A Guide to Restoration of a Period Property – 6 of the Most Common Timber Restoration Projects

Perhaps you have just purchased a period property or are considering carrying out some work to your existing property.  Properties of this age will be full of character and include ornate original features, however when it comes to replacing or replicating these original features it is not as simple as going to a DIY store and picking up something from the shelf.  This is a guide on  how a joinery workshop  can help you through this process.

Restorations: 6 of the most common timber projects

Joinery Restoration: Internal Doorways & External Entrance Doors

In period properties, well used items such as internal doors & external doors have likely been exposed to wear and tear over the years leaving them damaged or perhaps missing altogether! The first thing to consider here would be if these doors are able to be repaired, this is a great option for keeping costs down compared to manufacturing new doors. Taking photos of the items and showing them to a local joinery workshop will allow them to advise you on what is salvageable. 

If not repairable, a joinery workshop will then look at manufacturing  new doors to match the originals replicating the panels / mouldings etc.  Original doors of considerable age will likely be constructed in Pitch Pine which for sustainability reasons is no longer available to purchase. However your joiner will be able to recommend alternative timbers with similar colour/grain to match closely. 

Joinery Restoration: Skirtings 

Your period property will likely have ornate internal woodwork including large moulded skirtings and  architraves, looking slightly under the weather you may be scratching your head wondering where you would be able to purchase these to replace damaged sections 

A joinery workshop equipped with planing & moulding machines can prepare these products as exact replicas of the original wood work. Whether you require one small length or enough to do a whole house, a joinery workshop with the right machines will be able to help you out. 

Joinery Restoration: Timber frame windows

The conservation of heat energy and managing natural light is  often a key concern of any renovation project to minimise additional utility costs in the long-term. Tired and unloved sash & case windows are often a key issue to resolve as they are likely performing ineffectively due to years of Scottish weather.

There are strict guidelines in place for the replacement of traditional timber windows in period properties (Angus Council’s are accessible here). This is particularly true of a listed property or one that is located within a conservation area. 

A reputable joinery workshop will advise you on whether your windows are repairable or in need of complete replacement.  Good photographs should provide the joiner with the right information to advise you, but if unclear they will arrange a site visit to confirm. 

A joinery workshop will likely work with local glaziers to create ‘like for like’ windows that are complete and ready to install.  This could include arched windows, dome roof windows, sash & case windows – ask to see examples of their previous projects. 

Joinery Restoration: Cabinetry

Bespoke products that are made to be in keeping with original features of the property can be a great way to increase storage and adapt the house for modern day uses. A good example of this would be a meter cupboard -this could be made to cover unsightly consumer boxes / cabling and could for example include doors with panelling to match that of other woodwork in your home. 

Period properties are typically blessed with far more space than modern homes, so even without an existing feature such as alcove  you can take advantage and create storage such as boot cupboards and TV units that enhance the aesthetics of each room. 

Joinery Restoration: Wooden Gates 

Exposed to the elements, wooden gates will naturally deteriorate through decades of use, this will be accelerated by how well or poorly they are maintained in the process.

Hard wearing timber is required to withstand the scottish climates and a joinery workshop will recommend the best timber materials to use for side gates, driveways and garden gates. It may be that you are just requiring a few elements repaired; as mentioned above a joinery workshop should be able to manufacture those sections without having to start from scratch. Photographs will help the joiner give their initial thoughts on what solution is best, taking into consideration your budget and required functionality.

Joinery Restoration: External Garden products

You may have a one off external item that is past its best or perhaps you’ve seen historical photographs of your property and you’d like to recreate some of the original garden features. 

Wood has been a well used material through the ages as it stands the test of time, it is also very flexible- ideal for adding character to a property. 

Example products that a joinery workshop will be able to help you with:  Garden dovecotes, clocktowers, timber benches and tables amongst other items.   

Note:  If your home is a listed building or in a conservation area you may need to have prior consent from the local authority and potentially architects drawings in place prior to having any replacement windows / doors installed.

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