Have you always wanted to renovate an old house? Perhaps you’ve intentionally chosen and purchased a fixer-upper, so you can turn it into your dream home – like the pros do on HGTV. Home renovation shows are very popular on network television, largely because you can see the full transformation of a house in a 30-minute time slot. However, there’s much more that goes into renovating old houses than meets the eye. With the help of an experienced residential architect, and by following the golden rules, you can make the renovation experience go as smoothly as possible.
Reno Rule #1: Plan Ahead
Older homes are often smaller than modern homes, which means you might have fewer home design and remodeling options due to space constraints. You don’t want to start renovating only to change your mind halfway through the project. With that being said, we recommend you hire an architect who can help you utilize your space in the best way possible. Whether you’re renovating your entire home, adding on an extra room, or building a second story, an experienced residential architect will work with you to plan your renovation while adhering to all local building codes.
Reno Rule #2: Be Willing to Choose Performance Over Looks
There are elements of older homes that have undeniable charm: antique bathtubs and faucets, tall, single-pane windows that let in tons of natural light, and original wood flooring. However, depending on the climate you live in, these elements may not be practical for your family or your budget.
Single-pane windows won’t keep the cold air out like double-glazed windows will, and older plumbing and appliances are often not reliable. We understand you want to preserve as much of the original design as possible, but be prepared to prioritize performance over looks for the sake of your comfort and your monthly bills in the long run.
Reno Rule #3: Retain the Qualities of the Original Materials
As mentioned, older homes certainly have character, and a big part of what gives them that character is the qualities of the original materials. By working with an architect you’ll be able to preserve as much of your home’s original materials as possible without sacrificing quality. And where the original materials need to be replaced, for example the flooring or the cabinetry, an architect who has unique knowledge of available materials can recommend something that fits well with your home’s original design.
Reno Rule #4: Work with Experienced Architects, Contractors and Designers
Don’t take on a home renovation project alone! Architects, contractors, and designers can help bring your vision to life while ensuring you have the highest quality materials and you stay within budget. They can also show you reno options for your space that you may not have thought were possible. It can be difficult to look at an existing space and imagine something totally different, but experienced residential architects and designers who regularly undertake major renovations can help you through every stage of the process – from conception to creation.