Modernizing Doesn't Have to Mean Stripping Your Home
So you’ve decided to tackle the renovation of a historic home. You have noble intentions: You’re hoping to restore your new home to its former glory while renovating it to modernize the living space.
A little research before any demo work gets done can go a long way toward making sure that any renovation work maintains your home’s historical integrity without stripping any important characteristics.
Research Goes a Long Way
First off, try to get a copy of the home’s original blueprint so that you can determine what structures and features such as walls are original to the home. Second, a stop or a call to your historical society or local library can yield valuable information about your home and its history through the years.
The information you uncover can help you determine what features you want to keep.
Five Features to Keep
Here are some features we think you should consider making a permanent part of your home:
Wood flooring. If the condition is good, you may want to consider keeping the flooring, both because it’s great for the environment and for your pocketbook. Also, the patina on an aged wooden floor has more character than a brand new wooden floor
Staircase. Staircases in older homes are better made and have more detail than what is produced today. Keeping the original staircase, with its original balusters, rails and new posts, is sure to add tons of style to your home. If any of these have been painted, you can strip the old paint to reveal all the nooks and grooves in the wood.
Windows are like the eyes into a home. You don’t really want to change these unless it’s really necessary because it will change the look of your home. You can easily apply inexpensive weather stripping and use epoxy or similar compound to stabilize an old window. If you must change the window, try to find ones like the original style.
Moldings. Today we pay a pretty penny to add wood moldings to our homes. There was a time when moldings were a regular part of a home’s design. The wooden elements in an older home are often the most visible testament to the home’s history.
Doors. The doors of yesteryear simply don’t compare to the doors available today. Today’s front doors are often made of steel, sometimes with faux graining made to resemble wood. The original is so much better in terms of craftsmanship and add’s to a home’s uniqueness.
Photo credit: JanieCoffey