How to renovate a heritage-listed home

August 14, 2015 - 2 min read

When you take ownership of a heritage-listed property, it’s your responsibility to preserve a piece of local history. There’s a reason your home is heritage listed, so you need to respect this and safeguard it for future generations. However, just because you’re living in a home with cultural significance, doesn’t mean you can’t restore parts of the building and give your home a modern twist. While you’re pretty limited when it comes to rendering the front facade, demolishing, rebuilding or extending, we’ve got a guide to getting the most out of your heritage-listed property.

Do your due diligence

If your home is heritage-listed then it has some sort of cultural significance from a local, state or even national perspective. Each and every home has their own reasons for being listed, whether someone famous once lived there or it has a unique architectural design. Prior to planning any new development on your heritage-listed home, you should consult all the relevant council approval bodies and find out what you can (or more importantly can’t do) before making any changes—or risk big fines!

The following suggestions are possible improvements for your heritage-listed home, but it’s still important to check with your local council prior to making any renovations.

Make it liveable

Whether it’s the wiring for your wi-fi or installing new-age fire alarms, make sure your home has all the 21st century essentials. Just avoid a DIY approach, as the building’s structure could be quite fragile and you don’t want to risk causing any damage.

Highlight its features

If you own a heritage-listed home, consider this a privilege and be proud of its unique features. Whether it’s a huge tree in your backyard or the old-school designs on your front facade, embrace these quirks by installing better lighting and making them a feature within your home.

Modernise the kitchen

Always double check beforehand, but with most heritage-listed homes the kitchen are open slather when it comes to renovations. Really boost this space by adding a new splashback, as well as upgrading tiles, benchtops and hinges. Your home will still have all it’s historic personality, with a contemporary kitchen perfect for any occasion.

Open up space

New homes are all about open-plan living. You will often find that the architectural design of older, heritage-listed homes don’t cater for this. Check with your council and local builders to see if it’s possible to knock down a few walls and open up your living spaces. It’s very important that you get permission first before any demolition takes place.