Historic restorations are no small undertaking. They require not only skill and knowledge, but also time, patience and energy to succeed. One of the biggest mistakes that homeowners make when tackling this project is neglecting to research its original features. Understanding what you’re working with makes it easier to plan your restoration accurately and effectively so you can successfully transform your space inside and out!
Cottage Industries, Inc., the trusted kitchen and bathroom remodeling company in the local area, explains what you need to know about historic home restorations.
Understanding the Basics of Restoring a Historic Home
Researching a historic home’s history and architecture is the first step in any restoration project. Find out:
- When it was built
- Who lived there before you
- Which unique features make it historically important
If possible, obtain documents such as photos, detailed maps of the property’s layout or design blueprints to learn more about your house.
It’s also essential to identify and understand the existing features of the home, including windows, doors, cabinets, walls or other architectural elements. Many older homes feature beautiful antique hardware like doorknobs or latches that often require special care during renovation. Establish what needs preserving and restore these original features properly by hiring design builders with experience dealing projects of such scale and scope.
Preparing the Home for Restoration
Before proceeding with the restoration, structural inspections and repairs must be carried out. Be sure the home’s foundation is inspected to check for signs of settling or any other form of deterioration. Floorboards and walls that appear weak or have a presence of extensive rot must be replaced.
When updating electrical wiring, plumbing and HVAC systems, see to it that they meet current building codes. Insulation must be in accordance with today’s standards to ensure proper temperature and humidity control, as well as indoor air quality.
Restoring the Home’s Interior and Exterior
Using period-appropriate paint and finishes is key to any historic home restoration. When repainting the walls, make sure to use mildew-resistant exterior grade flat or satin enamel. Exterior accent trim can be painted either with water- or oil-based paints, depending on the existing surface preparation.
Also, ensure the doors are properly fitted, hung and rehung if necessary. Check the window frames if they require repair; if they’re warped or have rotted significantly, consider replacing them. For door and window knobs or latches, apply a preservation coat to protect them from corroding further.
It’s important to have an expert look at the siding materials, roofing and other exterior components as well. You want your restoration to be a success without compromising the architectural design originality, all while modernizing the property at the same time.
Enhancing the Home’s Curb Appeal
Reviving the landscaping will boost the home’s curb appeal. Plant shrubs, flowers and trees that you think match the era of your home’s architecture design. To really enhance its aesthetic value, consider adding pathways or outdoor lighting fixtures near the entrance of your home.
Lastly, take steps to make sure you keep up with general exterior maintenance after completing the restoration to prolong the overall appeal of your historic home. Remove debris from gutters regularly and apply protective coatings on wood exterior components at least once yearly to prevent damage caused by extreme weather conditions.
Count on Us for Your Historic Home Restoration Needs!
Restoring a historic home starts with a detailed plan. To ensure its success and get all bases covered, you need to work with a reliable contractor specializing in this major undertaking. In and around Philadelphia and the Main Line, homeowners trust Cottage Industries, Inc. Our team of experienced designers and craftsmen can help maintain your historic home’s architectural integrity while giving you the modern comfort your family deserves.
Count on us for your kitchen remodeling and whole-house renovations as well. Call (610) 293-9750, or fill out our contact form to schedule a consultation.