The Dos and Don’ts of Historic Home Renovation

renovated historic home in Kansas City

Renovating Historic Homes Is an Art. Partner with a Company That Understands the Canvas.

Undertaking a historic home renovation is quite different than remodeling a standard fixer-upper or updating a newer build. As the owner of an older property, you are responsible for preserving its story, which comes with a unique set of benefits and challenges.

Renovating a historic home requires a special level of care to ensure its distinctive character and charm remains intact. Old houses are filled with one-of-a-kind design elements that make them the special properties they are. When these features are removed or covered up, a home ultimately loses its history.

To make your project a success, you first need to understand the dos and don’ts of historic home renovations. Although every house is different, there are some practices that all remodels should share.

Do Contact Your Historic Preservation Office Before Beginning Your Project

Having an old house and a historic property aren’t one and the same. A home that’s deemed historic must be significant to “American history, architecture, archeology, engineering, or culture and possess integrity of location, design, setting, materials, workmanship, feeling, and association,” according to the National Register of Historic Places.

Prior to moving forward with your home renovation ideas, you should first reach out to your local or state historic preservation office to determine if your property has any remodeling guidelines. Homes located in historic districts often have certain restrictions that prevent homeowners from altering a property in a way that undermines its historical importance.

Don’t Overlook Period-Appropriate Style in Your Historic Home Renovation

A historic home’s characteristics are reflective of the time period in which it was built. For example, Victorian properties are well-known for their ornamentation and intricate designs, while Craftsman houses place a larger focus on simplicity and functionality.

There are even slight variations within these styles. Queen Anne Victorians are asymmetrical and feature decorative patterns of wood or stone, textured surfaces, and pastel colors. Folk Victorians, on the other hand, tend to be simpler and smaller, as they were designed for the middle class rather than the wealthy.

Renovating a historic home without considering its architectural style results in an inconsistent design that doesn’t fit the period. To bring out the soul of your home, the new must blend seamlessly with the old.

Do Consider Modern Functionality When Renovating Your Historic Home

While your updates should honor history, you shouldn’t solely concentrate on aesthetics. After all, homeowners often choose to complete historic home renovations, because they want their spaces to better fit their lifestyle.

What worked for everyday living in past decades isn’t necessarily conducive in today’s society. The 21st century has introduced technological advancements and design concepts that enhance convenience and comfort throughout the home. By incorporating some modern amenities into your remodel, you can enjoy your historic property more fully and even boost your home’s resale value.

Don’t Assume Grants and Tax Incentives Don’t Apply to Your Historic Home Renovation

Museums, nonprofits, and small businesses aren’t the only ones who can benefit from tax deductions and grants. Owners of historic homes can also take advantage of these resources at the state and national levels to help offset renovation costs.

Keep in mind that there are several eligibility requirements you must meet to qualify for certain deductions. It’s best to consult with your historic home renovation company and area preservation societies to determine which solutions best align with your investment goals.

Do Partner with a Company That Specializes in Historic Home Renovations Near You

Not anyone can properly renovate a historic home. Inexperienced remodelers often don’t have the skills and training necessary to work with an older property’s one-of-a-kind details. They also may not be prepared for the behind-the-walls surprises that are all-too-common with these types of renovations.

To bring your home renovation ideas to life without erasing your house’s history, you need a true expert. Architectural Craftsmen has years of experience renovating historic homes back to their original glory. We listen carefully to your vision and use our combined knowledge of architecture, design, and history to make it a reality. Our commitment to excellence has established us as trusted professionals in historic home renovations near you, and we’ve helped countless clients discover a newfound love for their properties.

Visit our online portfolio to browse some of the gorgeous homes we’ve had the pleasure of working on in the past. And when you’re ready, call (913) 963-2246 to discuss your upcoming project. We can’t wait to hear from you!