Old House Restoration: 5 Top Tips for Restoring an Older Home

Restoring an old home is a dream come true. But it also brings added complexity and cost than a regular home renovation.

Nobody wants to find themselves in the middle of a restoration money pit. Or blow their whole budget only to find out the restoration wasn’t done to historical accuracy.

Before you jump into an old house restoration project, check out these 5 tips to get it started right.

1. Don’t Bite off More Than You Can Chew

When you find an old house you love, it’s easy to get excited and want to jump in with both feet. But stop to look at the big picture before you do.

Do you have the time and budget to tackle everything the house needs? Are there only a few issues to solve, or a long list of issues? Have you done historic home restoration before?

Knowing the limitations of your budget and experience can save you from buying a money pit later on.

2. Prioritize the Work

When the restoration starts, most people want to jump into the fun parts, like choosing paint colors or period appropriate tiles and cabinets. But in reality, there are likely more important issues to address first.

A leaky roof, HVAC service, and drafty windows are a few problems that need to get taken care of right away.

You want to make sure anything that can cause future damage to the house gets repaired first. It also ensures you don’t blow the budget before these necessary items get fixed.

3. Hire a Knowledgeable Team

Don’t hire just any contractor when restoring an old home. You want to make sure you get someone who is familiar with the period of your house and knows how to restore it correctly.

Do your research. Find a contractor who has the needed experience. Check out references and look at prior completed work.

The same holds true for plumbers, electricians, and craftsman. If you have a home built in 1889, you want people who are proficient with 1889 workmanship.

4. Consider Resale Value

Even if you don’t plan to sell your house right away, you still need to consider the resale value when making decisions during the restoration process. You don’t want to over-invest in a property you’ll never see a return on in the future.

Research what fully restored house sell for in your area. Then set your budget accordingly.

5. Don’t Redo. Restore!

Before you tear out that old window and throw it out – stop! Older homes weren’t built with stock items. And years of shifting and settling has reshaped your house.

Nothing fits a historic home quite like it’s original parts. If you throw out that window, you may have a lot of trouble finding a replacement to fit.

Try to restore as many features of the home as you can. It will save money, headaches, and the character of your old home.

Make Your Old House Restoration Dreams Come True

Don’t let an old house restoration intimidate you. Using these tips will help you get your project off on the right foot. And before you know it, you’ll see the historic house of your dreams come shining through.

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