Restoring a historic house: 5 tips and tricks before getting started

Published On: July 16, 20200 Comments on Restoring a historic house: 5 tips and tricks before getting startedTags: Last Updated: February 11, 20242.6 min read

Deciding to restore a historic house is a brave step but one that has the potential for great rewards. Done properly you’ll greatly increase the price you paid for the home, but, you’ll also create a stunning and comfortable family home. That’s a good incentive to get started!

Restoring a historic house

However, before you start it’s a good idea to use the following 5 tips, it will make the entire process run smoother.

Get Surveys Done

You will almost certainly come across a few unexpected issues when restoring a historic house. These can certainly affect the timescale and cost of the restoration process. Being prepared, by completing as many surveys as possible beforehand, will help to minimize the nasty surprises.  Surveys range from structural integrity, wood infestations, dye penetrant testing, and water damage. Water damage is one of the biggest issues facing you so check thoroughly for this. It contributes to wet rot and to mold and mildew, which is not good for your health.

Quality First

Restoring an old house is a long-term commitment, especially if you plan to live in it at the same time. Funds are likely to be a constant issue. However, you probably don’t need to rush the restoration. Instead, focus on doing one piece at a time and doing it well. The quality of the restoration is important, you want the work you’re doing t compliment the house and extend its life. That means it makes sense to do it slowly but well.

Resale Value

You’re probably not thinking about reselling your historic home, especially if you’re just starting the restoration process. However, it is a good idea to consider how the changes you are making affect resale potential. You never know when things will change and you’ll want to sell it. Having a hose that is easy o sell will help.

Restoring a historic house - amazing house

Frame First

We’ve already said to take it slow when restoring. However, it is important to start with the frame, that means walls, windows, doors, and roof. If these are repaired and structural sound then you’re off to a good start, the rest of the process is much easier if you know the house is wind and rainproof. This will also ensure no further damage can happen to the inside of the home and allow you to take your time with the internal restoration process. It is a labor of love.

Embrace Some Elements

You’re buying and restoring a historic house. While some quirks and characteristics will need to go to allow the fitting of modern features, they don’t all need to. The uneven but structural sound floor can be kept. It’s not a hazard and is part of the original appeal of the house. Remember, if you take the restoration process too far you’ll end up with a house that resembles any modern one. It’s important to embrace some of the quirks in your house, it’s what transforms it from a house to a home.

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