One of the few upsides to the COVID pandemic is that people have spent more time at home and have involved themselves in more home improvement projects. This might have been for something to do to relieve the boredom, it might be because you were sat staring at a job that needed doing, all day every day, and simply had to get it done because it was driving you mad, or it could simply be because you were saving money hand over fist and that tricky home improvement job suddenly became more affordable.

It is probable that the real reason was somewhere between the three, but certainly the more time people have spent at home has prioritised certain jobs, on the basis that if you are spending so much time at home, you might as well make it more pleasant. In a period home or a traditional property, renovation projects fall under this banner. You might have some great period features that you have inherited in your home – skirting, doors, architrave, dado rails, fireplace, stairs & banisters – but which need refreshing or renovating to bring out their best features.

This is quite common with period features, as they can get damaged over time, the colours or staining may fade or they might need a style enhancement if you are able retain certain features but introduce another design period while maintaining some form of design consistency.

Planning your home renovation project

Alas, while you might still have a home improvement or renovation project outstanding, at this time of year it is common to put projects off or put them on hold, because it’s easier to draw a line under 2021 and start again afresh in 2022. Of course people like to relax at Christmas and not have work to organise and a house in a messy mid-state of renovation, even though we are talking about a continuous period of time like any other. So it is easier to put home improvement projects off until New Year, but that doesn’t stop you planning and having all your ducks in a row in readiness for that long slog through January.

In terms of renovating period features, you can spend the long, dark winter months this side of Christmas and New Year, researching period designs and profiles to establish exactly what design period your features come from, and finding complementary features which match. Your period features are likely to be either Edwardian, Victorian, Georgian or contemporary. These can all look quite similar if you don’t know what you are looking for.

You can find suitable and specialist contractors to carry out the work for you, if you don’t fancy doing it yourself, because this is after all, a specialist job. And you can research other factors such as materials (which type of wood to use – Sapele, Oak, Tulipwood or Pine), styles and what kind of finish you want. Different woods lend themselves to different finishes, such as sanding and leaving it natural, staining, varnishing or painting with an undercoat and a top coat. You need to establish what kind of colour scheme you want and decide which type of wood to use in order to achieve that.

Nothing stopping you getting on with your project now

Don’t forget also that you might need to remove existing mouldings and inspect them to establish what work needs doing. This can be a difficult and delicate operation, but is very necessary and worth doing well in advance, or certainly before you order materials.

So a few weeks of planning can make all the difference in your renovation project being a success, but equally, there’s nothing stopping you making a start on this project now, rather than waiting until the New Year. A renovation project doesn’t need to leave a mess, and it might not look too bad if a project is unfinished over Christmas. It beats wasting time with no work being progressed at all. And it might even take less time than you envisaged and starting it now can get it completed before Christmas.

If you check out our period mouldings and work out what you need to order, any time spent this side of Christmas can be taken off the project in the New Year, because just as many people are put off starting a home improvement project in January, when an expensive period of the year has just passed. So starting the project now, and with no delay, could prove to make the difference between success and failure and certainly it will stop you staring at a job that needs doing and which won’t do itself.

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