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Property Focus: Old House Renovation

May 21st, 2020 |

Renovating an old home can be a daunting task. On the one hand, the promise of a revitalized older house is tantalizing, bringing with it increased property values and a better quality of life for residents. On the other, an old house renovation can be a stressful and costly endeavor, further complicated by the unique challenges and needs presented by an older home. But don’t let this fear stop you. Renovating an old home doesn’t have to be a grueling or painfully expensive project so long as the right guidelines are followed. Here are five tips to keep in mind before you move to upgrade an older property.

Optimize Rather Than Expand

Many of the more costly aspects of home renovation are avoided by savvy homeowners who choose to increase the efficiency of their living spaces rather than simply expand them. Rather than immediately requesting an expensive project to expand a kitchen by a few hundred square feet, consider if there is any way to make additional room in the kitchen by changing its layout. For example, many kitchens could gain space by removing inefficient shelves with more area-efficient alternatives. Remove unnecessary shelves from a garage or spare bedroom. Anything superfluous built into a home could be precious living space if it can be removed.

Revitalize Your Masonry

Particularly popular on the east coast in cities like Boston, brick is a wonderful home construction material with a unique aesthetic and charm. However, many older homes may find their brick exteriors become worn and weathered as time passes. A very cost-effective way to significantly improve the look of any old brick house is to touch-up its masonry. Tuckpointing maintenance can help make a home’s brick exterior look clean and well-kept by creating the visual appearance of very precise and thin joints between bricks.

Don’t Write Off Substitutes

The terms imitation or faux immediately turn-off many consumers, but this shouldn’t always be the case. There are many instances where a substitute material just makes more sense than the material it’s imitating. Consider quartz instead of marble for a new kitchen countertop or Lyptus instead of mahogany for a new wooden floor. So long as the chosen substitute material is of excellent quality and isn’t likely to incur excessive future expenses compared to its more original counterpart, there’s no reason to write it off.

DIY Where You Can

So long as you are physically capable, a simple way to make an old house renovation more affordable is to put your back into it and consider performing some of the labor yourself. Every task completed by the homeowner is a task that won’t have to be paid for later. That being said, one shouldn’t be too ambitious unless they really have the technical know-how for more complex tasks. Complicated or delicate aspects of a home renovation should be left up to the professionals.

Treasure Old Windows

When renovating an older property some homeowners make the hasty decision to replace a house’s old windows which they perceive as antiquated and obsolete. However, one should think twice about this decision. Older windows are not wholly inferior to newer alternatives, in some cases, they are even superior. Newer windows often last shorter periods of time than their predecessors because plastic components tend to begin developing issues quicker than wooden ones. Older windows often possess a distinct, slightly distorted, and flowy face in contrast to the perfectly straight and smooth modern glass produced using the float glass process. However, these slight imperfections imbue older glass windows with a kind of vintage charm and should not be considered flaws. Instead of replacing old windows, consider improving them with modern weatherstripping and interior shades. Such improvements will cost-effectively make old windows far more energy-efficient, without the expense or loss of charm incurred by full window replacement.

Overall, home renovation can be an economical and rewarding decision even for older houses. All that is necessary is a focus on cost-effective projects and the right contractor. At R.H. Blanchard Contract and Design we strive to always provide our clients with the best renovation plans for their unique situation. If you have any additional questions or are interested in starting an old house renovation project, feel free to contact us.