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There’s something about old homes that sit warmly in the hearts of many. While many designers will argue against DIY enthusiasts taking on a renovation project in an old home, there’s an undeniable feeling of nostalgia and quality that newer homes often lack.

If you decide to purchase an older home to renovate and decorate, or if you’ve decided to make some upgrades to your current older home, there are a lot of things to consider before swinging a hammer. Here are a few things to keep in mind.

Be Mindful of Hazards

Older homes sometimes have nasty surprises in the walls. Before you purchase an old home for renovations or before you start to tear apart the home you currently own, it’s essential that you have a thorough inspection conducted. Not only can these surprises cost a lot of money when disturbed, but they can be hazardous to your health.

Mould removal could be a necessary expense if your older home wasn’t properly insulated, though it’s best to discover this issue and have it rectified. It wasn’t too long ago that asbestos was regularly used in construction. This could necessitate removal or prevent you from disturbing certain areas in your home.

Note Time-Related Inconveniences

Construction practices and materials have evolved over time. While your home may not have asbestos in the walls, there are still various things that could impact what you’re able to do, and which materials you use. For example, if your older home has plaster walls, the techniques you use for maintenance and care while updating your surroundings will be very different than if you have drywall.

Plumbing, electric, and other foundational aspects of your home’s structure will also play a role if you’re looking at rearranging things on a deeper level. Rather than taking a DIY approach to these sorts of renovations, it’s important to have an expert in older houses readily available.

Manage Your Expectations

When renovating an old house, most people can expect to go over budget and over time. Try to shift your mindset to hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst. It’s better to do things the right way then to take shortcuts that will cause problems later.

Again, working with professionals who are experienced with both construction and interior design for older homes will help identify potential challenges before you get started.

Keep the Vintage Splendor

From an interior design perspective, older homes create an opportunity to make a blend between the traditional and the new. Some of the older visual aspects of a room are worth keeping and working into your design scheme. This adds an air of authenticity, uniqueness, and elegance when updating an older home.

Rather than approaching a room with the mindset of cleaning house, look at the various components as individuals. Sure, that orange shag carpet and wood paneling might need to go, but an old light fixture might be able to be restored as an accent piece. Don’t miss out on an opportunity to bring out something’s inner beauty because you see it as a part of a bigger picture.

Document Everything

When redesigning an old home, be sure to photograph everything. In addition to having before and after photos for reference (and for bragging rights), you should also write everything down.

Write down what you want, as a reference point for any professionals you work with. Write down changes you’ve made so that you can refer to them later if an issue arises down the road or you choose to sell your home. Keep everything in a central, accessible location.

Redesigning an older home can be a big undertaking that can yield incredible results. Remember to reach out to the professionals for consultation before making any permanent changes.