How to Update a Historic Home While Preserving Its Charm

Are you looking to update a historic home in the near future? If so, there are a variety of challenges you could face. When done right, however, it IS possible to retain an older home’s charm and character while upgrading to modern conveniences. In this blog, we’ll explore how to update a historic home to include desirable modern comforts without taking away from its rich past.


7 Tips to Help You Update a Historic Home With Ease


1. Research and understand your home’s past.

Before diving into any home renovation project, it’s crucial to conduct thorough research and gain a deep understanding of your home’s history. This often includes taking a closer look at your home’s architectural style and its significance. Additionally, your research may involve studying old photographs, blueprints, and historical records to uncover original features and design elements that should be preserved.


2. Learn what restrictions apply, if any, to updating a historic home in your area.

Many historic homes are subject to preservation guidelines and regulations imposed by local historic preservation boards or organizations. These guidelines outline specific requirements and restrictions regarding alterations, additions, and renovations to ensure the integrity of the home’s historic character. It’s essential to familiarize yourself with these regulations and obtain any necessary permits before initiating any updates. A general contractor familiar with remodeling in your area will often handle these permits for you – a significant plus for working with a home renovation professional!


3. Have respect for original materials and features.

One of the most significant aspects of updating a historic home is preserving its original materials and features whenever possible. This may involve repairing or restoring hardwood floors, moldings, trim, windows, and other architectural details using historically accurate methods and materials. By retaining these elements, you can maintain your home’s authenticity and charm while enhancing its overall appeal. When you work with a design and remodeling professional, you may even discover ways you can repurpose original features for other uses throughout your home.


4. Explore your home’s compatibility for updating it to meet modern needs.

While preserving your home’s historic character is important, it’s also essential to ensure that updates meet the functional needs of modern living. This may include upgrading electrical, plumbing, and HVAC systems to improve efficiency and safety without compromising the home’s integrity. Additionally, incorporating modern amenities such as updated kitchens, bathrooms, and technology integration can enhance livability while respecting your home’s history.


5. Update a historic home while following sustainable and eco-friendly practices.

Incorporating sustainable and eco-friendly practices into the renovation of historic homes not only helps preserve the environment but also aligns with the principles of stewardship and conservation. This may involve using energy-efficient appliances, installing insulation, and implementing water-saving fixtures while minimizing waste and environmental impact throughout the renovation process.


6. Work with a remodeling professional for best results.

Given the complexity and nuances of updating historic homes, seeking professional expertise and guidance from preservation specialists, architects, and remodeling contractors experienced in historic preservation is highly recommended. These professionals can offer valuable insights, creative solutions, and technical expertise to ensure that updates are executed with the utmost care and sensitivity to the home’s historic significance.


7. Make sure your remodeling budget includes room for ‘surprises’.

Having some extra room in your remodeling budget for contingencies is important for ANY renovation project. But when you update a historic home, it’s absolutely essential. That’s because your contractor will be dealing with old materials, layers from previous renovations, and hidden surprises that may not become apparent until work has begun. Make the process easier on yourself, and on everyone else involved, by expecting the unexpected and planning your budget accordingly.


Update a Historic Home in San Joaquin or Sacramento County With the Lodi, CA Remodeling Pros

Updating a historic home is a labor of love that requires meticulous planning, research, and attention to detail. By honoring the home’s heritage while accommodating modern needs, you can breathe new life into these architectural treasures while preserving their legacy for generations to come. With thoughtful consideration and expert guidance, the process of updating a historic home can be a rewarding journey that celebrates the past while embracing the future.


At Schatz Construction & Restoration, we provide high-quality construction and remodeling services to homeowners in Lodi, Elk Grove, Stockton, Manteca, Folsom, Tracy, Galt, and surrounding areas. No matter how old or new your San Joaquin or Sacramento County home is, we’re committed to helping you design and create spaces that reflect your family and your lifestyle. And if you want to update a historic home, that also includes maintaining your home’s unique heritage while implementing modern upgrades.


Contact us today to learn more about our remodeling services or to get a quote!

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