With rising housing prices and the recently renewed push to small-town life, many homebuyers are searching out historic homes in need of repair. They can often be bought for an attractive price, and the craftsmanship and details are second to none. However, buying a historic home is a major commitment of time, resources and effort. These tips will help you navigate the renovation process without losing your sanity.
1. Pay Attention to the Architectural Style
Each architectural style has elements that set it apart from others. Play those features up when you do renovations, even if you aren’t fully adhering to historic materials. Removable window muntins can give the appearance of a historically accurate number of glass panes without compromising modern comfort and efficiency.
2. Use Appropriate Materials
Whenever possible, you should try to find the right materials for your home. Architectural salvage yards are great places to check for detailed pieces, framing and fixtures. The people who work or volunteer at them are also one of your most valuable assets for information and other resources.
3. Lean Into the Home’s Past
Before you start any projects, take time to learn a little about your home’s past. Find out family names and how long each one stayed in the house. Did anything significant happen on the property? If so, including it can add meaning to any renovations you eventually complete.
4. Plan for the Unexpected
No matter how well you plan for renovations, something unexpected will come up. It’s par for the course in historic homes. It may be as simple as finding a hidden time capsule inside a wall or chimney or as devastating as finding out that all of the home’s plumbing will need to be replaced. Over time, you’ll learn to anticipate potential problems and adapt as they arise.
There are so many rewards to renovating a historic home. The finished project offers an affordable, unique and meaningful housing choice for many homebuyers.