Restoration is defined as the process of returning a property to its original condition. It often involves repairing or replacing old features of a home, as well as refinishing wood floors and replacing outdated carpets.
According to CBS News, restoring historic homes may be harder than modern houses. For one, it can become more costly as it is difficult to find materials similar to those made years ago. Also, there are certain rules that a homeowner needs to follow before making changes to the exterior of a historic home; this is especially true in historic districts. These rules are somehow limiting. However, it’s for a good reason, as restoring a home’s ultimate goal is preservation.
Preservation does not only satisfy a property owner but the community as well. When you undertake a historic home restoration project, you are helping the community preserve its history as well.
Restoration also contributes positively to the environment. As these old houses already have strong foundations, fewer resources are needed, especially in more recent homes. This is what differentiates restoration from remodeling and renovations. Remodeling and renovation focus on adding new elements or changing a home entirely, thus using more resources.
Finding a property
To restore a home, you need to find a property that needs restoration first.
The property you need to buy will rely largely on how much you are willing to spend. Some people make the mistake of not buying a relatively cheaper property because it is too dilapidated. But in home restorations, you have to be imaginative. You need to have a vision and see the possibilities of what the property can become after work has been done.
In finding a property, research is also important. The Washington Post lists seven mistakes property owners make in old home renovations; it includes not doing proper research of a property’s history. It is the same for home restorations, too. Knowing the meaning behind the home and its nooks and crannies add more value to the property. It also guides you on the important aspects of a home that need to be preserved.
As with most homes, location is also important when looking for property to restore. Accessibility to school, groceries, and health care systems is of the essence. Also, impulsively buying a property is a major mistake. Make sure to shop around first; see what is best suited for your lifestyle and your budget.
Spot for issues
Anticipation is another skill you need to learn when choosing a home to restore. In the buying phase of a property, you should have already spotted issues that you need to address during the restoration process. You must also anticipate that issues may still arise even with careful planning. Anticipation is key, so you don’t get surprised or panic. Make sure that you have enough budget to finish the project.
Plumbing and electricity are some of the most crucial parts of any home; naturally, these are also some of the main issues of old homes. Therefore, you need to do a proper inspection of both when taking on a restoration project. Some professionals can help you get an electrical system assessment.
Some old houses may have issues that are too hard to salvage and may need an overhaul. For instance, in terms of plumbing, houses built before the 1990s may have pipes that are no longer approved by U.S. building codes.
Restoring an old home is a huge task that may be overwhelming when you don’t have the right people to help you. You need to assemble a team that will guide you throughout the process and will get the job done.
We already covered the inspectors earlier, but you also need to hire a contractor. A general contractor handles all aspects of construction. Sometimes, they have in-house architects as well. When choosing a contractor, it’s best to hire a team that is experienced in historic preservation. A team like this can differentiate a restoration project from renovation and remodeling, thus helping you meet your goal.
On the other hand, an architect can help you restore a home while making smart choices for modern living. You want this because you want to have a house that is livable, regardless of its age. The architect can help lay out the plan for your home, and the contractor will help you execute those plans.
Update the home
As mentioned above, you want a preserved home but also a livable one. To make sure of that, updates, such as heating, cooling, and lighting, must be properly installed. This does not entail an overhaul, though, so you don’t have to panic. A home can be restored and have modern comforts, too.
It is also no secret that most old homes are built without the environment in mind. Most of these old buildings have lead paint that is toxic to the environment and people as well. When restoring your home, it is important to use environmentally friendly and safe materials for you and your family.
Updating your home is also an opportunity to provide proper insulation within the property. You do not only protect yourself from weather changes, but it reduces energy consumption. The result is lower energy bills and less harm to the environment.
Once you do all these, you do not only get to restore an old property back to its original glory. You get to live in it, too.