Programmes like A House Through Time, and House Detectives before that, have shown how you can explore the past by researching the history of your own home.
We can help you investigate previous owners, occupiers, former uses, internal décor, external refurbishments or extensions, and its relationship with the local area.
Many clients find they think about their house differently as a result, considering themselves as curators of a small piece of history rather than owners. Others have commissioned work from us because they want to sell their property, and have found that a printed book to show potential buyers adds value to the process.
Whilst we can undertake specific pieces of work, especially if you’ve done some research already, we recommend two fixed-price packages that produce the best results in the shortest period of time.
We focus on researching the names of owners and occupiers, placing them in the contextual social history of the property and its location. The package usually takes 3 days to research plus 1 write-up day, sent as a PDF via email for you to approve.
We usually recommend a full day for a site visit so that one of our architectural historians can take notes and photographs, after which we compile an illustrated report setting out how the house evolved over time, supported by sketches, floorplans and other explanatory diagrams.
We can also offer consultations and ‘guided research’ projects, where we work with you in archives and libraries so that you learn all about the key research methodologies, enabling you to conduct future work yourself.
We usually produce a written draft report, emailed to you as a PDF for approval – along with digital images of key material we’ve found (usually supplied as link to a Dropbox folder so you can download them for free). Once you’re happy with the layout and content we then print, bind and send you a hard copy. This allows us to treat the whole commission as a book, which is zero-rated for VAT.
In terms of delivery, we normally estimate 8-12 weeks from initial commission to a first draft PDF report for approval, depending on research schedules and researcher availability – though access to relevant archives can cause a delay, and we will keep you updated throughout the process.
We have teams around the UK and can cover most areas.
We can send you sample reports, so you can look at the range of material or narrative options we can provide. We’re very happy to include formats or suggestions that suit your needs or preferences, including your own material that you want to include (photos, documents or memories).
For the two options listed above, each package costs £1,500. However, with an older or more substantial property, more research time may be required - so we include recommended areas of further research (costed at £350 per day for social history, £500 per day for architectural history) when we send you the draft PDF report on approval in case you want to extend the commission.
We also offer a deluxe publication-quality print that makes a stunning gift, which includes professional photography and different layout options to the standard report. This costs an additional £1,000 and we can send samples for you to examine, should you wish to upgrade.
For all commissions we invoice 50% on agreement, and the balance is invoiced once you are happy to sign off the research.
Get in touch via our contact form