While living in contemporary accommodation has its benefits, there’s nothing quite like the charm of living in an older home. Historic properties have a story to tell, unique and exciting features, and a character all of their own. They’re somehow separate from our mass-produced, flatpack, day-to-day consumer society. Real artistry and passion went into building them. Here are some tips on renovating your Historic Home.
The problem, of course, is maintaining and renovating them. While historic houses have romance, there’s also a lot that can go wrong. Many weren’t built to today’s exacting building standards, meaning that there’s often a need to renovate them thoroughly before you can call them home.
Let’s take a look at some tips for renovating an old historic home/house.
Clean Up The Masonry
If the property is more than a century old, there’s a good chance that the masonry is past its best. Bricks and mortar both contain microscopic holes that both water and algae can penetrate. It’s not a good idea to take a brush and soapy water to the brickwork as this usually won’t deal with the discoloration and could wear it down even more.
It’s a much better idea to use specialist masonry cleaners on the exterior of the building that removes stains but doesn’t cause any damage to the underlying material. Special algae cleaners help you remove annoying green slime that can sometimes infest your brickwork. You can also get cleaning agents that remove the white marks caused by calcium deposits and limestone buildup. All you do is spray the cleaner on the affected area, wait for around fifteen minutes, and then rinse off.
Once you’ve done this, you’ll see just how much of a difference it makes. It reveals what your building originally looked life before time took its toll.
Strip Out The Wallpaper
While wallpaper might have been popular in the past, it’s one of the things that can age home the most. Wallpaper doesn’t match our interior design expectations in the modern world. It makes things seem claustrophobic and dense.
If possible, hire a wallpaper remover from your local hardware store and take it off your walls. Then repaint the area white. What you’ll find is that your rooms suddenly look much more substantial, roomier, and more modern. What’s more, you can finally appreciate the higher ceilings that you find in most historic properties.
Check The Foundations
While cleaning up the masonry and stripping out wallpaper can help to improve the appearance of your historic property both inside and out, it’s arguably not worthwhile if there is a problem with the foundations. You want to ensure that your home is on solid ground before investing serious cash in it.
Many older homes use a type of foundation called pier and beam. This is where the house sits on top of a series of beams dug into the ground. While modern pier and beam systems are good, there is a chance that yours may have deteriorated over time.
The good news is that you can get pier and beam repair – a service that checks the foundations and makes sure that they’re secure. Pier and beam ensures that your historic home is on a firm footing and not at risk of collapse.
Get Rid Of Your Old Backsplash
One of the things that ages historic homes the most is their tiling, particularly the backsplash. The backsplash could be chipped or stained from decades of using the kitchen sink or just look old-fashioned and not particularly charming.
The notion that the kitchen and bathroom should be pristine and stylish environments is actually quite a modern one. In the past, few builders invested in making these areas attractive. Backsplashes were functional: more like the kind of thing that you’d find in a butcher’s than a palatial residence. Thus, ripping them out and starting again can have a profound effect.
Add Extra Lighting
While most historic homes are now electrified, they weren’t always designed with electricity in mind. And even when electricity did eventually come in, very few homeowners invested in systems to generate light from multiple sources. Often all you get is a single light in the middle of the ceiling, and that was it.
Nothing is stopping you, however, from adding extra lighting to your interior spaces during your renovation. Additional light sources can help show off the character of your property better and add a more intense atmosphere.
Additional lighting is particularly important in the kitchen. Here you can add recessed lighting that illuminates the room from all angles, letting you see precisely what you’re doing.
Rip Out The Old Shower Curtain
Old shower curtains weren’t particularly attractive. More often than not, they were some garish color that conflicted with the rest of the interior decor. What’s more, over time, shower curtains have an annoying habit of harboring mold, something you want to avoid in your interior spaces.
Ripping out the old shower curtain and replacing it with a new one is a surefire way to cheaply and quickly upgrade your bathroom. You’ll be amazed at the difference that a modern shower curtain and a few fresh towels can make.
Swap Out The Old Artwork For New
When you think about a traditional stately home, you imagine rooms lined with portraits of the previous owners and classic country scenes. But there’s no reason why historic properties have to include artwork from the era in which they were built. In fact, modern artwork can provide a nice contrast to the rest of the building. Bright pieces of artwork look great when paired with your recently painted walls.
Make The Homewares Modern
While traditional homewares can look good, there’s nothing quite like the modern touch. Modern homewares, like vases and ottomans, have a historical style but done in a way that actually makes them far more attractive. Updating your homewares and positioning them strategically can help you hide things that you might not want your guests to see, like cracks in the wall. It also helps to create a focal point.
Are you planning on renovating a historic property?