Whether it’s for a profit or your personal use, restoring old houses can be a rewarding experience. However, it can also be a challenge, especially for novices. Without proper research, planning, and knowledge, you could end up exacerbating the problems present in the house.
To avoid rookie mistakes and to successfully breathe life into an old house, here are a few steps you may want to keep in mind.
- Assess the overall situation
When you’re on the hunt for old properties, you’ll find them in various conditions, from semi-livable to near dilapidated. If you’re a budding restorer, you may want to start with a more manageable project. Large, multi-story houses with excessive damage will require more funding and skill to restore than a small, single-floor cottage with minor issues. Note the most obvious problems first, then inspect further to see if there are underlying concerns like a termite infestation or mould growth under the wallpaper. Once you have a list of all the things you need to tackle, you can finally take the necessary steps.
- Consult with experts
An expert opinion is often valuable when looking at old homes. There may be hidden gems in these places that are only recognizable to those with a trained eye. Before carelessly throwing items away or starting on renovations, wait for an expert to identify if there’s anything worth preserving in the house, be it a rare piece of art or other exquisite features like intricate tiling or crown moulding.
- Eliminate pests
You can’t start work on a house that’s infested with termites or rats. The first order of business is removing pests so you can get to work without any interruptions or recurring problems down the line. Enlist a professional pest control service to exterminate these critters. Consult with your experts to determine if certain chemicals pest control uses may have adverse effects on certain aspects of the house you wish to preserve.
- Deal with the most obvious damage
Work with a contractor to patch up major damage like holes in the roof, wall, or floor. For broken or dented windows, hire a metal window restoration service. Fix unstable pillars or stairs, and ensure the whole house is safe and sturdy before moving on to any redecorating.
- Replace irreparable wallpaper, furniture, and fixtures
As much as you want to preserve certain aspects of an old house, especially antique furniture and décor, some items are simply impossible or too expensive to repair. This is where your creativity comes in. You can choose to hunt for wallpaper, furniture, and fixtures that are close to the original, or you can do a complete overhaul and redesign the house however you like.
The difficulty with renovation projects is that instead of starting from scratch, you are forced to work around and solve pre-existing problems before you can even think to start repainting or redecorating. However, once you gain experience, you’ll surely grow to love the work and get better over time.