Owning a historic home could be your pride and joy, but does it meet your family’s needs adequately? While your older home is likely full of charm and character, it’s not so likely to have the creature comforts a modern family could be looking for. However, that doesn’t mean you have to forego history for modern construction.
The truth is, it IS possible to update a historic home and bring it into the 21st century. And it can be done without giving up everything you’ve come to love. You simply have to do a little extra planning and work with remodeling professionals who can steer you in the right direction.
5 Key Factors to Consider When You Remodel a Historic Home
1. Renovate your historic home with a ‘safety first’ mindset.
If you have a soft spot in your heart for older things, there’s so much to love about a historic home. But there could be some things lurking behind the walls or hidden in other areas that you wouldn’t love. Things like faulty wiring, lead pipes, a crumbling foundation, or rotting boards.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to upgrade your older home to have newer features or a more modern feel. But before you get too far into updating aesthetics, be sure to take care of the essentials that affect safety. After all, if faulty wiring leads to a house fire, for example, all the other upgrades you’ve done will be for naught.
2. Keep the charm but update for comfort.
While historic homes exude charm and character, they may not have all the comforts you want your family to enjoy today. Perhaps the kitchen is too cramped for entertaining or the bathrooms are too tiny. And, maybe the home looks great but feels stifling in the summer due to lack of adequate air flow.
If you work with remodeling experts, all of these things (and more) can be updated to make your home more comfortable without sacrificing charm. It’s often possible to install a modern HVAC system hidden behind historic details so you can enjoy the benefits of central heating and cooling. And, smaller rooms can be combined to create bigger, more open living spaces. Simply work closely with your professional remodeling team to decide what needs to stay and what can be removed to get what you need while preserving your home’s charm.
3. Repurpose historic pieces to keep your home’s character.
It’s possible that your remodeling plan will include completely gutting the kitchen, bathroom, or other rooms to replace wiring, plumbing, or other essentials. That doesn’t mean that your home’s unique character has to go out the window, too, however. Sometimes, saving items like antique drawer pulls or a vintage washstand and repurposing them in other ways can be the key to making your newly updated historic home keep its historic feel.
4. Repair or replace historic details you want to keep.
If you’re living in a historic home, it’s highly likely that you purchased it in the first place because you love its character. When upgrading for function, comfort, or aesthetics, though, pay attention to what creates that character you love. Maybe it’s the crown moldings or the hardwood floors. Whatever it is that you love, make sure your remodeling design keeps that intact.
Of course, those historic details you want to keep may not always be in top notch condition. That’s when it’s time to look at what it will take in terms of time and money to repair or replace them. If repair is not an option, it’s often possible to find a local artisan who can replace the feature with something new that’s built to look old.
5. Be prepared for the unexpected – renovating a historic home almost always comes with surprises!
Throughout our almost 40 years of remodeling in Orange County, we’ve learned this … always expect the unexpected when you’re doing home renovations. This is one of the key reasons why we have our clients include an extra line item in their remodeling budget for ‘contingencies’. Basically, the idea is that you determine how much your remodel will cost. Then, add into your budget another 10-20 percent as a buffer to handle whatever comes up that wasn’t in your original plan.
Upgrading a historic home is no different. In fact, if it hasn’t been renovated in years, it may even be more susceptible to surprises than the average home. Whether it’s old wiring that needs to be replaced or a rotting subfloor that rears its ugly head, plan ahead for hidden surprises that could significantly affect your budget. And who knows … maybe you’ll encounter a GOOD surprise, like beautiful wood floors that have been covered up for decades!
Work with the Orange County Remodeling Experts to Update Your Historic Home
Whether you own a historic home or a newer model, Sea Pointe Design & Remodel is proud to be your source for professional remodeling in Orange County. We’ve been helping Orange County homeowners turn their remodeling ideas into reality for almost 40 years and we’d love to help with your home remodeling project.
Take a look at our online portfolio of completed projects to learn more about our work. Or, register for one of our upcoming remodeling webinars to learn helpful remodeling tips from the pros.
Then, when you’re ready to start planning your remodeling project, call us at (949) 861-3400 or fill out the form below to schedule your complimentary design consultation.