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Historic homes that are decades or even over a century old can be magnificent structures, and there are many reasons to purchase one even as new homes are constructed elsewhere. But if you decide to buy a historic home, what should you do with the older property? Here are three common routes you could take to spruce it up:

Renovate
One obvious choice when buying a vintage property is to renovate the home to bring it up to modern standards, both aesthetically and functionally. You may want to, for example, upgrade the exterior siding to newer, more versatile choices like vinyl, stone or fiber cement. You may also want to take steps to update the interior, such as installing new flooring, painting the walls, converting rooms for new purposes, and installing more modern fixtures and appliances.

This can be a lot of work with an older house, so contracting the job to a company that focuses on historic home renovation can be key. Some older homes relied on lamps in shared living spaces and aren’t really lit the way we’re used to in contemporary homes. If the home seems dark, that may be why. Try adding in some new lighting and enough power outlets for today’s demands.

Restore
A second choice is to restore the home to its original condition as closely as possible. If your home has real historic significance or was built in a striking vintage style, this is probably the best choice. Why destroy something beautiful by changing it when you could restore it to its former glory?

Historic home restorations require experts with extensive knowledge of historic architecture and the skillset to recreate classic interior and exterior design in the modern era. This can become expensive very quickly, but the results can be eye-popping, transporting you to another time period.

If you’re spending the resources to have the beauty of vintage architecture up to today’s standards, you should consider getting an interior designer. Your average furniture store is not going to have furniture that fits the historic styles you’re looking for. There are more niche or vintage stores now that have furniture that could fit with your restoration.

A Combined Approach
Maybe you love the historic features of the property, but don’t want to live in the past. In this case, find a compromise between renovation and restoration to get the best of both worlds. Bring your home up to modern standards in regard to home systems like plumbing and appliances; however, keep the most striking and historic features of the home intact, like the crown molding or sweeping staircase. Again, you’ll likely need to enlist the help of professionals to get the job done.

Older home renovations and/or restorations can be expensive and take a ton of work. Still, the results can be truly incredible. If you buy a historic home, consider the three options above. Choose the one that best meets your needs, as well as your wishes for a dream home.

Source: Kara Masterson/RISMedia’s Housecall

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