If you live in a historic area, you won’t go far without running into heritage homes or century-old construction. Places like these are beautiful, elegant and charming, but living in one also requires a lot of work. They’re not built quite the same as modern homes, and as such, they require some modifications to make them modern-living-friendly.
Maybe you’re interested in buying and restoring an older home. Or maybe you currently live in a historic house that you’d like to renovate. Either way, there are some important aspects about older homes that you should be aware of before beginning the restoration process. Let’s look at five of them below.
1. Plumbing will need to be updated
While historic homes offer many benefits, modern plumbing isn’t one of them. Unfortunately, older plumbing systems aren’t nearly as reliable or efficient as contemporary ones. While you might find yourself able to get by with outdated plumbing for a while, there are other things to consider (namely, building codes and regulations).
Most older plumbing systems simply aren’t up to code. Pipe corrosion or improper construction can be dangerous for you and your family. For these reasons, it’s best to contact a professional who can help outdated plumbing systems meet city regulations.
2. The foundation and roof will likely need repairs
Many historic homes need work from top to bottom. Specifically, the top of the home — your roof — as well as the foundation beneath your house will likely need repairs. Between cracked shingles, roof leaks, structural problems with the chimney, cracks in the foundation and uneven slab work, you might need to invest a considerable amount of money in making sure your historic home is structurally sound. Doing so will improve both your quality of life and the value of your house.
3. Electrical work might be required
Older homes weren’t made to power nearly as many systems as modern homes. Between air conditioning, TVs, phones, lights, microwaves, refrigerators and more, you’ll want to make sure your home is equipped to run all of the many appliances that make modern life possible.
In addition to increasing the amount of power your outlets supply, you may also want to work with an electrician to increase the number of outlets available in each room. Historic homes often only have one outlet per room as a result of their construction prior to the mass implementation of electricity.
4. The basement might need refinishing
Older basements weren’t built to be living spaces. Instead, most cellars were made to be storage areas for food and other goods that needed to be held in cool, dry conditions. If you’re looking to transform a historic home basement into a suitable living area, it pays to work with a contractor who can turn that vision into a reality. They’ll help you retool, redesign and refinish your basement so that you can use it for far more than just a storage space.
5. Significant remodeling may be needed
Once you’ve got all the basic necessities under control, it’s time to look at the actual structural flow of your home. Does the kitchen meet your needs? Is the living space live-able? Do you have enough bedrooms and bathrooms to make your space amenable to both family and guests?
These are all important questions you’ll want to ask yourself before setting up a call with a home restoration professional. Once you know the answers, it pays to work with a reputable contractor to solve any lingering historic home challenges you have.
Our team of certified contractors are professionals at restoration and renovation projects. We’ll turn what might otherwise be a historic but impractical home into a beautiful, functional space for you and your family. If you’re not sure where to get started with your historic home, consult us for a custom quote.