Many people are drawn to the charm of older homes, but the unfortunate reality is that older homes were not designed with modern form and functionality in mind. As a result, living in an old house that has not been renovated and updated can feel cramped and inconvenient in many ways. You can, however, improve the form and function of an older home through a renovation that focuses on a few key elements. Here are our top tips for how to update an old house:
Improve the Layout
Older homes were typically designed with a closed floor plan. Each room had four distinct walls and a few doorways and windows. It is not typically possible to see from the kitchen into the dining room, living room or entryway of the home. This can create a very closed-off feel that makes the home seem much smaller than it is. A great way to update an old house is by simply removing a few walls and making the living, dining and kitchen areas more open and flowing. By doing so, you are modernizing the floor plan so that it appeals to today’s families.
Consider Energy Efficiency
Many of today’s new homes are designed with superior energy efficiency in mind, but this is not the case with older homes. Older buildings typically lack the superior insulating qualities that today’s modern homes have. They may have an outdated HVAC system, inadequate seals on doors and windows and even older appliances. When you update an old house, focus on adding spray foam insulation to the walls and ceiling. Invest in a new HVAC system and appliances. Upgrade the doors and windows entirely, and add new seals around these spaces. These steps will save you money on energy costs for years to come.
Add More Rooms and Bathrooms
Some older homes were designed with a limited number of bedrooms and bathrooms. Today, most children have their own bedroom with a full closet in each room. This means that a comfortable home typically has between three to four bedrooms. There may be two, three or more bathrooms in a common home. The master bedroom in a modern floor plan has a large walk-in closet or even two walk-in closets. It also has a large en suite bathroom. When you update an old house with these additional rooms to your home, you will create a more usable space.
Retain Historical Charm
As you can see, it will take a significant amount of work and a major overhaul of many areas to update an old house. However, historical homes have a special appeal of their own. Many people love these homes because of their architectural detail and overall design of the home. They may have elaborate woodwork, gorgeous older wood floors and many other details that make them stand out from modern homes with added appeal. These are characteristics that you should attempt to retain if possible. Working with a contractor who has experience renovating older homes is a smart idea if you want to retain as much historical charm as possible.
Whether you have recently moved into an older house or you have been living in the home for years, you understandably want to modernize the space so that it is more stylish and functional for your family to live in. Spend time considering all of the features you would like to change on the home as well as the features that you would like to retain. You might also educate yourself by watching videos or finding programs like Success Path so you can better design your space. It can be wise to make a written list of these features to provide to your contractor during an initial consultation. By taking these steps, you could soon have a beautifully renovated older home that has historical charm.
Guest Author Bio: Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer who recommends Success Path for those who want to learn how to renovate their spaces.