Preserving Character While Improving Function

Preserving Character While Improving Function

No matter how new or old or how many floors it has, many people would argue that their home has a certain charm to it. Maybe it’s the flooring or the windows; whatever it is, they consider it an important and integral part of their home’s aesthetic and they probably won’t be too keen on giving it up easily.

The beautiful thing about renovating a house, though, is that you don’t really have to make overwhelming changes to make it more comfortable for the inhabitants. You can increase both the value and functionality of a home without changing what makes it so unique or adored by the people that live in it.

Paint It

One of the most sure-fire ways to make anything look newer or different without changing much is to give it a fresh coat of paint. You can update the cabinetry, railings, doors, walls – anything that can have a coat of paint splashed onto it can manage to look new and improved while managing to keep some of what made the homeowners fall in love with their home, to begin with.

Modify the Lighting

Often times, the original lighting within a home can add plenty of personality and this is especially true of older homes. What’s already been installed either by the homeowner or the owners before them are still probably around for a good reason. As the contractor, you can offer the homeowner the option of dimmer switches or motion sensors instead. No need to remove what’s already worked for so long, simply make it more modern and efficient. Lighting can do wonders for the look and feel of a home, so adding upgrades without changing that can go a long way towards comfort and value.

If There’s Hardwood, It’s Probably Better Off Staying

You might be sick to death of hearing this, but hardwood floors are just the best. Or at least they’re among one of the best things a home can have. Even better if it’s old hardwood flooring that they’ve had for years as it may be considered rare and hard to find. Hardwood flooring is a great asset to any home because it:

● adds plenty of monetary value to the home
● comes in so many different colors and style
● looks good with many different types of decor
● is solid and tough which means that they can take punishment and last for years

Depending on their condition, the floors might need to be sanded and refinished, but unless the homeowner either wants the flooring removed and replaced or there is extensive damage to the floors, the best thing to do is to just keep them. The functionality and value are already there, it may just need some sprucing up.

Make the House Less Drafty

No home should be drafty. While this can apply to newer homes, you’ll most likely find that it’s the older houses that don’t have much in the way of good insulation. Mid-20th century builders weren’t super big on insulating and if there was insulation, it was often dangerous material, like asbestos. Regardless of what era the home was made in, if you want to make it more energy-efficient, then it needs to have new insulation installed and its windows and doors need to have updated weather-stripping added as well.

You Don’t Have to Add New Windows

Another thing that you might be sick of hearing is, “You need to add new windows for better energy efficiency.” Unlike the hardwood flooring thing, though, this one isn’t really something that home contractors, renovators or homeowners need to do. It can help in that regard, but if someone is looking to keep their same windows, they just need to update them.

Storm windows can be added to the exterior of the existing windows and low-emissive glass can greatly reduce the amount of heat that leaves or comes into the home. The aforementioned weather-stripping can be a big help too. Together, all of this can make windows more energy-efficient without sacrificing the style that the homeowner loves.

It may take a bit of effort to work around and accommodate the homeowner’s wants and requests, but it is possible and the satisfaction that you’ll both get from a job well done will make it all worthwhile. Are there any of you out there that have needed to renovate a home in this manner before? Was it challenging? Tell us about your experience in the comments!