Period homes are truly amazing! They come with a certain flair and history that no new home can ever replicate. However, restoring them can be a real nightmare, both for the owners and the contractors. Even the slightest mistake, especially when it comes to the façade, can cost you a lot of money, time and patience in the future. So, if you want to restore your aging period home to its former glory, make sure to do it the right way. Here are a few key elements of a successful home renovation you must keep in mind throughout your project.
Do your homework
One of the most important things you should do before you embark on your journey is do some serious research. Make sure to dig deep into the history of your home and find out about the year of construction. For instance, the Victorian era lasted for full 60 years and, during the time, many architectural innovations and trends emerged and disappeared. But, if you learn about the specifics, find good references and focus on some specific details, you’ll end up with a well-restored home.
Respect the era
No matter the age and state of your home, you’ll probably have to replace a few features on your façade, so make sure they fit into the period aesthetics. Jacobean, Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian homes, for instance, all have different joinery details or window panel numbers. If you mix up the details, people will certainly notice.
Conduct a survey
If you’re relatively new to the whole home restoration shebang, it’s always good to bring in the pros. Find good building survey experts who will make a list of all the things that need fixing and replacing. This might cost you some money, but it’s certainly less expensive than finding out about spots you missed right after you’ve finished your reno. Nasty surprises always cost more than any surveyor.
Work smart, not hard
If you wish to really stay true to the whole period building, feel free to do so, but don’t be shocked when you sum up your expenses at the end! Instead, embrace new technology in places that will never be visible. For instance, it’s much easier and cost-effective to invest in practical steel formwork solutions than to build new walls in the old-fashioned way. In the end, there will be no visible difference, but you’ll manage to save your money, time and nerves!
Pay special attention to original features
Specific features are what makes your home unique, important and valuable, so don’t hesitate to restore them to perfection. If there are some very special features, make sure to keep them. Original front doors and windows are worth more than any replica, no matter how good it is!
Keep your eyes open for water damage
The single biggest enemy of period homes is water and the damage it creates over time. So, make sure to conduct a very thorough water damage inspection and address any issues you come across. Water damage will make your home rot, smell funky and even get infested with bugs! Pay special attention to ceilings, floors and areas around windows since moisture found there could indicate serious structural issues. The sill plate is especially sensitive to water damage thanks to its proximity to the ground. If you notice that your period home is a bit crooked, you might have a warped sill plate on your hands that disturbs the whole building’s structure.
By Lana Hawkins