What to Know Before Renovating a Historic Home

Historic homes offer so much charm and beauty for their owners. However, if you recently purchased or are considering buying a historic residence, do you know what kind of renovation work you might have to handle? A fixer-upper might be an exciting new challenge for you and your family, but it could also cause massive headaches and struggles down the road if you are not careful.

Renovation projects should not be approached by the faint of heart. With unexpected costs and hidden problems underneath the surface, you need to be more than ready to dive into this undertaking. Therefore, before you enter into any historic remodeling journey, you need to consider each of these four factors:

Know What You’re Getting Yourself Into

Before you sign on the dotted line, you need to really know what kind of project you will be dealing with. Though some historic homes are in relatively good shape, it’s important to go beyond a standard inspection before you commit to any historic home. Matt West from the HGTV show “Sweet House Alabama” told Realtor.com that some of the main concerns to look out for include poor electrical wiring and plumbing, inefficient windows, unleveled or damaged foundations and a leaky roof.

“You need to know what kind of project you will be dealing with.”

“Have a team of top-notch professionals — an agent who specializes in historic neighborhoods, a good home inspector, and a general contractor with experience renovating older properties — walk through and identify all critical issues,” West explained. “You might find that the extra costs and time involved are just beyond your reach.”

Create a Home Renovation Budget

Big historic home renovation projects do not run on the cheap side, but there are many ways to save money along the way. With any older remodeling project, however, you need to leave a little wiggle room in your budget for unexpected surprises. After all, you don’t want to near the end of your allocated budget only to discover significant water damage or the need to replace lead pipes at the last minute. To ensure that your renovation work goes off without a hitch, factor in an extra 10 percent or so into your budget for these issues.

Hire a Home Inspector

If you hire a licensed home inspector at the very beginning, you will likely spot any major problems such as mold, rot, water damage, asbestos and more. When you calculate the work that needs to be done, make sure to prioritize these problems first. After all, you might want a master suite or to redo the bathrooms, but if your home’s foundation is crumbling due to wood rot or mold, you must get started on these projects first. 

Aim for Historic Home Energy Efficiency Not Size

It might be tempting to knock down walls or add on a spare room, but with any historic renovation project, you should to aim to improve upon your home’s existing qualities, not just to add on square footage. You can achieve this desired efficiency in these two ways: maximized utility and energy savings. For the first option, you want to improve your home’s efficiency in terms of the space you have to work with.

“Improve the energy efficiency of your home.”

For example, instead of blowing out walls to make your kitchen bigger and spending thousands of more dollars on this project, consider upgrading your cabinets and storage capabilities. This way, you don’t have to add on that walk in closet or extra floor space, along with the excessive renovation costs. You have to pick your battles with large-scale remodeling projects like these in order to not lose money or your sanity.

Meanwhile, you want to improve the energy efficiency of your home, especially with the hot Florida summer, which will soon be upon us. In addition to upgrading the house’s appliances with energy saving models, consider installing a new HVAC system to boost your home’s insulation and energy-efficient replacement windows. After all, the utility bill savings alone will make these changes worth it over time. 

Replacement Windows for Historic Homes

Come to NewSouth Window Solutions to learn more about our energy efficient, factory-direct windows. We offer Florida-made windows for Florida residents because we understand the challenges of keeping a historic home air conditioned during the hot summer months or warm during the cold winter season. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation about how our energy-efficient windows may be the right fit for your home renovation project.

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