You can’t deny that old houses have a certain charm that most modern houses don’t. Many people, including real estate investors and buyers, are drawn to them because old houses have plenty of character. You’d be lucky to be able to buy one, and even luckier if you get one passed down to you. However, getting your hands on an old house also means having to go through the challenge of restoring them.
If you don’t know the difference between restoration and renovation, restoration is the process of returning a building to its original condition. On the other hand, Renovation is renewing a building by fixing what’s already there and sometimes even adding new components. Most people would rather opt to restore old houses instead of renovating them to preserve most of its original properties. But sometimes you really can’t avoid renovating certain parts of an old house. It depends on how damaged certain parts of the house are.
Restoring an old house can be a challenge, but the benefits are worth it. It’s not expensive to do so either. Restoration projects are cheaper than most people think. They can be done even if you’re on a tight budget. You have to keep these things in mind, and restoring an old house will be much easier for you:
1. Restoring an old house requires research
In restoring an old house, you have to get to know the story behind it first. Part of its charm is the history that it holds, and now that you’re the new owner, you have a responsibility to know what it is. Do some research to know when the house was built, what materials were used, and take note of any systems (plumbing, water, heating, electrical) present in the house that might be outdated.
Ask the previous owners if they also did their restorations or renovations to the house. Check to see which parts were originally included in the house and which ones are updated. Research is important in restoring an old house because you want to maintain as much of the original structure as possible. Getting to know its history will help you preserve it. Contact a local historian if you need more help.
2. Choose a team with experience
When it comes to picking the team that can help you with the restoration, you want to choose professionals that have experience restoring old buildings or houses. Hire a contractor and an inspector that know the historic properties in your area. You don’t want an inexperienced team working on an old house. Especially if your goal is to preserve its original structure, it’s best to hire specialists in this case.
3. Inspect the house for its biggest problems
Before you can get into the house’s smaller details, you have to identify the major issues first. Some major problems commonly identified in old houses are the masonry and the foundation. The masonry or the stonework (if there are any) is the first thing you have to check. That and the foundation are usually the first to get damaged in old houses because the materials used back in the day weren’t as structurally sound as the ones we use today.
Another issue with old houses is moisture and the risk of molds. Make sure to inspect the house for any mold growth or water leakages. The windows and doors are common issues as well. It can be hard to find parts for old windows and doors at an appliance store, but you can get customized parts made specifically for the house from an injection-molding manufacturer. Getting it directly from a manufacturer can save you more money, and you can get it in bulk too. You should also get the electrical system checked by an electrician that has experience in home restorations.
4. Don’t get carried away by the restoration
The point of restoration is to bring the house back to its original condition. Some renovations can be made, such as adding a new shower, changing the wallpaper, or installing new flooring. But part of an old house’s charm is its quirks. Changing too many things about the house will remove the very character that drew you to the house in the first place.
Being able to restore an old house is a dream for plenty of homeowners. Just remember not to get too carried away with the project and that you still keep some of its quirks. The goal of a restoration project is to preserve the house’s structure and preserve its history and its character.