Old home renovation is not an easy task. That’s why I have compiled a list of important things to keep in mind when remodeling your old house.
The average house in the United States is nearly four decades old and a struggle to renovate. But renovations are even more difficult for older homes, such as Victorians, which have been around for more than a century. Historic homes have their own unique challenges to overcome.
Are you thinking about modernizing your old home? Even if you have renovation experience, you should take heed before charging into the project head-on. Without the right advice, you could put your health at risk or cause irreparable harm to your home’s historic status. For instance, if you are looking to repair your garage, you would need to contact a certified garage door repair technician.
The Secrets to a Successful Old Home Renovation
What makes an old home so different? Older homes typically need more and more expensive updates to become up-to-date. But you also have to consider its historic features.
Victorians didn’t come with garages, after all. Before you even plan a renovation for your old home, here are four things to remember:
1. Preserve Historic Aspects
You can modernize an older home without erasing its historic charm and personality. But it’s a difficult balancing act. No matter what you plan to renovate, you should know the aesthetic elements that define your home’s style.
Are you replacing the weathered molding in the living room? In a typical house, you could choose any modern option that tickled your fancy. But not every crown molding will mesh with your home’s style.
Maintaining the traditional style is important for resale value. But most old homes also fall under special regulations. Depending on your municipality, your home may have to follow style guidelines.
Typically these guidelines only dictate the property’s exterior. Before your renovation, read up on local historic districts and follow the building code, should it apply to you.
Because of these extra regulations, it’s best that you rely on a specialized architectural drafting and design contractor to get the job done. Try to find designers and architects that have worked on homes similar to yours. They’ll maintain the historical elements of the house and should also be familiar with local building protocols.
Modern homes tend to utilize open floor plans. If you want to take down a few walls, don’t overdo it. A key feature of older homes is an abundance of specialized rooms.
You might think that an open floor plan would increase your home’s resale value, but that might not be the case. If you lose a bedroom or valuable square footage, that will negatively affect your home’s marketable statistics.
And additions don’t usually provide a good return on investment. Read more here about renovation projects with the worst ROI.
2. Don’t DIY
Thanks to the internet, you can find tutorials for just about anything. It can be tempting to open up your toolbox and get your hands dirty. You’ll save money and enjoy the satisfaction of completing the job on your own.
But when it comes to remodeling old homes, leave it to the professionals. Old homes were built with antiquated materials and building codes. What might be safe in a typical house could be downright deadly in an older one.
For example, older paints may contain lead. When you bring down a wall, these substances could enter the air you breathe. Even materials such as asbestos could be present in the form of insulation.
In addition to safety, older homes are harder to work with. From plumbing considerations to antiquated materials, you might lack the expertise you need to complete the renovation on your own.
Paying for the help of a professional will save your sanity and your health. Your home is your most important investment. Foundation problems can threaten that investment by causing serious structural damage, lowering the value of your home. In order to keep your home safe, it is important to watch for some common foundation problems.
3. Take Advantage of Open Walls
The worst part about old homes? The pipes and electrical wires are in sure need of an upgrade. If you’ll be knocking down a wall during a renovation, that’s a great time to replace the outdated lines.
Plumbing is awful in older homes because the pipes are galvanized. They’re liable to become clogged or wear away with age. Make the upgrade to modern PVC or copper pipes.
As for the electrical setup, it simply can’t keep up with modern technologies. We rely on a larger number of power-hungry devices than ever before. Without the upgrade, you might experience intermittent power loss.
Does this sound like an optional upgrade? Because it isn’t. Old electrical wiring is also dangerous, liable to ignite a fire in your home. That is why you need to look for someone who does Residential Electrical Services. Why do you ask? Because their main service is to provide safety for the client’s home. Electrical contractors work on the wiring, installation, and maintenance of all kinds of electrical appliances in homes. They also work on installing and repairing the wiring in homes, as well as installing new appliances such as air conditioners, furnaces, water heaters, and dishwashers.
4. Be Mindful of Reproductions
Many of the features in your home are composed of materials that are no longer available. Sometimes, it might be possible to create a passable reproduction. On its own, a new handrail might not be noticeable.
But when reproductions are surrounded by original items, they’ll stand out like a sore thumb. Even the best reproductions cannot mimic the appearance that comes with a century of wear and tear.
If they’re done with a keen eye, there is still a place for new features. Separating new reproductions from the originals will make their differences less noticeable. Contractors can also repurpose old features and install them in new rooms.
While not ideal, the alternative is removing all the original pieces. If a portion of the crown molding is in need of repair, you’re better off replacing all of it with new trim.
Renew Your Old Home
Don’t be overwhelmed during an old home renovation. It’s possible to preserve the stylistic elements of a historic home while also providing modern amenities. In fact, it’s even possible to install new additions, so long as they’re tastefully done.
Now that you have a good baseline, it’s time to create the plan for your old home renovation. Remember to be patient. Remodeling old homes aren’t easy — but it’s worth it in the end.
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