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5 Tips for Restoring an Historic Home

Historic homes are beautiful, charming, and full of character. That said, restoring one can be a significant challenge. Following are five tips that will hopefully get you in the right mindset and with the right expectations before you begin.

1. Understand that you’ll have to make compromises

If you love historic homes because of the old charm they have, remember that the old charm comes with a price – and that price is giving up some of the comforts you’ve come to expect in a home. For example, your rooms aren’t going to be evenly heated or cold, that historic glass you love so much is not energy efficient, and upkeep can be a pain.

2. Keep out an eagle eye for water damage

You must always keep an eye out for water damage. The main spots to watch are the ceilings, windows, and floors. If you see any sign of water damage, make sure you address it right away. It can have serious long-term effects such as dry rot or creating a perfect environment for bugs.

3. Start small

No matter how large your historic home is, there are going to be a lot of updates and renovations that will be needed. Unless you have unlimited funds, you’re going to have to start small. Work on investing in quality materials and renovate just a single area at a time. This allows you to stay within budget and not get overwhelmed while still making progress.

4. Not every piece of décor needs to be a period piece

One of the great expenses that often comes along with restoring an historic home is buying décor that fits in with the period in which the home was built. For this and other reasons, you don’t need to stick exclusively to period-appropriate décor. Buy furniture that’s comfortable, curtains that you love, and accessories that fit in with your personality.

5. Learn to love the quirks

One of the biggest mistakes new homeowners make after buying an historic home is to think that they must fix every “mistake.” For example, floors in older homes are often uneven, thanks to settling over numerous years. As long as the house is structurally sound, there’s no reason to take on the expense of having them leveled. Instead, save yourself the money – and the hassle – by accepting it as a lovely quirk. You can even get custom made curtains that will sit exactly the way you need them to, regardless of how slanted your floor is.


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