The romantic notion of bringing an old home back to life is very alluring. If done right, the results can be an extraordinary blend of classic luxury and modern conveniences.
New England boasts a massive concentration of historic homes. Dotting the main streets and country roads, old houses have endured the test of time, men, and nature. Many New Englanders revel in the architectural past these aged houses come with. However, such homes require proper renovation and restoration to ensure they are livable, safe, and beautiful.
When purchasing and restoring an old home, it’s essential to get in touch with professionals familiar with the intricacies of refurbishing aged constructions. Perry Brothers Constructions offer restoration expertise for your beautiful New England historic homes.
Read our guidance on re-doing an older home, including challenges you may face while doing so and how you can make your older house more energy efficient.
Challenges That Present When Renovating Historic New England Homes
When dealing with renovating a historic home, some of the commonly faced challenges are:
- Improving Energy Efficiency
- Environmental Conditions of the home. E.g. humidity, moisture, dryness etc.
- Gutters and Downspouts Issues
- Landscape Preservation and Maintenance
- Mechanical Systems Issues
- Painting Jobs
- Roof Improvements
- Safety and Security
To Renovate or to Restore?
In simple words, restoration is when we retain and repair parts of the home to keep its authentic self intact. For example, this could be in the form of restoring the house’s front windows by adding weather-stripping and exterior storms to side windows while renovating the decaying windows out at the back.
Sometimes, however, restoration isn’t an option. For example, when a part of the house is structurally unstable, the only answer may be to add new materials while keeping the finished renovation close to the intended style and era of the home.
We tell our clients that we cannot explicitly define the entire scope of the renovation and/or restoration process until demolition begins. Sometimes, to the homeowner’s benefit, scraping away layers of inappropriate cabinetry may uncover initial millwork, flooring, or fireplaces that are restorative. But many a time, discovering rotting cornice and eaves, we have had to reframe the entire roof that would disintegrate at the slightest touch. Nevertheless, we do believe in staying as close to the true look of classic homes.
How to Make an Old Home More Energy Efficient
An energy-efficient home is well insulated, airtight, with efficient heating and cooling mechanisms that aid in keeping utility bills low. In addition, it’s outfitted with low-flow fixtures to reduce water consumption and water-heating costs. An energy-efficient home stays warm in winter, cool in summer and is free of drafts with adequate ventilation.
Greening historic homes can result in significant energy savings. Therefore, understanding a building, its significance and the factors that impact its energy use are important when devising an approach to reducing emissions.
Regular home maintenance and repairing cracks and gaps while they are still slight is key. Adding loft insulation, double glazing and draughtproofing windows and doors, and converting open chimneys and shafts are all relatively low-cost but practical solutions to making old homes more energy conserving.
At Perry Brothers Construction, we understand that an old home reflects years of love and life within its walls. So we re-do historic homes with the mindset of leaving behind the house for the next steward.