Home renovations, remodels, and restorations are always significant tasks. But when it comes to updating a historic home, extra care must be taken! 

Whether you’re looking to restore your historic home to her former glory or to bring an older house into the 21st century, historical home renovations necessitate a lot of questions, planning, and prepping beyond what renovating a modern home typically requires.

Here are 5 points to consider prior to beginning your historical home renovation.

1. What’s Your Goal For the House?

Families who choose to live in historical homes frequently feel a sense of responsibility to keep the integrity of the home intact. So ask yourself: How important is it to you that certain original features be preserved? Which features are you most interested in protecting, and which elements of the house would you prefer to update? Getting clear on how historically accurate you want the house to be helps you choose the right contractors and create a smart plan for your project.

2. Is Renovation The Right Option?

Old houses are charming and beautiful… But they’re also quirky! This means they may not be for everyone. If you’re dreaming of elements like radiant floors or evenly heated/cooled rooms, you may want to reconsider whether renovation is the right option…or whether you should just be planning to move into a more modern home. The fact is that no matter how many renovation projects we pursue, an old home is still going to come with some character and lack some modern creature comforts. Understand what you’re getting into prior to making the investment.

3. Does Your Neighborhood Have Rules Around Historic Renovations?

Depending on where you live, there may be certain rules that must be followed around building materials, permitting, etc. Find out in advance of starting your project what these rules are, as they can severely impact a project’s budget/timeline in some cases.

4. Start With Practical Elements First

It’s common for homeowners to want to begin their renovation by upgrading cabinets or appliances. Typically speaking though, it’s better to begin with practical elements like roofing, masonry, or windows—functional components of the home which can impact structural integrity and safety over time. Beautiful cabinets do you no good if the roof is leaking and ruining the floors in the next room. 

5. Choose the Right Team

This is true for any renovation… But especially when dealing with older houses, it’s absolutely crucial to work with contractors, architects, etc. who understand how to work on historical houses. The right crew will have a portfolio of similar historical work and will share your interest in preserving the integrity of your home.

Restoring a Historic Home in WV, MD, VA, or PA? We’d Love to Help!

With over a decade of experience remodeling, renovating, and restoring historic homes, we’ve got what it takes to help you meet your goals for your historic home. Contact us today to learn more!

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