It’s often said that they just don’t make things like they used to. This is apparent in homes where elegant wood trim has given way to thin molding and the ornate finishing touches have been abandoned in favor of quick finishes that don’t require an artist’s touch. If you’ve been drawn to a historic home because you want that old-world craftsmanship and attention to detail, then you may have to put some extra work into the home to make up for the ravages of age and neglect. Before you start working on a historic home, here are a few tips you should keep in mind.
Get a Full Inspection
Before you start working on the home, it’s important to know exactly what you’re dealing with. Projects like this have a way of snowballing because you find one problem after another. You may start out upgrading the electrical panel only to discover that the wiring throughout the home needs to be replaced. With a full inspection, you can learn about these problems ahead of time and make smart changes. Rather than addressing something one challenge at a time, it may prove more cost-effective to do a larger renovation and take care of everything at once.
Remodeling and Restoration are Two Different Things
When you remodel something, you are essentially changing it to make it better in some way. When a home is restored, you will take steps to make it like it once was. However, you can combine the methods to create the home of your dreams. Electrical and plumbing systems should be remodeled to bring them up to current standards. However, you may want the wood trim and other decorative elements restored to bring historic feel of the home to life.
Watch the Red Tape
The idea of owning a home on the National Register of Historic Places may appeal to you, but have you considered what’s really involved with this? If this is the case, you’ll be limited on what renovations you can do. You may have people driving by just to look at your home. This can be more than you bargained for, so find exactly what’s involved in living in such a home.
Know Your Personal Limits
You may have a talented hand when it comes to stripping and refinishing the gorgeous wood trim, but the electrical system and plumbing should be left to professionals. Other projects, like removing wallpaper and making other decorative changes, are ideally suited to homeowners and can help you save money.
Restoring a historic home is going to take time. You’ll want to pace yourself to protect your sanity and your wallet. Start with the most pressing matters first, such as replacing a rotting roof, and then do a few projects each year to gradually restore the home.
Your efforts will be worth the hard work, and professionals are available to help. With people who know their way around historic homes working with you, the process won’t seem so overwhelming.
About the author: A recent college graduate from University of San Francisco, Anica loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she’s used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here. This article was cowritten by the brick and concrete experts at D&G Cement Co. Visit us here to learn more about bringing your historic home back to life.
Image Source: Oracio