Choosing to purchase and restore a historic home is becoming increasingly popular. Lower pricing on houses due to a lack of modern design features, coupled with the lure of quaint, small-town locations, makes it an attractive option for millennials working to get out from under overwhelming student debt burdens. Because of restrictive covenants and easements, however, the repairs and renovations on these homes are often more involved than you might originally think. Here are three tips for turning a run-down historic home into a dream come true.
Study the Home’s History
Every house has a story, and learning the one behind your new home will help guide any changes you make. It can also reveal hidden features that you might not otherwise find. Start at the local library or by talking to a historian familiar with the area, and keep records of everything you find as you go. Compiling the information into a scrapbook can make an interesting conversation starter afterward.
Work With Professional Craftspeople
The number of people who know how to use traditional building techniques has, unfortunately, dwindled over the past several decades. However, there has been a resurgence in interest in historic techniques, and craftspeople who specialize in them can be found in nearly every geographic area. Take the time to research who you plan to work with, including a preservation specialist who can help you decide which projects will preserve the integrity of the property.
Source True-to-Period Supplies
There are some things that you just don’t do when working with historic properties. Putting modern building materials on display is one of them. Stick with traditional materials whenever possible, or use modern alternatives that are designed to blend in. For example, an antique home brick restoration should not be covered with a stamped veneer.
Be sure you know what you are getting into when you purchase a historic or older house. Researching tradespeople, historically-appropriate materials and the home’s history can give you a good idea of the work you’ll face.