Renovating historic homes

It happens to people sometimes. There they are minding their own business looking for a home to buy that will make a good investment, and an old Victorian home, or perhaps a beautiful Tuscan villa just draws them in. They can’t help falling in love with it. If you ever find that this has just happened to you, you’ve just discovered that there is something about historic homes that you really just get. But if you do buy the home, you realize that you really have your job cut out for you remodeling it and bringing it up to date – with furniture accessories and hardware that go with the architecture of the house. What do you need to consider, what you need to keep in mind before you take on such a project?

Do you remember the old Tom Hanks movie The Money Pit in which Tom Hanks and his girlfriend buy a beautiful old house hoping that it will make a good investment once they bring it up to date? The whole movie is about how they realize that they should have paid more attention to the state the house was in. As you can tell from the title of the movie, the house turns out to be more trouble than it is worth. Historic homes can have a healthy appetite for restoration work. Before you actually start out doing anything, you want to stand back and take a look at the big picture. You probably went by your passion for what the house stood for when you bought it. Renovating it, you’d need to look closely at what exactly is wrong with the house that you need to fix. For instance, old wallpaper can contain trace amounts of arsenic that can sicken you; and old paint can contain lead. The furnace may not be up to code and may need replacing. You’ll need to take a close look at everything there is so that you really know what you need to replace.

Of course, historic homes can really cost the earth to properly restore to their original state of grandeur. If you are working on a budget, you’ll probably have to pick and choose what you’re willing to restore and what you would like to put off for later. In general, the more faithful to the original style you wish to keep your restoration, the more expensive your bill will probably be in the end.