Out with the old in with the new- But what about our Historic Homes!?
Newer, better, stronger, faster! Humans have a pretty good track record of destroying the old way of doing things to create space for doing things in a ‘better, more modern way. Yes, of course, there is a place for this mentality in the world! But what about all of the beautiful and historical things we may be erasing along the way? As we ponder where this new era will take us, we have also been considering how we can do our part to preserve what once was and maintain and protect not just heritage buildings but the “old bones” of a home that you may be living in today.
But why should we care?
Um, aside from basic human decency… the conservation of heritage buildings is hugely important to our experience here. By maintaining and protecting what once was, we are capturing a piece of history. These buildings allow us to “step back in time” and feel a sense of identity; they are part of our cultural story and, as a whole, piece together a way of life, a moment in history that may otherwise be lost.
Even if a place doesn’t have the ‘Heritage Building’ status, there can still be a rationale to preserve components of it for personal experience. The Pope doesn’t have to have given birth to a Unicorn there for it to be special.
So, how can we best care for our older homes?
Complete maintenance regularly.
By keeping on top of regular maintenance such as cleaning and painting, you reduce the risk of rot getting into your home and thus reduce the likelihood of costly repairs!
Only repair what needs repairing.
This is the whole premise of attempting to preserve an older building. We don’t want to repair away all of the old charms. Instead, wherever possible, keep the original details intact. Inevitably certain elements will need to be replaced, but only repair the areas that need it—for example, replacing rotted sections of skirting and not the entire room, rather than throwing out the baby with the bathwater.
Keep it quirky.
Often we will find that older buildings tend to have more ‘mistakes’ or misalignments. However, that doesn’t mean that they are “broken” and need altering. Remember, it’s a part of the charm! So long as the quirk isn’t causing an issue, such as a wonky window letting in damp and cold air- you’re good. If you’re unsure if anything needs replacing or repairing, always consult a professional.
Stay informed and stay on top of things.
Owning and caring for an older building, whether it’s a heritage home or simply a loveable elder of the neighbourhood, can be an onerous task. It’s not always obvious to even know where to start; we suggest finding a go-to professional who specialises in this area and can advise and help care for the building.
Would you ever live in an older home?