Historical Home Renovation: What You Should Know

Renovating a home can be challenging. There are multiple concerns to be managed, the best use of space, how your family uses your home and the design of the interior. Historical home renovations are different than standard home renovations. Historical homes pose a unique set of challenges that homeowners must overcome in order to complete a successful project.

Finding a home renovation professional who is experienced with historic home renovations and someone you trust is essential for your project’s success. Select your contractor based on their portfolio of work and their experience with historic home renovations.

Once you’ve chosen your building team, you can work with your contractor to complete the renovation. Here are some simple steps to ensure a successful remodel:

Do Your Research

A historical home’s architecture and style are dictated by the era it was built in. By understanding your home’s historical features, you and your contractor will design a home that works for your family and is historically accurate. Speak with the homeowners of other historical homes in your area that have been remodeled. Ask the owners for contractor referrals and take a tour of the home if possible. Go online and collect information and images from other renovations for inspiration and ideas.

Your city may have historical district guidelines. There are guidelines for renovating historic homes that preserve the character and feel to the home. A historical home is a record of the construction techniques of the era it was built in. A home’s distinctive finishes and features need to be replicated or retained.

Take Inventory

To merge a modern lifestyle with a historic home requires careful planning. Consider keeping and restoring the original lighting, bathroom fixtures, and hardwood floors. Original items that you want to reuse should be removed before renovation starts. Infrastructure items like wiring and plumbing are brought up to modern code. With your contractor, create a list of your needs and wants to make sure your home will keep it historical features, but still have all the modern conveniences.

Set a Budget

Creating a budget for any home renovation is tricky. Historical home renovations can be especially challenging. Because of a home’s age you may have some unexpected expenses. Make sure you cover the costs of permits, disposal, utilities, materials, and labor in the budget. Pad the budget from 10% to 20% to accommodate for any unexpected expenses.

Create a Schedule

Work with your contractor and develop a priority list of tasks and set a schedule. Get a start date and approximate end date. Allow enough time to complete each part of the renovation. Historical home renovations require an attention to detail, and it can be quite tricky to meld the old and the new during the actual build.

Expect the Unexpected

Unexpected issues will pop-up during the renovation. Your budget or plan may need to be modified so make sure you’ve padded both your time frame and your budget for these issues. Be flexible.

Choose an experienced contractor

Choose a contractor experienced in historic home renovation. Do some research and talk with neighbors who have had renovations. Ask their opinions of contractors and view the work the contractors have done. Choose a licensed and bonded contractor.

The team at JMConstruction can help you renovate your historical home. Contact us to learn more about the uncommon process of renovating a historic property.

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