When you renovate an older home, you have two options: remodel or restore. The former is usually cheaper and less stressful, but remodeling tends to undermine your home's authenticity. Restoration is a process that tries to remain true to the time period of your home, but it can be expensive and time consuming. However, it can also be very rewarding when you see your home restored to its former beauty.
If you're renovating your home and want to maintain its historical integrity, you don't always have to go to great lengths to do so. There are a few projects that, if done properly, will make your home feel authentic. Instead of tracking down time-period wallpaper, focus on these projects.
Vinyl replacement windows weren't available a century ago. And while they are cheap and easy to install, they will make your home feel more modern than you might like. Fortunately, wooden windows are very easy to restore. Simply replace any broken panes with new glass -- you can even buy wavy and colored replacement glass to match the old glass in your home. Sand, caulk, and paint your windows. Replace the hardware and pulley systems, and you're done. The end result will feel very authentic.
The beautiful hardwood floors in many older homes have been covered with carpeting, vinyl, and tile. And, unlike modern homes, most older homes had beautiful, durable flooring installed throughout. Homes weren't build with plywood subflooring back in the day, which is great for you. Under all the old flooring in your home lies beautiful, authentic floors. All you have to do is restore them. To do so, remove all old flooring, then patch, sand, and refinish the original floors.
If your home still has original fixtures, such as sinks and tubs, don't get rid of them no matter how horrible they look. Most older fixtures are cast iron and can be beautifully restored. If yours have since been replaced with fiberglass or plastic, more modern versions, you might want to think about purchasing old fixtures and restoring them. Historic fixtures will really make your home feel authentic.
You don't have to use old or comparable materials for all of your projects, just the important ones. Things that really show the character of your home, such as windows, floors, and fixtures, are most important. Minor projects, such as wall treatments and furnishings don't matter as much if you start with historical bones.
For more information and options, talk with window pane replacement professionals, such as those at Distinctive Siding & Window, or other remodeling experts.