Underrated homes of the 1960s and ’70s can often be purchased considerably cheaper – then converted into something that’s seriously practical and desirable!
The familiarity with the classic Victorian and Edwardian homes that everyone can see the potential in, and have been beautifully extended and re-configured. The best opportunities though are often about seeing things that others might miss, and the less-fashionable houses of the ’60s and ’70s can offer as much scope for improvement as, their period counterparts. Houses of this era are often well designed and with a little thought and inspiration can themselves become beautiful homes.
Think of giving your retro home a modern facelift
The use of small uPVC windows, concrete roof tiles, flimsy gates, dark brick and painted pebbledash, can often be found on properties of this era and conspire to make them unattractive to buyers.
Like many homes of this era, it is the exterior materials, detailing and window proportions that let the house down.
Vision from a good architect will often bring the most un-attractive home of the era, bsack to life.
The use of timber and other natural materials, larger window openings and bold-looking masonry can bring the new home design to life.
Consider the finish
The same house with an asymmetrical extension, striking black cladding and a more interesting composition of windows, including one huge glazed opening, now feels architectural and much more special.
One important point to make is that it does not have to be hugely expensive materials that can make the transformation. Simple dark-framed windows in an interesting configuration and black-stained weather-boarding such as this will not cost the earth, but make a tremendous difference.
Becoming a classic
A re-modelled project shows how houses of this period can be transformed into something more classic than the more striking, contemporary add visual weight can be added with the brick and stone projections at ground- floor level, while the much-improved styling of replacement window frames add a new welcome sense of proportion.
Up and out
Although for many houses of the period it won’t be the case, weak external detailing and materials can give some homes from this era a flimsy, almost pre-fab appearance.
Bungalows not only have the potential to be more attractive, but also offer great redevelopment potential, with expansion in width possible to the side, and the opportunity to add an upper floor.
Bringing light – with bespoke rooflights
The eyes have it
By altering the arrangement of windows on the first floor and the installation of a walk on rooflight above a kitchen diner extension, the proportions of the house can been lifted tremendously.
Many properties of this era, also benefit from sitting on much larger plots than newer homes, giving greater scope for the architect and designer to take advantage of the space and allow for expansion into it.
Small and poorly proportioned window openings with cheap and nasty frames are a common feature of many houses of this period, together with unattractive concrete roof tiles and visually weak external material detailing. However the fundamental structure and arrangement often provides the basis for relatively easy re-working into something much more prepossessing.
If more light is required into certain rooms or areas of the home, bespoke walk on rooflights can be considered, and will provide welcome additional natural daylight into areas, such as kitchen dining areas and darker hall and passageways.
It’s all about the money
In many cases, the fact that new-build projects are zero-rated for VAT means that a demolish and rebuild can be a more cost-effective option, but sometimes the savings made in retaining the basic structure far outweigh the VAT saving. This, however, is something that needs careful thought at the outset, as each project will be unique.