Rising housing costs have taken their toll on many Americans. People are leaving large cities in record numbers to purchase homes in rural communities. Many new homebuyers are understandably drawn to historic homes that are both less expensive and more charming. The problem with older homes is that they often need renovations from time to time. The work can be complicated if you don’t know what you are doing, so you should hire a professional when you want the job done so it matches the rest of your historic home.
Why Do You Need a Professional Renovator?
Renovating a home is always tricky, but performing the work on a historic house is even more complicated. Renovating can be compared to baking. Some can do it, and some need to lean on the help of professionals. Meredith Flynn, production manager and owner of Woolfie’s Bakery, says “Baking at home is fun, however as a restaurant owner have access to premium ingredients and supplies that a home doesn’t have access to. So in turn, our final products come out differently, and in my opinion a higher quality”. We bring up this point to parallel that general contractors have access and capital to tools and materials that homeowners do not. Therefore your project will come out much differently if you hire a professional. Here are some of the reasons that you will want to get a professional to help you out.
Keeping the Visual Appeal Consistent Many people try to use contemporary construction tools and practices when renovating an old home. The problem is that the renovated sections then don’t blend in with the rest of the house. A professional understands what materials will need to be used to preserve the ambiance of the house.
Health Risks Older homes were often built with materials that we now realize are unsafe. Asbestos was commonly used in homes that were built between the late 1800s and 1970s. Lead-based paints were not banned until 1978. You don’t want to work on materials that could potentially lead to serious health problems. Always hire a professional that knows how to work with them safely.
Dealing with Delicate Materials Older homes generally have much different types of materials than newer ones. Victorian homes typically have clay tiles, while many houses that were built shortly after that period used galvanized piping in their plumbing. These materials can be more brittle and difficult to work with than contemporary ones. It is easy to break them if you don’t know what you are doing. A professional renovator will have the skills and tools needed to work with them.
Understanding Building Codes Building codes are challenging enough to understand. They are even more complex when you are trying to make changes to a historic home. Many people think that their old homes are grandfathered and not subject to new building codes. However, few cities have grandfather clauses for older homes.
Most municipalities require all changes to be compliant with current building codes, regardless of when the house was built. Complying with these codes can be even more difficult, because you are often working with different types of materials. Historical homes may also have additional restrictions that don’t apply to most properties. For example, you are generally not allowed to build add-ons to historic houses.
If you’re looking to restore an historic home, you will want to hire a professional who understands the codes and the practices needed to conform to them. They will take the time to understand your needs and come up with a plan that complies with the municipal guidelines.
Having the design/build process outlined and laid out for you allows you to plan your budget better and guarantee a better result that will keep the historic look and feel while also keeping with updated building codes. Hiring a professional design/build firm is the best way to get both a beautiful renovation and a renovation that passes all the specs.