Renovating a historic home is a labor of love. It's challenging, time-consuming, and may cost more than a normal renovation, but there's something magical about breathing new life into a historic home and uncovering unique features that bring you back decades (or sometimes centuries!)
We've had the pleasure of renovating numerous historic buildings and homes over the years, and we've picked up on a few common features that are worth preserving. If you're thinking about buying and renovating a historic home, here are a few features to keep around.
Interior & Exterior Masonry:
Exposed brick is a common interior home and commercial building design trend right now, especially in the kitchen. Keeping exposed brick while making updates around it adds texture and character to modern spaces.
When it comes to historic home exteriors, stone and brick are common. Even if combined with more modern siding, keeping the existing stone or brick gives your home a unique curb appeal.
Fireplaces used to be the focal point in kitchens and living rooms, a place to gather around and enjoy each other's company, read quietly, and listen to the news (remember FDR's Fireside Chats?). The way we consume information might look a little different today, but the need and desire for a quiet, cozy space to reflect and connect are always relevant.
Even if the fireplace isn't in the best shape, a quality contractor can clean it up and bring in reclaimed wood to make it feel brand new while keeping the historic charm.
Wood flooring is an essential feature in almost every historic home. Most will have it, you might just have to rip up some carpet to find it. Even if it's a little roughed up and looks worn down, a quality contractor will be able to bring it back to life as long as there's no significant water damage. With a little refinishing and sanding, you can make it look brand new.
Staircases, like fireplaces, were often focal points in historic homes. They were not simply a way to get up and down your home; they were a key feature in the design and overall beauty of a home.
Historic homes have all sorts of unique fixtures to preserve. Copper bathtubs, cast iron sinks, chandeliers, unique doorknobs, fancy windows, the list goes on.
Deciding on which fixtures to preserve typically comes down to the personal taste of the homeowner. However, sometimes homeowners will dismiss a fixture because it looks worn down. Make sure you talk with your contractor if you're unsure whether a fixture can be restored or not. They can help you analyze existing fixtures and decide whether it's worth saving.
Want to Learn More About Historic Home Renovations?
Whether you’re looking to restore or modernize your historic home, Creative Building Concepts has significant experience making the “old” new again. We have consistently worked with regulatory groups like HARB to manage structural/historic preservation requirements. And, we are prepared to handle the complexities that come with any historic restoration/renovation project.