Five Tips To Renovating An Old House

Renovating An Old Home

So you’ve found yourself in a beautiful old house that you just love. Maybe you grew up here or maybe you drove by one day and knew it just had to be yours. However you wound up in this special piece of history, you may now realize there are many repairs that need to be made. But how can you renovate your home in a way that will retain its roots while modernizing and bringing it into the 21st century?

At LeMierPhillips, our team has decades of experience in helping people renovate the old homes they love. Here are a few tips to get started:

Start with a vision. Spend some time in the space or spaces you will be working on. Get a feel for what you want the home or room to look like, its current function, and the original use of the space. If your home is historic, do some research. Do you want to refurbish the home to what it was when it was built, or completely start over for a contemporary styled house? When you have your vision, you (and your contractor) will know what the end goal is and will be able to go back to this vision with each decision that is made for this project, helping to create continuity and flow in the space.

Check the infrastructure. Have your home inspected from the start so that fewer necessary repairs surprise you later. There will be surprises, as is the case in every old home renovation, but knowing what needs to be replaced at the beginning saves time and money on the repair. Replacing electrical wiring, outlets, switches, and plumbing is significantly easier to do when the walls are all opened up rather then after the paint is dry.
Also be sure to check the structural elements and foundation of the home to be sure you aren’t renovating a beautiful old sitting room on top of a rotten subfloor, or installing a top-of-the line bathroom underneath a leaking roof.

Preserve as much of the original elements as you can (or desire).  Sometimes great renovations bring the old back to life rather than replacing it all; sometimes gutting an old worn out space and giving it an entirely new life is just what your home needs. Salvaging similarly aged or preserved wood, windows, lighting, etc. can give the home an accurate old age feel and keep timeless pieces out of a landfill; you may even decide to highlight just one original area of the home or room (such as an exposed beam or built in bookshelf) and renovate everything around it.
Whether you want to update and create the feel of a brand new space using modern architecture and accessories or take a trip back in time with all original decor and hardware, finding a way to utilize older/ original pieces in your project is eco-friendly, cost effective, and will preserve the history and memory of your home’s long life,

Take advantage of technology. While aesthetically you may dream of returning all the historic charm to your home, don’t forget that technology is your friend. Advances in heating and cooling, such as split zones and smart thermostats are not only energy efficient, they can also do less damage to the bones of your home. There are other techniques as well that will help to repair and renew your space such as floor, hardware, and furniture refinishing techniques and refurbished lighting with updated bulbs.

Remember the outside. If you are renovating a historical home to its timeless origins or modernizing a dated house, don’t forget the outside! The outdoor area of a home is often forgotten living space and can be useful and beautiful all year long. Repairing or redesigning the front of a home by adding a new front door, windows, a covered porch, or landscaped walkway adds beauty, curb appeal, and value to any home. Adding a deck, patio, or arbor sitting area to a backyard adds valuable space and numerous uses to a beautifully renovated space with outdoor access, such as a kitchen or family room. 

Whether you are looking to renovate your old house back to its original beauty or redo your home in a modern way that best suits your family, these tips will help get you on track to having the home of your dreams. Contact LeMier Phillips for more tips and to schedule a no cost initial consultation to make your home renovation dreams a reality.