Some older homes are great. You’ll hear them described as “charming” or having a lot of “character,” and because they have a longer history, you can imagine all of the families that have enjoyed them over the past several decades. However, despite their history, charisma, and craftsmanship, many older homes look their age . . . and not in a good way. They may seem dated and unstylish. They may have outdated floor plans that don’t mesh well with modern families. And more problematically, their old-fashioned technology and structural details can cause major headaches if they don’t pass code or do cause your utility bills to skyrocket.
Use our remodeling ideas for older homes to bring your antique abode into modern day. It may be expensive and it may tamper with the home’s history, but if you’re willing to pay the price for modern-day style and conveniences, read on.
Remodeling Ideas for Older Homes
- Create an Open Floor Plan. One of the most common complaints of modern couples living in older homes is that the home’s floor plan feels cramped and divided. Open floor plans are all the rage nowadays, but they didn’t become popular until the 1970s. Taking down a wall or two can really open up your home, but note that removing load-bearing walls can be expensive. You may also need to reroute utilities, adding to the cost.
- Add Windows and Doors. If your home feels very dark, try adding some big windows or French doors. This is an especially good idea if your lawn, garden, or view is worth showing off.
- Add a Fresh Coat of Paint. If the paint in your home needs some touching-up or simply looks faded and bland, try adding a fresh coat. Not only will this brighten up the space and bring it into the twenty-first century, but it’s also inexpensive!
- Install New Subflooring. If your floors are slanted or warped at all, try installing new subflooring. A contractor can build it up so that your hardwood or carpeting will lay evenly.
- Update Kitchen Counters and Cabinets. If you’re like most American families, you spend a lot of time in the kitchen and even entertain there, which is why some of the best remodeling ideas for older homes center around the kitchen. You might consider installing new counters, painting your cabinets, updating cabinet hardware, replacing old appliances, or even replacing the flooring.
- Add and Update Insulation. If your heating and cooling bills are higher than you would prefer, you might look into updating or adding to your home’s insulation. New technology and expertise in this field could make a big impact on your decades-old home.
Complications to Anticipate
- First, I would like to point out that remodeling an older home is more expensive than you might think. Before you get ahead of yourself, start researching prices for the renovation projects you’re planning. Often, the cost will be twice as high as you anticipated. This is especially true if you’re hoping to renovate and maintain the home’s original construction. Trying to match very old construction can require extensive detail work and custom features, both of which can cause the price to hike up.
- Second, another problem you might run into is getting approval for exterior renovations if you live in historic or landmark home. This can take a lot of time and will likely cause you some frustration. Be patient!
- Third, old homes can be hiding some nasty secrets. Put aside some extra money (5-15%) for contingencies. Common problems that arise when you’re completely remodeling ideas for older homes include water damage, foundation cracks, lead pipes, lead paint, outdated electrical work, and asbestos.
Working with an older home can be tricky, but if you hire experienced contractors and try to uphold the home’s integrity, you might wind up with that perfect blend of old and new. I hope that our remodeling ideas for older homes gave you some useful inspiration and information. Good luck!
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