Restore Your Historic Home To Its Former Glory

Homes with character are rare and highly sought after. Unlike many generic modern homes, they can make you feel as if you live in a unique and special place – somewhere you can truly call home, rather than just a place to live.

But historical homes are problematic: they’re difficult to look after and hard to keep in good condition. As anyone who owns one will tell you, things can and do go wrong on a regular basis, leaving them in need of repair.

Do you own a historic house? Here’s what you can do to restore it to its former glory.

Learn About Its History

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National Park Service

One of the major draws of owning a historic home is, well, the history. We like the idea that a particular building wasn’t just generated en masse by a national developer, but was instead the product of individual effort and strife. If you want to restore your home to its former glory, the first thing you need to do is find out more about its history. Take a look at information in the public records office, and seek out previous owners to find out more about who built it and why. Check the internet for title databases to see whether you can glean any information about the lifestyles of the people who used to live in your home, and then consider this during the renovation.

Use Modern Upgrades With Care

Often it’s not possible to replace some features in a historic home, like for like. The original businesses that made them have either gone out of business or have updated their products considerably. What’s more, you probably don’t want to replace the boiler with an original replica – you want something that’s not going to let you down on long winter nights.

The trick is to find suitable replicas that are both reliable and maintain the house’s historical charm. Don’t change the architecture if you can avoid it, just use features, like fireplaces, which hark back to the original. Companies like Doiggs can also help you to protect particularly sensitive items, especially if you think your home may be at risk of external damage.

Use Period Materials

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If you own a historic house, you’ll want to avoid “modern” materials, such as vinyl, MDC, PVC and other monstrosities. Instead, focus on the type of materials available at the time. For many Georgian or Victorian houses, this will be hardwoods, brass, crystal, and slate. Often, you’ll want to update materials in your home because of wear and tear, but this is easy once you have an inventory of suitable ones at your disposal.

Hire Craftsmen To Retain Original Features

Rather than producing homes at the lowest possible cost – as many modern developers do – older builders used to pour a lot of effort into bespoke craftsmanship. The result is stunning features and decor in many historic homes, especially in communal areas and around staircases. Restoring these critical features helps to update your historic home, but it must be done correctly. Only hire skilled artisans with experience working with complex features.

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