Renovating an old home can sometimes be necessary – especially when it comes to fixing wear and tear or removing features that could be a safety risk (such as lead paint). However, you need to take care to preserve the character of an old home when renovating. Below are just a few important dos and don’ts to follow when renovating an old home.
Do invest in insulation
A lot of old homes are poorly insulated. This means that heat easily escapes through the walls, roof and windows, resulting in more reliance on central heating and higher energy bills. By installing insulation such as insulated plasterboard or wool insulation you can help to keep your old home warmer longer. Installing insulation can be expensive, but it will pay off in the long run.
Don’t replace period windows
Historic timber windows could play a big part in the character of an old home. Remove them and you could get rid of a lot of character and reduce the value of your home. Unless old windows are severely damaged, try to preserve them if you can. You may be able to pay a company to restore them. When it comes to improving insulation, consider relying on measures such as using heavy curtains or window insulation film.
Don’t remove original hardwood floors
Like original windows, you should avoid removing original hardwood floors. They can be an integral part of a home’s character and should be preserved where possible. If your hardwood floors are severely scratched up, consider whether refinishing them is an option. Hardwood floors may need to be removed if they are rotten or seriously warped.
Do consider updating old electrics when renovating
If your home contains old electrics, this could be a feature well worth upgrading. Old wiring (especially knob and tube wiring) could be a fire hazard and should be replaced by modern wiring. While rewiring your old home, consider whether you should install any new outlets. Many old homes have less sockets and less overhead light fittings – updating your home’s electrics could be the perfect time to address this.
Do consider period-style modern fixtures
When adding light fixtures, bathroom fixtures and various other fixtures to your home, consider looking into modern solutions designed in a period style. This could allow you to take advantage of modern technology while still keeping to the style of your home. Nowadays, there are LEDs that look like Edison bulbs and smart front doors that look like they were built in the Victorian era. This allows you to preserve some of the character while modernising your home.
Don’t renovate a listed building without planning permission
Some old buildings are ‘listed’. Renovations – particularly exterior renovations – are likely to be restricted on these buildings. Consequently, you’ll need to get planning permission before you start any renovation work. This will ensure that you don’t get fined for making any alterations to your home. You can apply for planning permission online.