You just settled in your new home. And you realised that it doesnt look like the rest of the houses in your neighbourhood and it sparks your interest. You ask yourself “what year was my house built?” Apart from satisfying your thirst for knowledge, it is essential to know when your house was built. The age of your property can affect its value. You may need to know the age of your home for your building insurance or to know if it is hazardous to live in it.
Your house might be so old that it may just be listed in the National Heritage List for England or Cadw’s National Historic Assets of Wales. (Check if your home is on the list!). By gathering every little bit of information, you can precisely deduce the age of your property. Let’s go over some ways to find when your house was built.
The HM registry keeps records of land ownership. You might want to reach out to them to get an extensive report of your house’s history for a fee of about £7. If the developer who built it was the one who first sold the property, you can approximately determine its age by checking for the date of its first transfer of ownership or its first lease.
For older buildings (older than 1862), you are free to search from over 2,000 properties recorded in the 1862 Act register. You can also consult census returns between 1841 and 1911 at 10-year intervals to find out when your address pops up first. Checking local archives like county record offices and parish records will also do you some good.
Most community libraries have sections dedicated to local history, containing historical maps, old building plans and photographs. Go through old newspapers published around the time you suspect your home was built to check for a mention of your address. All these too may help with your search.
Building permits are required for remodelling and construction. Inspections are carried out to ensure houses are built to standard and permits can give you some useful information about the age of your house. It may contain information about the changes made to your property and when.
You can find out the age of your house with your postcode. How? By visiting the Old Maps website, you can find out when your flat was built. The website contains every officially documented map in the UK, and it shows where houses appear.
Reach out to your area historical society. They preserve records, maps and regional data about your locality. They may have information about construction years for structures in your neighbourhood.
Have a thorough inspection of your house
If your house does not have a modern design, you may be in luck. Taking a critical look at your home can give you a rough idea of when the home was built. This will help narrow the scope of your search immensely. Checking the attributes of your house, knowledge about the style and the materials used in construction will help a lot.
You will admit that architectural styles have evolved over the decades. Terrace houses were trendy in the 1970s, Aerys houses were common during the Second World War when materials for construction were scarce (the National Archives in Kew, London, houses all the records of houses bombed during that period. You can also see the list online instead of physically going there).
Edwardian and Victorian styles of architecture are much older, dating to the 19th century. You may pick up hints from the design of your humble doorknob or how your roof is designed.
Consult a professional architect if you aren’t sure of what style of building your house is. You can also check charts or use illustrations online. If your home has not been completely renovated, you may find some clues about the age of your house.
Check the attic. Sometimes the date of construction of a building is engraved on the walls. Sometimes, support beams and pipes have the year they were installed etched on them. You may find some information in the unlikeliest of places such as your toilet tank. You can find the manufacturing date stamped on the inner side of the toilet tank cover.
Fire insurance maps can also be very informative and some date as far back as 1870. Your house may be included in one of them. And if not, you can estimate how old your home is by matching the materials used in its initial construction to that of houses on the map.
Check tax records
Checking your property tax records may save you the stress of carrying out further investigation. Don’t rejoice yet, this method is not 100% guaranteed, but it is worth a shot. If all the records have been carefully maintained, it should contain the name of all the previous owners of your property. It also includes all the assessed values for your property from every year.
Check for any sudden change in the valuation. It may indicate the construction of a house (probably yours) or its renovation.
Visit the county clerks office
You’ll want to get three documents from the office: the tract index, the Registrar of Deeds and the grantor-grantee index. These documents contain a list of all the transactions involving your property, including names of previous owners and other details.
Talk to your neighbours
This may be the easiest solution to finding out the age of your home. You may have a similar home design as one of your neighbours showing that they were built in the same era. The houses in your locality may also all have been built at the same time with the same stock plan. So, ask around.
Now that you have been equipped with ways to find out how old your property is, let us talk about building and remodelling. You have probably thought of renovating your home, haven’t you? Maybe you are thinking of building your dream flat, do not worry, you are covered.
Located in Essex, Castle Point Construction offers professional and reliable building services that will put a smile on your face. You can trust us. Contact us today, and we won’t let you down.
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