How to ensure the integrity of an ancestral building

If you have an ancestral home, you have an important role to play in preserving it for future generations. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to ensure your home survives in the future.

How to ensure the integrity of an ancestral building

Do regular maintenance

Ancestral buildings are irreplaceable. Unfortunately, their age means they are susceptible to dampness and decay, and are likely to need repairs to keep pace with the demands of modern life. To slow the aging process and prolong your property's existence, you may wish to:

  • Clear the gutters of leaves and other debris that might cause blockages
  • Inspect the windows, doors and roof to check they are keeping out the elements
  • Examine the walls for signs of dampness
  • Check the brickwork for signs of erosion

If you spot any problems, carry out repairs as soon as you can. The value of your property may fall if you do not take immediate action.

Respect its individuality

If you need to work on your property, use traditional building materials and methods to protect its look and feel. This approach may be more expensive, but it will help you retain the value of your home. If you have no other choice but to use modern materials, seek expert advice to ensure compatibility with your home's distinct character.

Take out adequate insurance

Carrying out regular maintenance is the best way to look after your home, but it's not a substitute for building insurance. As the proud owner of an ancestral building, you have a duty to conserve your home for future generations by taking out insurance to cover the cost of rebuilding or repairing your property in the event of a disaster.

If you are looking to insure your home, you should:

  • Get an evaluation from an experienced surveyor, as this will help you to determine whether your property has any problems with dampness, decay or drainage
  • Seek coverage from a specialist insurer, as your property may have been built using materials and techniques that are not readily available today
  • Shop around, as your property is likely to have a greater rebuild value than a modern property, making it more expensive to insure

Ancestral homes contribute to the knowledge of the past and provide a sense of belonging, but they do require regular maintenance and extra care. Living in and looking after an older property can be hard work, but when you rise to the challenge of keeping your home safe and secure, you and your family will reap the rewards for years to come.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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