5 Things You Need to Consider Before Starting Your Historic Home Renovation


In the US, 50% of houses are about 40 years old, built around the 1980s. 80% are at least 20 years old.

What’s more, 81% of homeowners renovating their properties in the country are baby boomers. Millennials account for only 14%, while generation Z homeowners are 0.3%.

There is another group of properties that are at least a century old. They include buildings located in historic towns such as Fargo and Moorhead, with nearly 150 years of storied past. Some of you prefer to live in historic properties even though there are modern architectural designs and styles.

It’s worth noting that historic home renovation is pretty different from standard remodeling. Whether you’re a real estate home investor or a new home buyer, you’ll likely come across many challenges. However, making the sacrifices of a historic home remodeling project is worth it.

For instance, you’ll likely get historic home renovation tax credits and incentives. Moreover, a historic district will protect the value of your property for ages to come.

However, before starting your historic home remodeling project, there are some things you need to know and consider. Keep reading to discover more.

1. Historic Home Renovation Can Be Pretty Expensive

Remodeling a historic home means using methods and materials that are out of use. This will be likely expensive as opposed to renovating a modern home with readily available materials. In most cases, an average contractor may not have access to these materials.

Also, most state preservation offices for historic homes will require you to use eco-friendly materials only. These materials are relatively durable and will minimize renovations if another family takes over the property.

Another factor that makes restoring historic homes expensive is insurance.

2. Moving to a Historic House Is a Commitment

Shifting to a historic property requires sacrifice, even if you’re going to get historic home renovation grants. This means committing to any “irregularities” that may make the home seem uncomfortable for modern living. If not, a historical house may not be your ideal home.

You have to forgo radiant floors whether the rooms are relatively cold or hot. Instead, you’re going to stick by the old wavy floors and glass windows. It will cost you everything to preserve the original design, even if it means putting up with drafty rooms.

The upshot is, you’ll have to sacrifice many amenities that make living comfortable in the 21st century. Wrap your head around these facts before channeling your investment to remodeling a historic home.

3. Be Wary of Water Damage

When it comes to remodeling a historic home, water damage is a serious concern. Water can cause serious damage to the property’s architectural design. Water damage can also lead to bugs and mold infestation because bacteria thrive in wet environments.

For these reasons, you have to keep an eye on the roofing structures, windows, and floors. In most cases, the roof will be old. Your remodeling project should start with the roof.

Research more info and learn how to tell whether your historic roof requires a partial replacement or complete overhaul.

Other areas you need to pay attention to and prevent water damage include the sill plate. The sill plate connects the vertical structure of the historic home to the foundation. It runs around the property horizontally, making it more susceptible to water damage.

You can add sealant materials to the sill plate to prevent air and water from accessing the structure’s foundation. If your historic home is in a relatively hot climate region, you may need to replace the sealant materials more often.

4. Hire a Team of Professionals

Restoring a historic home entails preserving the original architectural style and design. That said, working with a team of professionals will give you an easier time as opposed to doing the job yourself. Moreover, professionals can help you work within a slim budget.

However, ensure that these professionals have enough experience to get the job done without any mishaps. For instance, you may want to replace an outdated oven with a modern design. In that case, the professionals should do this without interfering with the kitchen’s layout.

The same applies to toilets and bathrooms. The professionals can replace the fixtures without ripping off any classical parts.

This means leaving the classic clawfoot tab as you found it. Also, don’t forget to ask for quotes before hiring a professional.

5. Restrictions of Restoring a Historic Home

One of the cons of buying a historic property is that renovating it comes with some restrictions. There are some things you can and cannot do to the property. Remember, the authority that designated the home as historic must uphold its preservation.

For instance, you cannot create additional spaces in the living room unless under special circumstances. Also, you can’t build additional units to the compound even if you need additional living quarters for your staff.

Your historic home renovation project won’t include replacing living room shutters or dining room windows. Windows and shutters are what make the property historic. Replacing them with modern designs will interfere with the original architectural design.

Renovation restrictions also apply to painting some parts of the house, such as the roof and outside walls. If you must add a new coating, it should be the original paint. Paint restrictions can prove problematic if you’re a real estate investor planning to resale the home.

Reach Out to the Relevant Historic Preservation Office Before Remodeling Your House

Historic homes have unique features that need preservation. Otherwise, the property ceases to be historic. It’s prudent to liaise with your state department of historic homes preservation to ensure you don’t interfere with these features.

It’s also imperative to note that historical home designs are subject to wear and teat because of their old designs. Thus, your historic home renovation project should aim towards preserving and restoring the original architectural design.

However, it’s still okay to add modern features and appliances to your historic home to improve the quality of life. Your state historic preservation office will guide you through this process.

Browse this website to learn more about how to renovate a historic home.