Advice for renovating a historic or an older home

Renovating a home is a labor of love. Trips to the hardware store, ordering custom pieces, negotiating with contractors, it can be a wild ride. But for those who want to renovate an old home or find some antique pieces that will add a traditional touch to their current home, the process is a whole other beast. Instead of picking out pieces from a showroom or catalog, you often need to do some deep digging. We’re talking about weekend trips to antique stores, contacting people across the country and scouring flea markets for a single, one-of-a-kind piece for your historic home.

Well, it doesn’t have to be that extreme. However, to properly renovate a historic home, you do sometimes need to go above and beyond. Here are some points to keep in mind.

Your eyes are probably bigger than your stomach. It’s tempting to think you can restore that 5,000-square-foot Victorian mansion to a new glory, but take a few steps back before you make an offer. Be realistic about the time, money and help you’ll need for a project.

Make sure you work with the right people. For most renovation projects you work with a contractor, but with a historic home, you will want to work with someone who has experience with preservation as well. You’re doing more than knocking down walls (though you may be doing that as well); you’re trying to keep the spirit of the old house alive.

Pace yourself. If you’re on a budget, you’ll have to take a step-by-step approach to your renovation projects. Start with the big, must-do projects first: the roof, the windows, the heating and cooling system and so forth. These might not be the most charming parts of your home, but they are essential!

It’s an adventure. One of the joys of renovating a historic home is that it can turn into a lifelong hobby. Like people who build hot rods and spend years doggedly searching for an authentic grill or rims for the wheels, you’ll probably always be on the lookout for the right piece to accent your home. Even when you’re finished with the renovations, you’ll be on the lookout for reclaimed wood, antique bricks, old iron works and more.

Whether you want to buy a historic beauty or a new house, a Coldwell Banker Hedges Realtor® can help you find the one that’s right for you. With years of experience, they know houses and can help you with any of your buying or selling needs.

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