Image Source: Unsplash
Interior design trends come and go. Chances are, you’re not going to find green shag carpet from the ’70s in someone’s home today (thank goodness some trends fade for good!). But, what’s old can sometimes become new again. Certain trends are recycled or brought back to life for a variety of reasons.
One trend that is currently seeing a huge surge in popularity is historic preservation. You can chalk it up to home design shows on HGTV, inspirational boards on Pinterest, or just pictures and before/after reveals all over social media.
Whatever the reason, more people are seeing the value in home restoration and preservation. Many want to keep the historical elements of an old house intact rather than gutting the whole thing.
But, if this is truly a “trend,” can you expect it to stick around? What’s the value of restoring a historical home, and what should you expect?
It’s not uncommon for historical houses to be “diamonds in the rough,” allowing buyers to purchase them at a low listing price so they can restore them to their natural glory. But, that isn’t the case with every old home. To have a better understanding of what a property is worth, consider some of the following:
- The existing foundation and what it’s made of
- Quirky aspects of the home
- Craftsmanship and details
- Original colors, textures, and materials
If the home needs remodeling, there are things you can do to add value while keeping some of the historic charms. Some of the best improvement projects that can boost overall value include adding a bathroom, converting the attic space, remodeling the kitchen, and improving energy efficiency.
Things like new windows, a new HVAC system, and even new wiring can often be necessary repairs and improvements to historic homes, especially when it comes to keeping them safe. If you’re interested in a classic piece of Southern architecture, for example, you might need to make renovations that properly prepare the property for natural disasters like hurricanes and flooding. Things like sealing cracks in the foundation and adding retaining walls can make a big difference.
If you’ve fallen in love with the bones of an old home and it’s got a great listing price, you might be tempted to jump in right away with your sledgehammer. But, there are a few things to keep in mind before you put a lot of time, effort, and money into a home restoration. Before you start any rehabilitation, check the following off your list:
- Research the building’s history
- Identify interior elements
- Assess what needs to be altered
- Pay attention to any deterioration
- Draw up plans
You also should consider any potential challenges you might face along the way, including planning and adjusting your budget for any unexpected repairs, and working with your local historical commission. There may be some things within the home that can’t be changed. A historical commission group can guide you through those things, but it can be a lengthy process. It’s also a good idea to work with a contractor and home inspector. They’re trained to see potential risks or problems that you might not discover on your own.
Historic homes are becoming popular again for a reason. People love the charm, the attention to detail, and the comforting, familiar feel of an old house. But, is it a lasting trend, or is it something that will lose its luster after a while?
It’s hard to pin down an answer. While many home trends don’t last long, it seems that historic restoration gets a boost in popularity every few years. The most important thing is to decide if it’s the right option for you.
There are some aspects of a historic home that will undoubtedly seem outdated, and may not even appeal to you. For example, many modern homes have open-space concepts, and whether you have a larger family or just like the feel of more space, that’s a trend that’s not going away any time soon. Many historical homes are known for having multiple rooms, but those rooms aren’t necessarily that spacious.
You can keep the charm and integrity of an older home while increasing your space with just a few small changes, like:
- Getting creative with storage options
- Installing shelves
- Investing in multi-use furniture
You can also choose to tear down walls in certain areas to increase the size of certain rooms. That’s obviously a bigger undertaking, but it doesn’t necessarily have to take away from the “older” appeal of the home. It may even make it feel more luxurious, like a Victorian mansion.
Historic preservation is absolutely a hot trend. But, because of the comfort and charm of old homes, it’s a trend that is likely to stick around – even if it becomes mixed with modern touches. Take the details into consideration and recognize all that goes into home restoration before deciding if it’s right for you. But, don’t be afraid to take on a historic project if bringing an old home to life is something you’ve always wanted to do.