Older homes often need some tender loving care to make them look fantastic again. Most people feel that they’re worth the extra effort as older properties may have greater style and a high level of standards that is lacking in some modern buildings. When you start renovating and updating an older home, it’s important to know what you’re getting into and where you should start.
Be Ready for Surprises
Your home has probably changed hands a few times. While some improvements were done by qualified people who paid close attention to detail, you may find other surprises that aren’t very welcome. This includes shoddy repair work and incomplete projects. Accepting the surprises as they arrive and simply working towards solutions will help you keep your sanity. You cannot go back in time and stop a homeowner from using caulk to reattach shower tiles, but you can take the opportunity to install a beautiful new tile surround that will add value to the home.
Update the Home for Safety
There’s a good chance that your older home doesn’t meet certain modern building codes. The roof probably doesn’t have ice shields on the lower sections, and the glass fuses in your electrical panel are a fire waiting to happen. You cannot afford to do all of the work at once, but prioritizing your list is easier than you think. Focus on the safety issues first. You can wait and install ice guards on your roof when it’s time to replace the shingles, but you should make the investment in a modern circuit panel now to protect your family.
Prepare to Find the Framework
As several generations have grown up in your home, the property has probably seen several coats of paint or wallpaper. At some point, badly damaged walls may have to be stripped down to the studs to have new sheetrock put in place. This is a great deal of work, and it’s understandable if you’d rather avoid it. However, the finished product is well worth the extra effort. Whether you’re stripping the woodwork down to make it look like new or the bathroom had to be taken down to the studs due to water damage, the new surface is going to look incredible and take your home to the next level.
Learn about the Home’s Features
Your home has scarred wood floors, and you’re tempted to rip them out and start over. Before you bring in the demolition crew, find out what kind of wood is in the home. There are certain species, like wormy chestnut, that are rare now although they were once commonly used in construction. In this case, refinishing the floor is a smart move as that adds value and appeal to the home. Copper pipes are an asset, but you cannot use certain chemicals in them without corroding the metal. The wide woodwork that graces your home may be covered in paint, but trying to replace it will be extremely costly. Before you make any demolition and replacement decisions in your home, take the time to learn more about the great features that are worth focusing on and saving.
Your home should be an oasis and private retreat, and you also want it to be a great source of pride. If you’ve chosen an older home for the unique layout and excellent craftsmanship, then you need to take great care when investing in remodeling. Go into the projects prepared for surprises and ready to make important updates, and learn more about the great features of your home so that you know what to highlight.
Lena Carson is an interior designer and published writer from Tucson, Arizona. She is very interested in architecture, furniture design, and vintage décor.