5 Costs You Might Not Have Considered in a Heritage Build

Heritage restorations are an excellent opportunity to breathe new life into a unique structure of cultural and historic significance. But undertaking a heritage restoration is a lot more complicated than a simple renovation or extension and there are plenty of expenses associated with this type of project that you wouldn’t face in a modern home renovation.

Read on to discover 5 hidden costs you may not have considered in a heritage restoration…

1. Hidden asbestos

Asbestos was used in residential construction throughout the 20th century, until it was found to be a hazardous material with serious health implications. Many Melbourne homes predating 1970s still contain asbestos, which will need to be safely removed before any restoration work can begin.

An asbestos removal specialist will be required to remove and dispose of this hazardous material with care. This can be an expensive additional cost to your build, especially if it’s not included in your original budget. The price of this service varies as it will be dependent on the condition and age of the home, the amount of asbestos that needs to be removed and the difficulty involved in removing this.

2. Structural issues 

More work than initially planned for may be required if your builder finds evidence of structural issues within your heritage home. Diagonal cracks in the foundation or plaster, sagging floors and warped flooring can all point to major issues such as foundation settling and bowed foundation walls, which will need to be fixed with major structural works before the project can be completed. 

3. Replacing out of date services 

While your completed restoration should pay homage to the original style and architectural influencer, you want it to support a modern lifestyle. This means installing internet connections – NBN if possible – and considering sustainable inclusions like smart automation systems and solar panels.

Depending on the age and condition of your home, you may also need to replace old pipes and wiring with new plumbing, electricity and drainage, which can add to your budget when not considered from the beginning. 

4. Sourcing rare or custom-made materials

There’s nothing worse than a heritage restoration that doesn’t respect the initial structure, and which incorporates elements that take away from the style and grace of the original home. To avoid this and match new with old, you may need to track down unusual and uncommon materials or fixtures. If these are particularly rare or need to be custom-made, this can cause increase the cost of your build.

5. Specialist trades 

Heritage restorations generally require the assistance of specialist tradespeople with the skills and expertise necessary to restore elements not found in contemporary homes. But these specialists can be hard to come by, and when you do come across them, they may charge a higher rate than regular tradespeople for their unique skills. 


The best way to avoid hidden costs and budget blowout in your heritage restoration is to engage a specialist builder with experience in many similar projects. At SECON Constructions, we have 15 years’ experience crafting remarkable heritage restorations across Melbourne’s bayside and inner-east regions.

If you’re ready to work with a high-quality heritage builder, get in touch with Peter and the team at SECON Constructions today.

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A Step-by-Step Guide to Transforming Your Heritage Home to Suit Modern Family Living

Here’s what you’ll discover in our guide: