Do you live in an older or historical property? You may wish to have some upgrades, or repair some damage that has been the natural result of age. When doing renovations for historical homes, however there are often special considerations that you will need to keep in mind.  Often such renovations are costlier and take a longer time than renovations to modern homes.

If your home is classified as historical, you’ll need to check with your local building authority about the rules and by-laws concerning upgrades to these properties. And if you’re considering purchasing a historical home, it’s also a good idea to check these regulations before making your investment.

At minimum, a homeowner will usually be required to work within the original blueprint of the home.  This can often mean higher costs because it is a less efficient approach to home renovation.

If you are planning a renovation to a historical home, here are a few tips to help you get started:

Get a home inspection.

Before you spend too much time dreaming about new kitchen cabinets and picking out paint swatches, make sure that you have the basics covered. Since things can more quickly go wrong in older homes, first make sure that essentials like your roof, electrical(The Reno Pros will contract out all electrical work to registered electrical contractors licensed with the Electrical Safety Authority.) and plumbing are in good repair.

Hire a reliable contractor with experience.

As you are shopping around for the right contractor to do the job, be sure to let them know upfront that they are dealing with a historical property. Some contractors may let you know right away that they are not comfortable with the job and save you the time of checking their portfolio, references etc.

If they are comfortable with the job, ask what kind of experience they have working on similar projects. If you’ve already taken the time, to learn the by-laws and any rules set out by your local historical society, show them these regulations. This will help them to come up with an accurate estimate of how much the job will cost.

If you haven’t yet taken this step, your contractor of choice may be able to get this information for you on your behalf. There is no point drawing up any design plans until you know exactly what is allowed and what isn’t.

Stick to the character of the house.

Some historical societies will regulate changes throughout the home while others may only be concerned with the exterior. Even if you have more freedom on the inside of the home however, it’s unlikely that you’ll be happy with a very modern interior design within a historical building.

There are many newer, more modern fixtures and details that still retain some of the historical characteristics of the home. Go with details that accentuate the historical beauty of the house while still giving you a bit more modern convenience.

Renovations for historical homes can be more complicated that renovations to modern homes, but a good contractor like The Reno Pros, will be able to guide you on what upgrades will give you the most benefit.