Breathing New Life Back Into Your Old Home

An older home has both advantages and disadvantages. On the one hand, there can be various problems to tackle, from old fixtures to major structural problems. But if you're willing to put in a bit of work to stop it falling down, it's definitely worth it. A lot of older homes are in better condition than you might expect because they were built to last and have been well looked after. Whether your property is crumbling or has managed to stay solid since it was built, you probably want to modernize it at least a little. It can take a lot of work, and there are various things to consider if you want to update your home sympathetically.

Diagnosing Any Major Issues

Whether you've just bought or inherited a property, or you've had it for a while, one of the most important things to do is make sure that it's structurally sound. Any issues could steadily get worse if you don't take care of them as soon as possible. An inspection of your property can help to reveal any problems that might exist so you can take care of them. Make sure you get a report on both the interior and exterior of the property, so you have a complete idea of its condition. Structural problems could be dangerous if you leave them or at the very least, expensive to repair.

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Repairing Exterior and Structural Issues


If there are any problems you need to fix concerning the exterior or structure of your home, you'll need to do that before anything else. There's no point installing a new kitchen if your roof is full of holes. Any exterior work on your home is best done by a contractor, rather than trying to do it yourself. If you've got a number of jobs that you need someone to do, you might consider using a full exterior service like Wildwood Roofing. You can read more about Wildwood Roofing here to find out about the services they offer. They include roofing, masonry work, storm recovery, and siding installation. When you're taking care of these issues, you can think about both practicality and aesthetics.

Insulation and Heating

A warm home (or a cool one during the summer) is essential. Not only is it important for your comfort, but you probably want to keep your energy bills in mind too. Older homes are not always ideal when it comes to insulation and heating. Some of them are too well insulated, which prevents ventilation and might cause issues with condensation and dampness. Others are poorly insulated, and you need to make sure important spaces like wall cavities and attics have adequate insulation. Heating systems can sometimes be out of date in older homes too, and some might not have central heating. You can consider your heating options, whether you want to install a furnace or perhaps try a more traditional option like a wood burning stove. Speak to a heating expert about your options and which ones would be easiest to install in an older home.

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Plumbing and Electricity

Older homes might also have old or outdated plumbing or electricity. You might find that everything still works, but it's not exactly up to your exacting standards. If you experience any problems or are even unsure about the safety of your home, you might want to look into rewiring or updating your plumbing. These can both be big jobs, but it's worth it to have a fully functioning home. Issues with your electrics or plumbing can mean flickering lights, groaning pipes, and lots of other annoyances. Sometimes it can venture into dangerous territory too. If you want to have any plumbing or electricity work done, it's always best to use a professional contractor.

How Much of the Original Building to Preserve?

If you're renovating an old home, deciding how much of the original property to preserve is important. You obviously want to keep at least some of it, or you would just knock it down and start again. But you might want to completely modernize, or you could be considering keeping some of the period features. They can make quirky touches or inform your design scheme, from an old staircase to wooden ceiling beams. It's up to you how much of it you want to keep, but there might be some practical things to consider. As much as you like some parts of the original building, they aren't necessarily suitable for your vision or for your lifestyle.

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Refreshing Old Walls

Sometimes you might need to do some work on interior walls. You might even want to remove a wall or two if you'd like to reconfigure the space you have available. If you want to make any changes, you first need to know which walls are load-bearing, and what your interior walls are made from. Some walls might have timber studwork or even be made of brick. There are some things you might be able to do yourself, such as repairing small cracks or plasterwork. However, if you want to do anything more major, like replastering a whole wall or even removing a wall, a contractor can help you make sure nothing goes wrong. When you're thinking of what to do with your walls, you might like to consider a vintage look, maybe with paneling or dado/chair rails.

Updating Floors

Floors are another important part of your property to consider. Older homes often have floors that have lasted well over the years, particularly if they're solid wooden floors. You can easily keep the original floorboards or perhaps clean up and repair them a little. If you want to add carpets, tile, parquet, or anything else, that could be a possibility too. There are plenty of modern options, but you could easily give your home's floors a more vintage flavor if you wanted to. For a more modern home, you could also consider underfloor heating if you're able to install it. It's great for getting you through cold winters.

Planning Your Kitchen and Bathroom(s)

Of all the rooms in your home, the kitchen and any bathrooms are the places where you're most likely to have permanent fixtures. You could repaint and rearrange your bedroom every year if you wanted to, but you can't keep installing a new kitchen. You have to choose wisely, and they're some of the most important rooms to keep up to date. In an older home, you might want to make these rooms completely modern, or you might want to consider the history of the building. You can still have the latest fixtures, gadgets and technology while also giving your kitchen or bathroom a vintage feel. For example, some range ovens have a great vintage style but can still offer modern convenience.

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Adding Home Tech Sympathetically

If you want to modernize your old property, you might be thinking about adding some new tech. Various technology can help to improve your lifestyle, but you might also be concerned about it sticking out like a sore thumb. If you want to keep some of the older features of the building, you might be concerned about newer elements looking out of place. There are a couple of ways you might approach the addition of any new fixtures, gadgets or appliances.

One option is to choose products that have a vintage-inspired design. You can easily find anything from lighting fixtures to speakers that give you the look you want. Another thing you can do is hide things away when you're not using them. You can even get TV sets that look like paintings hanging on the wall when you're not watching TV. Or you can simply do your best to make modern and vintage elements work together.

Modernize with Interior Design

Of course, not everything is about the basic structure of your home. The finer details of your interiors are important too, even if they're not built into the property. There are so many ways you could add some more modern touches to an older home that the only thing limiting you is your imagination. And even if your imagination isn't very good, you can always use someone else's. Perhaps you can work some magic to create lighter and airier spaces or add some bright colors to your interiors.

You don't have to make everything extremely modern, though. There's always the option of vintage-inspired furniture and accessories. Take a look at some popular trends like shabby chic or industrial styles that work well if you're looking for a mix of vintage and modern. You can choose interiors that are more sympathetic to the original property overall but add in some modern accents, accessories or technology to keep everything up to date. There's a lot you can do, and you also don't have to keep most of it for too long if you don't want to. It's easy to repaint or even change your furniture around.

Updating an old home can take a lot of work. If you're willing to put in the effort and the money, you can create your dream home.

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