Period Property Restoration London

AC Design Solutions are specialists in period property restoration. We are always inspired and passionate to bring a neglected house back to life.

Our faithful attention to detail is comprehensive.


  • Planning permission and preservation works for restoring period properties and listed buildings.


  • Residential architecture and creative projects for home renovation and transforming buildings into contemporary London homes.
or call us for advice today!

Difference between a ‘period’ property and a ‘listed’ property

Home renovation or restoration of a property with ‘historic quality’ is unlikely to be a straightforward project. Knowing exactly what you can or can’t do – in each case, and in precise detail – is critical to a successful application for planning permission.

Period properties are not the same as heritage properties or listed properties.

What is a period property?

Refers to a building constructed during a specific time period, and is characterised by a distinctive architectural style.

There is no single, absolute definition to describe an exact time period, in which, a property was built. However, a period property usually refers to its construction before World War I.

This would mean that residential properties or buildings, which are also often referred to as period properties, were mostly built during the following eras:

  • Edwardian (1901 – 1910)

  • Victorian (1837 – 1901)

  • Georgian (1714 – 1837)

  • Elizabethan (1558 – 1603)

What is a listed property?

Refers to heritage properties, which are graded according to their architectural and cultural significance, and intended to protect all aspects of their continued existence. Many listed properties are historic buildings, which are also pre-WW1 period properties.

A listed building (or structure), is placed and maintained on one of four statutory lists:

  • England – Historic England

  • Scotland – Historic Environment Scotland

  • Wales – Cadw

  • Northern Ireland – Northern Ireland Environment Agency

A ‘listed building consent’ must be applied for and granted before builders can carry out a job to renovate or restore any feature.

Preserving the architectural interest of a building is mandatory. This means you will be committing a criminal offence if you fail to comply with the rules – with no time limitation for enforcement.

Period Property and Period Features

Owning or buying a period property requires the expertise of specialist conservation and maintenance services. The specific age of a period building, and whether it is located, say in a London conservation area alongside other listed buildings, are all bound by rigorous guidelines. Their precise specifications apply to every type of restoration, preservation works, repairs or other period home renovation projects.

The historic quality of period buildings, their charm, and the preservation of original features are critical to any consideration – whether planning a partial or complete renovation. A country’s historic architecture will strictly define the use of both traditional materials and traditional building techniques.

Period Property Renovation – key points

Whether you intend to replace original features or simply apply a fresh coat of paint, you will need the detailed knowledge and experience of period property restoration professionals.

At the outset, key points you will need to know, include:

Extending your period property

An application for a “Listed Building Consent” and “Householder Planning Consent” will be required from your local planning authority.

  • Listed Building Consent – This is required whether you plan to extend or simply alter a listed building in a way that affects its character or appearance as a building of special architectural or historic interest.

  • Householder Planning Consent  proposals to alter or enlarge a single house, including works within the boundary/garden. Typical householder development include, extensions, loft conversions, dormer windows, outbuildings, walls & fences and porches.

Planning permission for period property renovations

The type of preservation works – whether it’s a large scale restoration project or small repairs – needs to be fully defined before applying for planning approval. Applying for the right approval at the outset is important to avoid altering the work and incurring a costly penalty at a later stage.

The 2 types of planning approval are:

  • Full plans: The most detailed and rigorous of planning approvals, which cover larger scale tasks, such as external work, extensions and structural alterations. Applications need to be submitted well in advance as a decision will take up to 2 months to complete.

  • Building notices: Issued for smaller projects, such as interior design and domestic projects which do not include structural modifications. Applications are normally processed in only 2 weeks.

Design plan conforms to character of local area

Local authority / council permission could be dependant on whether a property stands out from adjacent buildings, particularly if the property is within a Conservation Area.

Demolishing unlisted buildings

Since 2013, consent is no longer required to demolish a building within a conservation area. It is a criminal offence to demolish an unlisted building within the location of a designated conservation area in England without obtaining planning permission beforehand.

Planning permission will still be required for “relevant demolition”, which includes, unlisted buildings in conservation areas.

Original features

The value – and the charm – of a period property can be protected through the identical replacement or correct maintenance of original features, such as:

  • windows
  • fireplaces
  • roofing
  • pipework / drainage
  • brick work
  • original fabric of house

Damp proofing works

Water ingress causing rising damp and wet rot fungi, and affecting a building’s timber are always an important factor related to the age of a period property. It’s important to understand that the era in which your property was built can produce its own unique vulnerability to damp.

Often, the use of modern paints and treatments may not be compatible with for example, soft and porous wall surfaces, and can prevent property from breathing correctly.

Insulation and draught proofing

A period property can lose up to one fifth (15-20 per cent) of its heat as a result of draughts. There are a number of methods to insulate and draught proof without damaging the character of a historic building. However, the required regulatory restrictions can be complex.

Our work is designed to comply with all applicable building regulations covering all areas of London.

Structural surveys

Structural surveys provide a complete analysis of a building’s current condition and detailed reporting of any areas of concern. Specialist assessment and evaluation is essential in any investigative process applied to period buildings. Whether the plan is to replace original features, or a complete renovation using traditional materials, and traditional building techniques.

Specialist structural team consultants will also ensure their survey assessment is comprehensive in its understanding of the specific needs of the surrounding area, local authority, the homeowner, as well as the property itself.

Consultants work on behalf of their clients in close collaboration with architects and construction managers to define and manage a bespoke plan of action for each specific renovation project, which includes: Feasibility Studies, Structural Design and Sourcing Materials.

Get in Touch to Discuss Period Property Restoration