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Renovating An Older Home | Exterior Design Today


Renovating an older home can be a more involved endeavor than remodeling a new house. While a relatively new home can be a fairly straightforward project, there are unique elements to a design-build project on an old home.




Renovating an Older Home | Exterior Design Today


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Often, simply redesigning the circulation routes can open up the rooms in dramatic ways. We can reorganize the way the spaces are used by taking out a wall, or moving an opening. It often solves more problems than homeowners expect.


Your older home was not only built to last, but it also presents quality craftsmanship, with custom details that are hard to replicate in modern homes. So, when you go to update your home, it can be tricky to keep its vintage originality and add a modern twist. Here are some tips to consider when renovating an older home.


In many older homes, there are hardwood floors under the current carpeting or laminate flooring. By removing the flooring and refinishing the hardwood floors underneath, you keep the historic charm, and create a beautiful, updated look to your home. Although old flooring may not appear brand new, it is significantly less expensive to refinish rather than replace with new hardwood. And by properly caring for the hardwood floors, they can last 20 to 30 years.


The wiring in older homes can be a challenge. Many older homes still have old wiring such as knob and tube or cloth wiring. For a safer solution, look at upgrading the electric with a more modern solution. Hire an electrician to give you recommendations for an electrical system upgrade that will meet your needs and budget.


An older home comes with many wonderful benefits. You get a unique residence with its character and personality. Your home itself is a conversation piece, and depending on where you live, it may even be a significant part of history. On the other hand, the lack of space for storage and the floor layout may be the biggest drawbacks to owning a home over fifty years old. Decades ago, families accepted the traditional home layout that was popular at the time their home was constructed.


But before you dive into the renovation process or sign a contract for an older home, there are a few things you should consider. There are many moving parts and decisions involved in renovating an older home. However, if you understand the fundamental elements and have a capable partner to guide you through the process, your renovation will result in a dream home for you and your family.


To create the kitchen of your dreams in the older home. A typical kitchen renovation performed in an older home involves reconfiguring the kitchen, breakfast nook, and formal dining room into a generously sized kitchen. There may even be space for that desperately needed first floor powder room, coat closet, mudroom, or laundry room. This type of renovation satisfies the appeal of a more open, combined floorplan, while retaining the original exterior look and size of the home.


If you own your home, we at Gilday Renovations use an integrated team approach from our first meeting with a client. A company principal will be at the initial design meetings, along with representatives from the design team. Everyone works together to answer your questions and to keep the scope of the project aligned with your goals for your home renovation. Once a design approach has been approved by the client, the project management team becomes involved.


If you interested in learning more about Gilday Renovations and how we can design and remodel your older home to fit your needs, please contact us and schedule a meeting to discuss your project. Our integrative process for each step of the renovation process and our inventive designs is what sets us apart as the premier source for home renovations in the D.C. metro area.


For prospective buyers, a new roof tops the list of desired exterior improvements. Energy-efficient windows and doors are also highly desired enhancements along with a fresh coat of exterior paint or new siding. To add curb appeal, consider updating your garage door, building a deck, and beautifying the landscaping all around the home.


Of course, another area that gets a high priority when renovating a home is to update the heating and cooling systems to make them more efficient. That can also mean adding an HVAC system on the second floor to provide more consistent heating and cooling for the entire home, which helps eliminate those hot or cold areas.


Both of these homeowners were very excited to share their plans and the wonderful creativity of their contractors. They were so happy to spend their money on modifications they really believed would look good. But all they were left with was bad design.


Choosing the materials put the final touches on this older home remodel. Finishes included maple perimeter cabinets, painted with a smoky gray paint, as well as an island with cabinets in a rich ebony. Glass backsplash tiles and updated lighting throughout the renovated spaces on the first floor added to the modern feel of this updated, traditional home.


Denver has grown exponentially since its foundation as a gold mining town in 1858. While much has changed since then, many of the historic homes built in the late 19th and early 20th century still stand today and need historic restoration.


Permitting and local zoning regulations is another challenge, regardless of the type of permits you may need to obtain. You already learned that exterior modifications for homes in historic districts are subject to review. Official historic homes may require additional review from boards, associations, or other entities. Additional zoning ordinances may require your Denver home remodeling to be done in a particular way or even using specific materials. Without proper research and planning, you run the risk of rejection and may have to start the process all over again.


Factor Design Build founders Josh Fiester and Kent Simpson collectively have over35 years in residential and commercial construction, including work on older and historic homes. The whole Factor team brings hundreds of years of architecture, design, contracting, and construction experience to the table.


Your historic home needs the attention it deserves. MainStreet Design Build has the proven expertise you can trust to renovate the exterior and interior of your pride and joy. Whether your home is in need of a refurbished porch or stairwell, an updated kitchen or master bedroom, you can trust master craftsman and designers well versed in the unique building codes and structural requirements of historic home renovation. View our historic home renovation photo gallery below:


Make sure your façade can be seen no matter what time of day or night by adding some exterior lighting. Sconces, over the door lights, and accent lights can all help illuminate your exterior, making it visible at night, as well as easier to navigate for guests approaching after dark. If your home has large soffits or overhangs beneath your roof, you can also install some discreet lights in this area as well, which can help to define your roofline after dark.


1. Paint the walls, ceiling and trim one color to hide imperfections. Often some of the first features that make you fall in love with an older home are beautiful molding, trim and door details built during a different era, when finishing touches carried a certain polish and personality. A simple coat of paint, then, is your first step to preserving and highlighting these details. I typically paint the walls, trim and ceiling one color, but with a slightly higher gloss on the trim to subtly call attention to it. With this palette in place, a bold shade like dark gray on the doors makes them architectural standouts.


6. Use airy shelving units. Open and airy étagères (shelving units) are a stylish way to add additional storage and display space for collectibles, books and baskets of odds and ends without disturbing or hiding the original architecture with built-ins or big bookcases. Plus, they have a certain gallery-like charm that fits older homes despite feeling like a modern touch.


8. Mix traditional and modern periods. Including some items that feel like they fit the period of the home (even if a design historian might disagree) as well as some modern pieces helps tie the vintage air of a home to everyday life. It also helps make modern essentials like a TV, computer and plush sofa feel more at home if some of the other accessories are more modern as well.


Located in the suburbs of Reykjavík, this midcentury gem was first designed in the 1960s by Guðmundur Kr. Kristinsson, one of the first postwar architects in Iceland. However, after being sold, the new homeowners determined the property was in need of a thoughtful revamp in order to be a suitable modern home for their growing family.


This New York City home is studded with pieces by such famous names as Knoll, Saarinen, and Risom. Deployed throughout the loft, these modern icons at once unify and separate work and life. Like the architecture, they can be read two ways: as recognizably typical office furniture or as prized home-design collectibles.


The quality of home construction has evolved and improved over the years, partly due to the ever-changing availability of building materials and partly due to updated building codes. For example, in 1978, the federal government banned the use of lead-based paint, which was previously used regularly during construction. Further developments in the form of updated technology, modern insulation and more affordable materials have permanently altered the way homes are built today as compared to 100 or even 50 years ago.


With cookie-cutter homes popping up across the nation, old houses stand out for their commitment to architectural individuality. Victorians, Colonials and Tudors are just three of the many architectural styles that are not often replicated today. The craftsmanship and attention to detail that went into building these structures can be hard to find in modern homes, so if architectural character is near the top of your list, an older home might be a good fit.


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