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    4 ways to modernise a Grade II listed property

    When you buy one of Britain’s 450,000 listed buildings, you are acquiring not just a new home, but part of the nation’s national heritage. Of course this means you aren’t just purchasing any old property.

    With a Grade II listed building, you will be buying a property that is subject to a specific set of rules. Rules which can affect exactly what you can do when renovating your property. But while you will want to retain your home’s original character, that’s not to say you won’t want to add modern features in some form. To help you out with this, below we have listed 4 ways to modernise your Grade II listed property without affecting its character

    Utilise sustainable technology                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

    While regular solar panels will be out due to the dramatic effects they can have on the look of a property, other types of sustainable energy technologies are still available, including solar panels, albeit in a different guise.

    Obtrusive and of impact to your home’s character, a gigantic solar panel on the roof of your listed home is of course going to be a massive no-no. This doesn’t mean that solar panels are off limits though; instead perhaps consider solar roof slates.

    Solar roof panels double as both a solar panel and a roof slate. Designed to weigh approximately the same as natural slate and use similar fixings, solar roof slates will blend seamlessly into an original slate roof, giving you an a roof covering that retains your home’s original character and generates solar power.

    If you’re not thinking solar when it comes to sustainable energy, how about rainwater harvesting? Recently installed in one of London’s major landmarks, the Grade II listed building, Senate House, the installation of rainwater harvesting has set a precedent for the ways that sustainable technologies can be integrated into buildings with architectural heritage. The use of this technology which collects rainwater from the roof and cleanses it using ultraviolet light, shows how a building’s carbon footprint can be reduced whilst conserving its history.

    Install water cooled air conditioning

    Temperature can be quite a problem in any older building. As older properties were built to different standards and lack the technology of today, you will often find they get very hot in the summer and very cold in the winter.  To solve this, air conditioning is the obvious choice.

    However you may find that if you wish to install an integrated air conditioning system into your property you will run into problems as doing so will involve modifications to the exterior walls. Water cooled air conditioning solves this problem. Specifically developed for listed properties, water cooled air conditioning brings integrated air conditioning into a property without the need for any exterior modifications. Instead, the entire air conditioning system is contained within your property and the cooling technology is plumbed into your property’s cold water supply.

    Go wireless

    The advent of multi-channel TV struck a problem with many people owning listed homes as adding a satellite to the front of the property was generally deemed a no-no. While it is generally up to the discretion of the local conservation officer whether you can have a satellite dish or not, advances in technology means it no longer really needs to be an issue.

    The latest technology means that everything from movies to regular TV can now be received through the internet. Such services are a breath of fresh air for people who have recently bought a listed property or those considering buying a listed property.

    Make a feature of your homes interior

    There are certain period home features that will just never go out of style, so if your home has these you would be foolish to get rid. Such features include fireplaces, sash windows, cast iron radiators and four panel wooden doors.

    Of course your home is not a museum and you will want to modernise certain aspects of its interior. To do this why not look to the trend of fusing modern and contemporary features? This way you will be able to keep certain period features whilst injecting contemporary style that won’t affect the character of your home.

    To get you started why not consider the following ideas…

    • Pairing contemporary, geometric rugs paired with period hardwood flooring
    • Adding modern ornaments and accessories to Welsh dressers and sideboards
    • Mis-matching antique furniture with more contemporary designs
    • Hanging modern art on bare brick walls or walls painted in period colours

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