DIY.
Most of the materials used in Georgian construction are no longer mass produced and will have to be acquired from specialist craftspeople or salvage companies. You must bear in mind the cost of sourcing bespoke materials when restoring a Georgian home.
Georgian brick restoration
Georgian brick walls used a lime-based mortar for their pointing, which is a soft, porous material which allows the wall to “breathe” and provides compression between the bricks.
Mixing and applying lime mortar to match the existing pointing is a specialist skill. Unfortunately, irresponsible use of cement mortars has resulted in damage to bricks and entire walls.
Brick walls in Georgian homes should also never be painted as it can lead to a build up of damp within the wall and condensation inside the home. We offer brick paint removal to restore Georgian homes to their original appearance.
Georgian roof restoration
Many Georgian homes still have their original roof tiles. These are usually made from clay as slate had to be imported from North Wales and Cornwall.
Clay tiles were handmade, which results in a huge variance in appearance. Replacements can rarely match the originals exactly, so tiles should be rearranged so that new tiles are in hidden areas of the roof or spread around so they don’t stand out in large patches.
Due to their flatter roofs compared to Victorian buildings, Georgian houses often suffer from leaks, resulting in rotten roof timbers. Roofs should be inspected yearly to nip any issues in the bud.
Caught early, it’s rarely necessary to entirely replace roof timbers, even if rot is present. Rotten sections can be cut away and replaced by new timber by skilled joiners. It may also be necessary to support roof beams with steel, but only if they are not visible from the interior.
Georgian moulding restoration
Many Georgian homes are decorated with plaster or timber mouldings such as cornices, dado rails and skirtings. These period details are a quintessential characteristic of Georgian architecture and conservation officers will often require them to be repaired or restored.
If you need to restore original mouldings that have been lost, we can inspect other rooms in the house or neighboring properties to create moulds which can be provided to heritage craftspeople to produce replacements.
Georgian mouldings range from simple and elegant to intricate decorative designs. As replacement mouldings usually have to be custom made, the style of the originals can have a significant impact on the cost.
Georgian window restoration
Many people have been mis-sold on the benefits of metal or uPVC windows and believe that they last longer than their timber predecessors. This has resulted in decades of destruction to irreplaceable Georgian sash windows.
Georgian windows have proven to last for 200 years or more, while uPVC windows installed in the 90s are already having to be replaced. It is always better to repair Georgian sash windows rather than replace them. Not only are they more valuable historically, they are significantly more valuable monetarily.
Faults in the pulley mechanism of sash windows can be repaired while draught strips can improve their thermal and noise insulation. Restored Georgian sash windows should move so effortlessly that you can close them with a single finger.
Insulation can be further improved by the installation of secondary glazing or shutters which don’t require any modifications of the original glazing. Shutters are often preferred by conservation windows as they are a regular feature in Georgian homes.
A skilled joiner can replace sections of wood in a sash window, but Georgian glass is irreplaceable. The imperfections in these small, hand-blown panes means that they filter light in a way that cannot be recreated by modern techniques.
Call us now to learn more about our Georgian home restoration services
Georgian restorations are never something you should rush into. To talk to us about how we can help you and to book a visit from one of our restoration team, call us now or request your call back.