Fixing Up Your Older Home: What Can You Do?
30 Oct 2021
Many Americans wish to live in their own houses, outside the cities, and away from cramped apartment buildings. And there is plenty of housing stock for you to choose from. Aside from the millions of new homes constructed every year, more homes have been built in decades past.
According to a recent survey, the average age of houses in the United States is 37 years old, with the majority of homes built during the 80s. If you buy houses that are even older because of their reduced price, you must learn how to renovate and remodel them properly. Below are a few tips on how you can fix older homes as efficiently and safely as possible.
Get Rid of Lead
Many houses in the United States used lead piping and paint throughout the structure before it was discovered that the heavy metal was viciously toxic. If you bought a home built before the 1990s, you should have it thoroughly inspected for any lead. This includes lead on furniture, lead painted on the walls, and lead used in water pipes.
Getting rid of all these heavy metals can be a remodeling project by itself, and you have to be prepared to pay hundreds or even thousands of dollars for it. Getting rid of lead is an essential precaution when dealing with an older home. So you must ask a real estate agent if a property you plan on buying has already been inspected for it.
Fit the Decor
Older homes have distinctive styles and decor that you must match to retain their aesthetics. Bringing in modern fixtures and decorations can result in your older home looking atrocious and bringing down its real estate price.
For example, if your older home’s kitchen is decorated with walnut cabinets and lovely oak moldings, you should not replace the floors with cheap linoleum tiles. It will look much better if you use an element like heritage hickory engineered wood flooring to better match the other wooden fixtures. This will give your home a unified and consistent look that you and potential buyers may find appealing.
Older homes belong to distinctive architectural styles or even the unique creations of architects. Some eras have their own landmark features, such as the grand colonnades of Greek Revival architecture and the elaborate spires of Gothic buildings. Determine what year your older home was built and what kind of architectural style it’s using.
You don’t want to ruin its edifice by using contrary or unflattering styles to remodel it. For example, Russian architecture is very heavy with wood and will look terrible with more modern building styles that rely on metals or concrete. Aside from the architecture, you must also determine the distinctive elements of the house’s interior design so you can fix it up after intense remodeling projects.
Consult with Experts
The older your home, the more likely you will need help determiningthe best course of action regarding any remodeling or extensive home improvement project. There is a wide range of experts you can consult when you plan on ensuring you are pursuing the proper method for renovating your house.
First, historical societies and similar organizations may hold information on what your house initially looked like. Students of architecture can help you draft plans on how to best retain the unique charm of an older home without sacrificing safety and efficiency. Finally, builders and contractors who specialize in fixing up an older property can be well-springs or great information on the best construction methods for such projects.
Scour Antique Shops
Whenever you plan to renovate or even just redecorate an older home, you should make it a point to visit all the local antique shops for any fixtures or decor you might need. Your home may need specific pieces and decorations that can only be found in these stores.
However, you have to be very particular when shopping for pieces in antique stores. You don’t want to load your home with kitschy items and stuff from different periods. Your research and the input of experts will help determine what things you should buy and what pieces you should leave in a store.
Older homes can be treasures that, after great remodeling, can turn over a hefty fortune for house flippers. Or they can be great assets to yourself and your family because of their history and charm. Either way, you should do the work and try to learn as much as you can on how to rebuild and improve them so that they retain their historical appearance.