Period Property

5th February 2010

The idea of buying a period home and ‘doing it up’ isn’t new… and nor are all the attendant problems and dilemmas, especially if you want to be true to the character of the house. If you’re tempted, or if you’ve already bought your dream home and don’t quite know what to do next, then you might want to consider a Homeowners’ Course, run by the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings…

The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) is Britain’s oldest conservation body, founded in the 1870s by William Morris, who was horrified at the destructive way in which Victorian architects were ‘restoring’ medieval buildings. Today SPAB is the largest and most technically expert national pressure group fighting to save the nation’s old buildings from decay, demolition and damage. Whatever the question, SPAB knows the answer.

The organisation’s Homeowners’ Weekend is designed to give people who care for older or period properties the knowledge and confidence to make informed decisions about the repair of their property. Making the right choice is critical to adding value in a difficult market. Owners of period buildings, in particular, often find it hard to gain practical, straightforward guidance.

SPAB Secretary Philip Venning initiated the Homeowners' Weekend 25 years ago, after finding it difficult to get the right information when working on renovation projects of his own. He explains: “I knew from personal experience of working on several period properties before joining SPAB how difficult it was to find helpful, non-alarmist advice. That’s why I was passionate about setting up this course – and why it still proves to be incredibly popular.”

The two days cover a wide range of helpful topics including treating damp, timber decay, general approaches to old buildings and conservative repair, roofs, listed building consent procedures, interiors and finishes and choosing professionals.
There are question and answer sessions, and a close look at case studies. The weekend also offers the opportunity to meet like-minded enthusiasts and fellow owners of old and/or listed buildings whose own experiences and stories provide an inspiring and very relevant backdrop to the sessions.

The first course of 2010 will be held in London (27 and 28 March) at the Society’s Georgian HQ in London’s Spitalfields. It’s always extremely popular, and early booking is advised.

The London-based SPAB Weekend Homeowners’ Course costs
£160 per person, including lunch and refreshments on both days
(9.30am to 5pm each day; accommodation not included).

For more information, or to make a booking visit
or call Claire Martin, SPAB education officer, on 020 7456 0915.

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