If you are in the market for a new home, you are probably familiar with all of the myriad different options on the market: shiny new builds fresh from construction, heavily restored Edwardian properties equipped with every bell and whistle and understated Georgian townhouses tastefully updated with modern appliances and fittings.
Once you have seen all of these different options within your price range, Sod’s Law usually dictates that you will fall head over heels in love with the most expensive house that also has the most problems! If this is the case, you might be at the beginning of your own personal journey to your dream home restoration.
Filled with ups, downs and every emotion in between, renovating your own piece of domestic heaven can be a daunting task. Here is a brief list that aims to get you on the right track towards restoring your dream home.
Take stock of your structure
Once you have secured the deed for your own dream home, you need to take detailed stock of the current contents of the house. What components would you like to keep, and what details are you aching to get rid of? This stage should also include the advice of a professional contractor or surveyor who can advise you about the structural integrity of your new home and make suggestions about changes that should be made.
Maintain your favourite details, no matter the cost
Did you fall in love with your home’s wooden staircases or tin ceilings? If these details helped to influence your decision to buy, it would be a huge shame to see them carted away in a budget tightening measure. Period details may be expensive to restore and maintain effectively, but they also add immeasurable sentimental, architectural and historical (not to mention financial) value to your home.
Know when to let go
While you should try to go above and beyond to save your favourite details, there is also another side to this coin: sometimes you need to know when to let go and give up. A termite infested gazebo? A deteriorating parquet floor in the dining room? Hazardous materials, such as lead paint or plumbing, asbestos or balloon framing can all be disastrous, and sometimes can simply not be salvaged. Sometimes you will simply have to say goodbye to even your most beloved aspects of your dream home and trust that it will be the better for the change.
Restore your oak beams
Once you have begun your restoration process you may notice that you have some priceless and interesting hard wood floors, walls and beams that have been covered by centuries worth of renovation materials. If you uncover oak beams or another similarly stunning wood feature you should spend some time restoring them in order to give them a perfect finish. This will truly make your home something special.
Create a modern kitchen that is sensitive to the period
You probably want to pay homage to your home’s past while still being able to make a toasted cheese without stoking a wood fire! While you are certain to want a modern kitchen that allows you to cook, clean and entertain with ease, you also do not want to completely overhaul your space in a way that is not historically sensitive to the building’s age. Home renovation experts should be able to help you create a bespoke plan that will work for your home and will help you create a kitchen that evoked the correct time period while improving function and use.
Update the lighting
You will be amazed at what a difference a few changes to your lighting scheme can make. A room can be completely transformed by a few simple lighting fixtures and different wattage bulbs; this is a simple (not to mention an often affordable) way to change the entire look of your space without dramatically overhauling any historic details. It’s also worth mentioning that by updating and upgrading your existing lighting fixtures you can cut your electrical bills in half (or more) and switch to more environmentally sound bulbs.
Be mindful of colour schemes
If you want to be sensitive to the time and place in which your home was designed and built, it pays to think about the colour scheme you plan to use, both inside and on the exterior of your home. Depending on the era or region in which your home was built, a specific palette and colour scheme usually exists. You may choose to repaint the interiors and exterior of your home in its original colours, or something similar that would also be historically appropriate.
By following these tips, you can get well on your way to restoring your dream home. Good luck!