Restoring a heritage home is similar to painting restoration – you need to be careful and pay attention to details. However, old houses have surprises for the restorers as well, from varying costs to sometimes dangerous materials getting out. Nonetheless, when all it’s done properly, your heritage home will turn into the palace.
But before you start with the restorations, here are some things to consider when it comes to heritage home.
- Research the heritage home
Research is very important and has to be thorough so you could gather all the facts before starting renovations. This will help you find out when was the last restoration, the scope of works it included and the state of the overall building, for example, if it were affected by fires, earthquakes or floods. It’s also best to hire an engineer to assess the state of the building and give you recommendations on what is the most pressing to restore.
- Don’t expect to turn vintage into modern
Steven Gambrel, a restorer stresses that heritage home will make you say goodbye to “comforts that come with 21st-century living.” This doesn’t mean you won’t like your house or that it won’t be comfortable, just that some modern features are not appropriate for it. This is mostly due to the fact that you can perform the limited type of restoration to the heritage house in order to preserve its historical value.
This doesn’t mean you can’t use modern and high-tech appliances, just that you have to carefully plan the décor and amount of work on installations like electrical wiring and pipeline. Sometimes, you can’t even change or upgrade the windows, so if you don’t mind that, then heritage home is for you.
- Get necessary permits
Before restoring, you will need approval from the local heritage council. Every heritage home is recorded and protected by regulations, thus if the planned changes are not appropriate – you will not be able to renovate. This is not a big problem if you respect the said regulations, but making any renovation without their permit could make your life difficult legally.
- Seek professional help
There is a lot to understand about the heritage house which sometimes can overpass your expertise. So, in order to keep everything under control, hiring a professional help is not only advisable but mandatory. Professionals like Leadwork heritage roofing highlight the necessities to work with architects and conservationist to make sure that original structure is respected and well-taken care of.
Moreover, a designer experienced in working with heritage homes is also a quality addition to the team. They will be able to help you combine old with the new so that décor is perfectly harmonized in all its features.
- Invest in unique pieces
It would be a shame to live in something with such a cultural value and then downgrade it with a bad taste in furniture. Use unique pieces to bring out the own uniqueness of your home and respect its authenticity. Of course, this doesn’t mean you should buy used furniture on the flea market, but rather less generic and more artistic pieces.
As interior designer Nicole Lanteri says “You can have one amazing piece of art and the rest of your furniture can be from Ikea, and no one would really know.”
Take some time to consider whether you should be restoring a heritage home since it is a commitment. These are cultural, architecturally and historically valuable buildings whose restoration doesn’t allow a lot of wiggle space. However, they have charm and legacy which is an honor to continue and save for the posterity.