5 Mistakes to Avoid When Remodeling Your Historic Home

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Cincinnati’s neighborhoods are graced with beautiful architecture that expresses the areas rich heritage and culture. It’s a link to our city’s past that is worth preserving when it’s time to remodel them. The thing you may not want to preserve is that small non-functional kitchen or the pink tiled bathroom that also happens to be the only one in the house. Let’s make sure your home remodel goes smoothly with these tips.

If you own one these classics and it’s time to remodel, you may find yourself asking, “How do I make sure the character I fell in love with is still here when the project is finished?” Fortunately, with the right planning and design, it is possible to get that stunning kitchen and luxurious bathroom without disrespecting the home’s style. Let’s walk through some of the things you’ll need to be aware of to make sure your project is a success.

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Remodeling an Older Home: It Starts With Good Design

When expanding or remodeling your older classic home, be sure to start by taking notice of the homes architectural elements. We’ve all seen that tacky 70’s bathroom remodel where the materials of the times were jumbled together with no respect for the surround home. Getting the small details correct will pull the entire design together accurately.

Pay attention to the use of materials and the profiles of everything from a shutter to a baseboard. The trim items need to match in style and in material. Many older homes have wood siding and trying to match up modern vinyl siding would be a huge mistake and clash with your home’s character. Fixtures such as faucets, sinks, bathtubs, and tile can be a dead giveaway as well and will look out of place if the wrong style or finish is selected.

Do You Have the Power?

Because building codes have changed over time, many older homes don’t meet current requirements and you may be forced to bring them up to date. For example, there are more appliance options now than ever before and a large refrigerator, cooktop, ovens, wine refrigerator, and a KitchenAid mixer will ramp up your home’s electrical needs. Older homes were just not designed to handle that amount of electrical demand. This could mean that you’ll need to update your electrical service and/or panel to meet that demand.

“If walls could talk, oh the stories they would tell.”

Jerry Bauscher, Founder of Bauscher Construction

What’s Hiding in Those Walls

When you remodel an older home, more surprises tend to lurk behind all that plaster than what is found in newer construction. It’s not uncommon to find plumbing, wiring, and structural items that need to be updated, and this can be tough to predict during the design and planning phase. Because of this, it can be a good idea to allow a little more in the “what if” part of your budget to cover what could be some surprise costs after deconstruction.

Get the Lead Out

In 2010 the US Environmental Protection Agency passed the Repair, Renovation and Painting (RRP) regulations that required specific actions when remodeling homes that have lead paint in them. Take a look at our blog on this topic here for more details information on this regulation. Most of the older homes in Cincinnati are going to have some lead paint, and it’s important to make sure any remodeler you hire is equipped to deal with this.

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Get the Right Help

As you can see, from design to construction, there are many small details to be managed to bring together a beautiful collaboration of form and function. Make sure you work with a design-build firm with experience working on older homes who can help you enhance that wonderful Cincinnati heritage that you love.

Click the buttons below to see a few examples of homes in Hyde Park and other great Cincinnati neighborhoods. Can you see where the original home stops and the addition begins? These are wonderful examples of historic remodeling project done right.HYDE PARK ADDITIONHYDE PARK DECK ADDITIONHYDE PARK TOTAL HOME REMODEL & ADDITION

Please leave comments below with any questions or concerns you might have. Or give us a call to get your project started!