The historical relevance and restoration of historic woodwork has been Vincent Reed’s passion for over 35 years, giving him hands-on experience of all types of period properties, from private homes to royal palaces as a historic woodwork consultant.
Accidental damage to ancient flooring, panelling, architectural joinery and antique furniture can leave you feeling that a piece of history has been lost forever; and your investment seriously reduced in value. But with the right professional advice, you can gain a clearer picture of what might be salvaged, and the best way to proceed with a restoration project. An experienced restorer may rescue more ruined features than thought possible.
With care, many historic properties will stand for centuries with their timber features relatively intact. But without professional advice and maintenance, damp, dust, pollution and pests will take their toll and they begin to look shabby, or even unsafe. An expert ‘health check’ can pinpoint potential problems and advise on the best way to bring your woodwork back to its original condition without removing its historic provenance.
“Without Vincent’s expert advice and input, this 18th century farmhouse project would have had a very different outcome. I never imagined this wonderfully wavy floor could be restored without losing its superb character and sense of history. Vincent’s knowledge and expertise were fantastic. Thank you.”
MICHAEL FOLEY, AssocRICS, PDD (Building Cons)
Always consult an expert when faced with extensive fire or water damage to the timbers of an historic property. With the right specialist treatment, very often more can be salvaged than you might imagine; it is certainly not a job for a general builder or carpenter who could unknowingly erase centuries’ provenance by ripping out and replacing apparently ruined sections; or by applying over vigorous treatments that remove forever all evidence of their long history. Vincent Reed has decades of experience and expertise in the assessment and treatment of damaged woodwork in period buildings all over the world; and is happy to advise on the most effective course of action, as well as the best possible outcome following accidental damage.
Not only can Vincent date and fully understand the history of each piece; he fully understands how much and by what means, timbers can be sensitively restored. His knowledge and advice will allow you to proceed with confidence and understand fully what the project will entail.
A professional consultation and assessment by an expert like Vincent, already well respected in the field, can also be invaluable when negotiating successfully with insurance assessors and building regulation officers.
Everyday life can be tough on timbers that began life in a Tudor forest or medieval great hall. As well as the ravages of centuries’ weather, internally they may have withstood many years of damp and neglect – or the rigours of family life, military attack, home improvements, alterations and more recently, the footfall of visitors, the invasion of electrical and plumbing conduit, the vibrations of modern traffic or the abrasive effects of modern pollutants and harsh restoration products. Over time, floors, panelling and architectural features can look a little tired or shabby; or even in need of replacement if you don’t have an eye for the value and potential of these historic features.
Before embarking on any kind of restoration project in an older property, it is well worth consulting an established specialist like Vincent Reed who has the back knowledge and personal experience to advise on the best way to sympathetically repair, conserve, restore and recondition historic joinery, without losing the marks of wear and patina that give it beauty and value. Vincent is committed to recommending only traditional techniques, tools and materials to achieve the best possible outcome; ensuring your restoration project will enhance, rather than devalue your timbered features.
Grade 1; design by George Gilbert Scott
Monument King’s State Apartments; Kings Drawing room; Grand Kings Staircase;
Privy Presence Chambers; Monument Queens State Apartments
An Edwin Lutyens designed building in London’s Square Mile. Grade 1.
Offices of the White Star Line (Titanic). Grade 2*.