Common Renovations for Historic Homes

a brick building with trees around it

Home renovations are a big part of owning a home. You’re constantly thinking of ways to improve your living space and make it more comfortable for you and your family. Whether you’re redoing your kitchen, adding a splash of paint, or updating the exterior, renovation projects can be big undertakings that you have to be prepared for. This is even more true when you’re working on renovating a historic home. With the extra restrictions and aged utilities, it will take special care to be sure your historic house becomes a beautiful, updated home.

There are a lot of reasons to invest in a historic home. Maybe you’re a big history buff, and you want to live in a place that has a great story behind it. Maybe you just love the older architecture. Of course, just because you enjoy something old doesn’t mean you have to live without the conveniences of the present. Bring your home up to date with exterior renovations, useable utilities, and newer technologies. Understand exactly what you’re taking on. Investing in a historic home is a big journey to go on that will require added care as the years go on. Here are just a few of the common renovations for your historic house.

Understand your historic home’s purpose.

Before you get working, it is important to understand your historic home and what you want to use it for. Most people will choose to live on the property, but you may have other ideas. Perhaps you want to restore it because it’s a landmark that deserves to be preserved, or maybe you want to create a museum within the building to share the history with the people around you. Whatever you plan to use your home for, that will inform your renovation decisions.

Make sure your utilities are useable.

Whether you’re using your historic house to live in or to rent out, you are going to need useable utilities. The plumbing may be a little out of date and there may not be usable heating or AC. Those are systems you will absolutely need in your house if you plan to make it a home. Even smaller systems can make things more comfortable for your living situation. A water filtration system can guarantee you have healthy drinking water. The most advanced carbon filtration will rid your water of all toxins and let you enjoy a happy, healthy life in your home. Those amenities can make or break your overall experience and may-be one of the first things to renovate in your home.

Repair the roof and exterior.

Once you have the skeleton and utilities all set in your house, it’s time to look at the exterior. Chances are your roofing or siding may be several decades old. You can’t live in a house without sufficient systems in place to keep you protected from the elements. Waldorf Roofing can help you with small roof repairs or a full roof replacement. Whether you want to put in a new material, fix some loose shingles, or do a complete redo, you’ll want experts in place to help you decide on the best way to move forward. Find a roofer that will treat you like a family that maybe has experience with historic homes. This should be one of the early renovations for your property so you can literally keep the roof over your head working and functional.

Know any restrictions that are in place.

When you’re looking into renovations for historic homes, know there may be some restrictions in place for what you can and can’t do. You may not be able to add on rooms or additions to the home to maintain the integrity of the original building. Repainting or completely redesigning certain rooms may also be out of the question. Check-in with your local ordinances before you start your process to make sure you are set to make the changes you want to make.

Consult professionals to get an idea of the work ahead.

Your historic home renovation isn’t like a regular home improvement project. With the extra work and care that has to go into refurbishment, you need to consult a crew with previous experience. They will also be able to quote you and help you decide what renovations are realistic for your property. Having expert help will be the best way to get into the specifics of your special scenario. This isn’t your average project. A normal home improvement project may just take a quick search for how to renovate a kitchen on a budget or ways to update your bedroom look. A historic home renovation will require a more specialized team to handle everything in the best way.

Be smart about updating the technology.

If you plan on living in your home, there are definitely amenities and technology that you’ll want to include. However, these old houses weren’t built to have a ton of electrical outlets or fancy new kitchen appliances. You’ll want to be smart about how to update your technology. Make sure you don’t overwhelm the space you have with all the new and updated pieces you’re adding to the home.

That being said, it can increase your energy efficiency to replace a few systems. Try to update your heating and AC if you can. Employ more green appliances in your kitchen or laundry room (if you even have one). Just taking a few extra steps to update these individual parts will help you save money down the line by not having to pay extra for outdated systems.

In general, just be smart about your renovations.

Overall, the biggest piece of advice for your historic home renovation is to just be smart. Do your research before purchasing the home and prepare for extra costs to keep the integrity of the house intact. It takes extra care and effort to make your historic house a home. And while it may sound like an exciting opportunity, consider if you are really up for all the challenges and specialization involved. Once you’ve decided that, you can make all the beautiful renovations you want.