If it is not economical to replace an inappropriate roof, it may be possible to disguise it with a steep-pitched front-facing gable or a parapet wall, built up in the same material as the exterior walls — a trick used by the Georgians. A period home might have its encaustic path repaired or reinstated; a cottage garden might have raised beds made from reclaimed bricks, and a new house might have garden walls rendered and painted. The most inexpensive solution is to buy new windows direct from a manufacturer, DIY supplier or online and fit them yourself. However, if choose windows and doors for a period property with care if you are planning to maintain its authentic style. The owners of this home made lots of changes, with an extension , larger windows on the ground and first floors, plus a new veranda on the terrace with a balcony above Image: The roof on this 19th-century seaside cottage has been completely replaced and altered to suit the modern aspects of the house What does it cost to replace a roof? Add an extension Changing the shape and function of your home by adding an extension can have a huge impact on its appearance. This means either using a FENSA registered installer who can self-certify their work for building regulations purposes, or submitting an application to the local authority together with the correct fee and either fitting them yourself or using a general builder to fit them for you. Good roof maintenance is a must, particularly in a period property. Converting the garage into a living space and replacing the doors with walls and windows will alter the main elevations and could help create a more traditional period look. For a contemporary makeover, you should opt for natural slate or man-made slates. Not only do you need to consider the style, you need to think about safety, so going for a solid and secure door is important. Changing its shape is a more radical and expensive alteration but it can have a dramatic impact, for example, to increase the roof height on a s house with a very low-pitched roof, or a flat-roofed s house. It is especially worth considering if your front door opens straight into a living room rather than a hallway.
If it is not economical to replace an inappropriate roof, it may be possible to disguise it with a steep-pitched front-facing gable or a parapet wall, built up in the same material as the exterior walls — a trick used by the Georgians. When designing an enclosed porch, consider the impact it might have on the natural light that flows through your existing front door — you may be able to improve the amount of daylight with a well-considered design. Converting a garage The appearance of a house will be dramatically altered, and you will gain a whole new living space by converting a garage. As the property is in a Conservation Area, the porch extension, is in keeping with the original, Victorian design, which contrasts with a modern extension to the rear Image: Landscape the garden Once all the building work is complete, turn your attention to the gardens, both front and back. The most inexpensive solution is to buy new windows direct from a manufacturer, DIY supplier or online and fit them yourself. Pressure-washing a moss-covered roof can be an inexpensive improvement which helps to freshen up a tired-looking property. Add an extension Changing the shape and function of your home by adding an extension can have a huge impact on its appearance. If you live on a road where there is a very uniform house type, you should try to match your front door as closely as possible to those of the homes around yours. Keep the palette of materials used outside to a minimum, and ask your builder to tooth and bond the new work into the old to avoid a bolted-on look. Building Control at your local council will also be concerned that the house meets regulations for thermal efficiency, so always consider whether cladding will alter its eco performance. Not only do you need to consider the style, you need to think about safety, so going for a solid and secure door is important. What does a garage conversion cost? What does a garden makeover cost? Under permitted development rights you can choose and fit replacement windows , alter the shape and size of the window openings and add new ones without having to get planning permission. Wall-hung timber porch kits are less expensive than enclosed designs, but will transform a flat frontage, especially if climbers are trained around the structure to help it blend in. A modern house that might be lacking in character can be made to look like a period property by adding period-style small casement or sliding sash windows and by altering the door openings. For a very contemporary look, powder-coated aluminium box gutters can look great. The join between old and new should be seamless — this may mean hiring an architect to ensure the details and proportions of features, such as windows, are right. Galvanised guttering is now very affordable and can suit both modern and older properties. A larger extension to the side or front can help balance the shape and proportions of your property to create a particular architectural style, as could the addition of a large feature chimney. Replacing sun-faded concrete roof tiles can give a s or s house a new lease of life. For a contemporary makeover, you should opt for natural slate or man-made slates. Think carefully about design; the porch should be constructed in a style that suits the original architecture and in proportion with the size of the house. Bear in mind that raising the height of the roof will always require planning permission.
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