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Taking on a home restoration project is a lot of work; when you move in to a period home, it’s easy to be enthusiastic about the potential – you can imagine what the home will look like once you have an authentic looking (but still suitably modern and luxurious) kitchen, an exquisite period fireplace, and historically faithful, heavy and imposing period doors. Your home, you tell yourself, will be a mini mansion.  All it will take is a bit of research and elbow grease.

Sadly, that initial enthusiasm rarely lasts for the whole project. Before you move in to the house, you’ll fix the floorboards, replace and re-paint the oak skirting, seal the windows, and do all of the critical work, but as the job drags on, your energy levels will naturally wane.

Restoration Blues
Photo Credit: Mark F. Levisay

Keeping the Momentum Going
For most people, the lack of energy isn’t down to a lack of interest, or laziness; far from it! The problem, put simply, is real life getting in the way. While it’s easy to devote a weekend or two to fixing up your skirting boards and sourcing authentic looking period doors, it takes far longer to re-do the entire bathroom, or source the right tiles to sort out your roof. If you have a full time job, finding the time and energy to take on another full time job in the form of home restoration is almost impossible.

Once your home gets up to a “liveable” level, you can be forgiven for thinking “I’ll get to it later” when it comes to the more time consuming tasks. So, how can you break out of the restoration blues?

Inspire Yourself
Many people invest in a period home, or a classical barn, and restore it piece by piece based on their mental image of what the place should look like. Instead of relying on your imagination, why not invest in some computer aided design software so that you can see a “real” version of your home in front of you. This will help you to stay motivated, and understand that while you’re “almost there”, your home will look even more awesome when it’s done.

Remove Access
If you’re prone to making excuses such as “Well, I don’t have the marble for the fireplace yet”, or “I haven’t sourced an appropriate cistern so there’s no point doing the rest of the bathroom”, sort that out. Take a trip to a local architectural reclamation yard and find the bits and pieces that you need. Buy as many of them as you can afford – if you spot a good deal on roof tiles that match the ones for your home, get them.  If you have everything you need to finish your restoration, and it’s all taking up space in the garage, you should be more likely to finish the work.

Another good way to encourage yourself to get working on your home is to start a blog about the restoration process. Once you start posting progress photographs and diaries, you will have people asking how the work is going; public accountability can be a great motivator!

Written by James Harper on behalf of UK Oak Doors