5 ways to modernise an old property
May 9, 2022

As a bespoke home builder in Kent with over 15 years of experience, we know that modernizing your old property is no easy feat. There are plenty of challenges involved which are often reflected in planning legislation. Whether you’re looking to modernize your old property or build a new home using the shell of an old building, here are five things you can do to help create your dream family home.

1.    Consider going open plan

If you’re looking for a change of flow within your property and want to create a more modern setting to cook, converse and relax as a family, consider going open plan. For many families the demand for open plan living spaces is high and perhaps one of the easiest ways you can modernize an older property. It may be a case of reconfiguring internal rooms, or it may be the addition of an extension on the back of the house with bi-fold doors onto the garden. Either way, these touches can give modern families the living space they require.

When working on creating a bespoke home from a unique older building such as a listed building, Oast House or a Dutch Barn – there are endless possibilities for what can be done inside. In our recent Dutch Barn Conversion we created one large open plan space that allows for more light to come through as well as making the room seem much bigger and more spacious. Large windows and access to the outside area give a great flow and make the useable living space so much larger.

  1. Add a guest bathroom

Many older properties were designed for one family and therefore end up with just one family bathroom, usually located on the first floor. Today, modern homes are built with a number of bathrooms, with at least one or two being ensuite. Adding, moving or modernising existing bathrooms in your older property is not only essential but one of the quickest ways to add the level of comfort we expect from our homes today. Having a downstairs bathroom can add convenience for visitors of any age and can also come in handy when it comes to giving the dog his weekly bath.

Bathroom style can be dictated by the period of your property – roll-top baths and Victorian fixtures are still very popular while decorating in Georgian palettes creates a very calm atmosphere in keeping with the rest of the property.

  1. Be adventurous with your tiling choice

Today the options for tiles are endless! As tiling specialists we love to blend traditional styles with modern colours and designs – they can really transform your bathroom or kitchen space, and the change can happen in as little as a day or two.

By incorporating traditional tile shapes into your design, you’ll gain instant appeal. Try re-imagining patterns like interlocking hexagons or herringbone style in your bathrooms – these look stunning when used on walls or floors and add an element of vintage charm.

Modern tile designs can be more durable and easier to install than old-fashioned ones, and they are much easier to clean and less likely to chip. They are also easier to work with, being resistant to stains and dirt, both of which make them ideal for bathrooms.

4.    Get ready by getting rewired

Our lives are becoming more and more reliant on technology and electronic gadgets. Once upon a time our living spaces only required a couple of sockets – today we need a couple of sockets in every nook and cranny to ensure every phone can be charged and every appliance is plugged in and ready to use.

Older properties can be unsafe for a variety of reasons, including faulty wiring and antiquated electrical systems. If your home hasn’t been rewired in 30+ years, you’ll need to update it to avoid safety risks, as well as to meet your needs for modern electrics like wifi, smart TVs, surround sound, and other essential modern appliances.

5.    Be energy efficient for the 21st century

In the last few months (perhaps even years), we have all been trying to focus on cutting our energy bills and managing our energy use better. This isn’t just a good idea for your wallet – it also helps the environment too. But when you’re trying to reduce costs, it can be hard to make the right decisions about your home energy plan – especially when dealing with an older style property. It’s important to balance spending a little extra up front in order to save in the long term.

Installing a new heating system is another way of modernising an old property. Today there are several ways to heat a home – whether you want to go down renewable energy with solar panels and ground source pumps or stick to conventional gas or oil radiators. Underfloor heating is an increasingly popular choice in family homes that have open-plan living. It is important to consider your flooring and ask an expert to check for any signs of damp.

Upgrading your windows and doors is another way of improving your property both inside and out. Modern double glazing can transform a property by improving its kerb appeal and making it more appealing for potential buyers, as well as increasing its energy efficiency by reducing heat loss from draughts and condensation. There are also lots of door options available so you can choose one that matches your home’s style and décor.

Final thoughts

These are just some of the ways in which you can modernise an old property. Of course, there are many others, but hopefully, you’ve got some inspiration from our suggestions. But whether it’s creating a period home or building in an older structure, we will help you match your vision with the best solution. If you’re looking to build a new home or need further advice on the services we offer, do get in touch with our team at Early Birds today and we’ll be happy to help.