While not every home owner has the time, energy, or desire to renovate an old house, some people get great joy out of renewing a priceless piece of history. Home renovation is in itself a challenge, and this challenge is certainly greater when you’re working on an old house. There are significant challenges that need consideration before embarking on such a large project, but if you’re up to the task, the rewards are awesome.
The pros of old home renovation
Old houses generally possess far more personality and style than most houses built today. The craftsmanship of older homes is also often outstanding, and much of the work will be unique and one-of-a-kind. This stellar craftsmanship and good quality deserve to be preserved.
The materials used in older homes also tend to be of a much higher quality than those used today. From solid hardwood floors, to quality masonry, to hand-carved woodworking, you’re getting quality that has stood the test of time – and that can promise many more years with a little care and effort.
The cons of old home renovation
While some gorgeous work can be found in old houses, older home renovation can often reveal some nasty – and even hazardous – surprises.
Asbestos was used in insulation in many old homes, and this can pose a health risk if it’s not handled properly. There may also be traces of lead paint or lead used throughout the home’s plumbing system. Wiring and plumbing may be severely out-dated, requiring a considerable amount of work. Heating and cooling systems will generally need to be replaced altogether if they have not been well maintained.
Know what you’re tackling with old home renovation
The best thing you can do if you’re serious about renovating an old house is to talk to a contractor. They can give you a realistic look at what you’re taking on, as well as the prices attached to the various tasks. A professional will be better aware of the potential hidden problems and can point you to the most efficient solutions.
Know your architecture and time periods
If you’re serious about preserving the integrity and beauty of an old home, take time to learn about the architecture and style of the time period in which the house was built. Old home renovation can turn out some stunning results, but you’ll have the best outcome if you understand the original character of the house.
Old wood floors can be restored to warm, lustrous beauty, retaining all the character of age. Highlight the depth and age of the wood and let its character shine.
While you may not be able to match the original materials used in the original construction, try as much as possible to closely reflect the original styles, textures, and appearance throughout your home renovation. If your home’s walls are an antique, natural plaster, don’t cover up the beauty with a garish color from a paint sprayer. Try whenever possible to maintain the integrity of the original design.
Of course, you’ll also want to integrate your own personality and style throughout the house. As you hunt for antique fixtures, furniture, and other pieces that reflect the style of your house, don’t shy away from a piece you love just because it’s not from the same era. The final product of your old home renovation should be a beautiful mixture of the old and the new, and a place you and your family can call home.