Restoring vs. Renovating: Planning your Historic Home Remodel

You put your foot through the floorboard. There are holes in the wall in the guest room upstairs! Old houses present unique problems as well as charm. There are many reasons to make improvements in your historic home. Every property needs upkeep, and not every design stands the test of time. If you’re in the market, you’ve quickly learned the historic home renovation game has its own set of vocabulary and rules.

At Creative Building Concepts, our service area of Harrisburg, York, and Carlisle, Pennsylvania, includes some of the country’s most beautiful and fascinating historic homes. We've had the pleasure of many unique historic home remodeling and renovations. We are pleased to use our years of experience to help historic homeowners throughout central Pennsylvania. If you're interested in our world-class design/build services for restorations or renovations for your historic home in Central Pennsylvania, we'd love to hear from you!

Carlisle PA Historic Home Remodel

Jump to:

What Is a Historic Home?

Most of the time, a historic home simply means that the home was constructed at least fifty years ago. However, “historic home” can be an official term. In Pennsylvania, some historic downtown neighborhoods or remarkable homes have a special historic designation. If you're considering renovations and your home has any special designation, your renovations will likely be reviewed by the Historic Architectural Review Board (HARB). This borough-specific group consists of an architect, real-estate agent, other city-council-appointed experts, and historical neighborhood stakeholders. HARB reviews new construction and planned renovations to preserve the historical integrity of the street view. But it’s not all hassle. HARB committee members are experts in remodeling historic buildings in your area and can help you find the best contractors, materials, and solutions. An experienced contractor can help you involve HARB where appropriate.

 

Is it Worth it To Remodel My Historic Home?

You didn’t buy a historic home because you are interested in the latest and greatest. You love your unique space and connect to its storied past. If you’re missing modern touches or noticing some worn-out elements in your historic home, remodeling your interior space is a fantastic way to have the best of both worlds. However, historic renovations come with additional remodeling costs and unexpected challenges. The results, however, can be extraordinary. If you aren’t up for the challenge and crave something completely new, building a new home may be a better fit. Learn more about common remodeling mistakes to ensure that you don’t make them.

 

Renovating vs. Remodeling in a Historic Home 

Renovating, remodeling, refurbishing, restoring, it’s time for a facelift. But what is it called? There are so many words that start with “R” in this conversation! We know it can be confusing. Many of these terms are used interchangeably in casual conversation, but they are separate terms. In general, renovations update and modernize a space without redefining its purpose. Remodeling often includes more drastic changes to the overall layout. Because we are addressing structural changes, remodeling is usually more costly and complicated than renovation for a historic home.

 

Historic Home Renovation Examples 

Renovation projects change the look and feel of a room, but do not alter the room's original function or a building’s footprint. Historic homes often benefit from bathroom or kitchen renovations. Updating these spaces is often the quickest way to bring modern convenience into your daily life. Examples of renovation projects include:

  • Paint and refinishing
  • Cabinet and fixture updates
  • Countertops and appliances
  • New sinks and plumbing features
  • New flooring and flooring repairs
  • New roof or roof repairs

 

Historic Home Refurbishment 

Refurbishment usually involves structural changes as well. Refurbished spaces are transformed from one function to another. For example, a garage may be refurbished into living space; an office may be refurbished as an apartment building. You may want to convert an outbuilding into a guest house.

 

Restoration in a Historic Home

Some attractive features of a historic home need a little TLC to claim their rightful place as showpieces. There are a variety of common features we recommend restoring if possible:

  • Fireplace
  • Masonry
  • Staircase
  • Trim
  • Hardwood Floor
  • Fixtures

 

Put Your Home In the Hands of Central Pennsylvania's Best 

We’re honored to have earned Central Pennsylvania’s trust with their historic home remodeling projects. Creative Building Concepts is excited to leverage our expertise to celebrate and elevate your historic home. Our craftsmanship and experience make us the perfect remodeler for both your delicate and detailed projects and massive overhauls. Reach out today to get started!

Start Your Home Remodeling Journey With a Guide - Red

Back to Blog

Related Articles

Should I Buy a House or Remodel in Central PA?

When you’re faced with moving to a different area or if your family has simply outgrown the home...

15 Tips for Whole Home Remodeling Projects

The location is great, but the guts have got to go! A whole-home remodel is a fantastic answer for...

What to Expect When Remodeling Your Harrisburg PA Home

The bathroom opens a portal to 1972, the dated kitchen doesn’t hold half of your gadgets. When it’s...