If you have been lucky enough to find a classic British cottage for sale and grabbed it up whilst still on the market, you have done well. However, many of those cottages are literally centuries old and in need of some heavy renovations. Many may need the services of a professional as would be the case if the interior electrical wiring needed to be replaced or repaired, but some of the structural interior and exterior work you can do yourself to save money on labour whilst making this cottage your home. Here are some tips for cottage renovations in keeping with classic British charm.
This is one you may want to call in the experts for but it is a must on two levels. First of all, bear in mind that a chimney with flaws can very well be a fire hazard. Any visible stone flaws need to be repaired and the chimney will need to be cleaned of creosote which is an extreme fire hazard. Large stone chimneys are common amongst classic cottages so to renovate your building, make sure to find a company that is experienced in repairing or rebuilding those stone chimneys.
Garden Walls and Stepping Stones
Most traditional cottages have a lovely stone garden wall and/or stepping stones leading into and around the garden. English cottages are notorious for their gardens and the way to keep the classic appeal is to find stones that match what is still surviving. Easy Pave has a line of stepping stones and walling products that you can choose from to match those stones used on your wall or walkway. Renovating those exterior features is a must if you want to keep the original appeal of the cottage.
Natural Stone Roofing
Some of the really old cottages have thatched roofs but from there they progressed to natural stone roofing. It is important to find stones that are close to the originals if you only need to make a repair, but if you need to redo the entire roof, it is suggested that you hire a roofer who works with natural stone roofing. If it is a small repair, you may be able to fix it yourself by following a guide for replacing a slate or two.
Some of today's roofers are not well versed in more traditional elements of roofing and if you are going for a look that closely resembles the original, you must have a stone roof. You can imagine how out of place contemporary roofing shingles would look on a traditional cottage so don't make a move to repair or replace that roof until you find a suitable roofer.
Finding a classic British cottage is getting harder by the day. Some may even be listed buildings and if this is the case, then it is imperative to do everything in your power to stay true to its original character. Yes, it will be your home and you want it liveable, but you also want to preserve its character or you wouldn't have bought it! Remember, classic charm in British cottages is all about stonework, so what you can do yourself, by all means do. Save money and save that lovely cottages - two birds with one stone. (Pardon the pun!)