Whether you are considering buying an older home to renovate, or your existing home needs revamping, remodeling can have pros and cons. Older homes tend to have more charm and personality than modern homes and good craftsmanship are the pros of most older homes. When it comes to remodeling the cons can be numerous – from outdated mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems to structural challenges as well. If you are thinking of remodeling an older home, here are tips to consider, before you start. The rewards can be great, but if you don’t know what you’re doing they could be costly and frustrating. Here are tips for remodeling an older home.

  • Know your home: Whether you are hiring a professional to remodel your older home, or you’re considering doing it yourself (DIY), know your home. This basically means, do as much research about the age of your home, what it is made of, what type of systems it has, and if possible, what the previous home owners renovated, if any before you took ownership. If you’ve lived in the home for generations, than many of these questions you can answer without a lot of research.
  • Know your budget of time and money: A renovation project should always estimate taking a longer time and costing more money than you anticipate. This doesn’t mean don’t renovate! It only is a factor to think about when budgeting how much time and money you have to dedicate to your renovation. New discoveries come about when walls, ceilings, and floors get knocked down or dug into. The best plan is to ask a general contractor to come and give you an estimate on what the process in involved and what their professional opinion is for how much money and time to allocate.
  • Be realistic with your renovation plans: When renovating older homes consider the condition of what is existing and what you’re trying to improve. If you are trying to add a wing on to the house and totally change the entire house, your efforts may be too vast for your family lifestyle and budget. Once again, ask a contractor about how realistic your ambition is. The charm of older homes is keeping the bones, but updating the function and finishes to appeal to you and your family.
  • Embrace the process: Renovation of your older home can be rewarding, especially once it’s done! Look through magazines and renovation magazines and websites to get inspiration. Many older homes have incredible attention to details, but they may lack the visual appeal in their current state. Consider updating interior finishes like flooring, paint colors, wall paint, and plumbing fixtures. If you do spring for a total renovation, be prepared for the work and patience involved. Either way, you will love your home after the renovation, and wonder why you didn’t do it sooner.

Consider the above steps when considering renovating your home. The pros and cons will be different for every lifestyle and every home.  Take the time before you take a demolition hammer to your walls to consider all the factors. Older homes usually have a timeless story to tell and restoring, or adding your own renovation amenities could make the story that much better to tell. Remember, your home should reflect you and your family, a renovation of your home should do the same.

Freshome readers how many of you live in older homes? Have you renovated them? We’d like to know what you learned from the process.