Historic homes have lots of personalities and stories to tell. Most property investors may not be interested in buying such old properties. But if you’re a great history fanatic, then you may find historic homes to be a great find in this modern age. Such old homes may need lots of restoration and require the expertise of different professionals. But these will always be a great investment.
Once you legally own an old home, you’ll want to start with the restoration process the soonest time possible. But if you want to make the most out of the restoration, then don’t make the same mistakes historic homeowners are often guilty of committing.
Choose Just About Any Contractor
Not all contractors offer the same quality of services. Don’t just choose the first contractor that offers the cheapest services. Think about what you really want to achieve in restoring the house and find one that can meet the demands of the job.
For example, the building now requires a drywall repair. What you need is a reliable home improvement contractor who already has experience in working with historic houses. This way, you can get that peace of mind knowing they know what they are doing and are capable of doing a great job within the timeline you agreed upon.
Opting for a Modern Kitchen Renovation
Have you ever explored a historic house, only to find the kitchen looking simply out of place? One may think it can be a great surprise to have a modern kitchen installed in an old home. But in reality, this takes away the essence and history of the house.
Remember that even back in the days, the kitchen is where family members gather around to help in preparing and cooking meals. Even if the kitchen is most likely the part of the house that often gets updated, it would be better to retain the original design as much as possible. You would want to make sure the kitchen can keep up with the building’s character to create a timeless look.
Replacing Old Windows
It may seem like your home’s windows could use a bit of an upgrade. But why replace these high-quality windows with inferior ones when you can still restore them? Just because there are much more modern and maintenance-free windows, nothing can beat the appeal that old windows have in any old how.
Older windows are simple, functional, and extremely resilient. This means with proper care and maintenance, you can still bring them back to their old glory. You can still enjoy those gorgeous windows for a longer period with the right maintenance tactics.
Take note that a historic home’s windows add character to the building. This major architectural element makes up the curb appeal of the house. If you don’t want to bring down the value of the house, choose to restore the windows if possible instead of replacing them with modern ones.
Jumping to Restoration without Planning for Contingencies
Anything can go wrong during home improvement. What more if you’re restoring a house that’s at least 50 years old? The costs of your project will depend on the extent, the materials used and the professional fees, among many others.
Aside from these, it is important that you also plan for a contingency budget. You may not be aware of it at first, but your newly acclaimed historic house may have hazardous materials inside. If you choose to remove the hazardous materials, you should be ready to pay for the fees since DYI-ing such a project is not advisable.
If, for instance, you found that your home’s old vinyl floor tiles have asbestos, a professional crew will have to do this for you. You need an abatement contractor to come in and remove the floors since there are strict state and local laws to follow.
Failure to Keep a Record of the Restoration
Perhaps one of the worst mistakes you can commit is taking restoration record-keeping for granted. You may have been too busy planning the project, looking for contractors, buying materials, etc. But that is not enough reason not to keep a record every time you do something about the house.
It does not matter if what you did was to repaint the house, fix the roof, or weather-strip the windows. You will want to record everything and take pieces of evidence like photographs and videos of the before and after. This way, you can easily compare if you did a good job of restoring the house or if you only waste time and money doing the project.
In your records, add the contractors you used and their name and contact details. Record the amount you paid them along with the receipts. This will make it easier for you to maintain the house, have the documents ready in case you intend to sell it in the future, and possibly increase the value of your historic home.
Historic home restoration is not your typical home restoration. You need to preserve as much history as possible and keep the character of the house. You also want to retain as much value as possible as no property owner would want to sacrifice the value of a historic house for the sake of an Instagram-worthy shot.