Renovating a heritage home presents its own unique sets of challenges and opportunities, but it doesn’t mean it’s not worth it! A heritage home provides a unique sense of character and charm that a new house just can’t. Choosing to restore a heritage home is an adventure worth partaking in, alongside some qualified professionals.
1. Ask For Help
Unless you have professional experience working with heritage homes, hiring a professional will make your restoration process much more efficient and painless. You’ll need tradespeople who have the specific skills required for unusual tasks that accompany heritage home renovations (e.g. tuck-pointing). Also consider hiring an experienced designer who has experience working with heritage homes. He or she will be able to create a look for your home that blends the old and the new beautifully.
2. Check With Your Local Council
Any heritage restoration professional will tell you that the first thing to do will be to check with your local historical council to see whether or not the changes you are making to your heritage home are acceptable. A historical council will need to give you the “okay” to move forward with your renovation, so be sure to ask them for their approval sooner rather than later! Getting on the wrong side a historical council can make your renovation extremely difficult and in some cases, unattainable.
3. Do Your Research
Before you start renovating be sure to do your homework and research your home’s architectural history. Doing this will help you know what has been done to your house in the past, decreasing the chances of unpleasant surprises once you start renovating. This research will also help provide you with ideas on how to incorporate old features of your home into its modern day use.
4. Invest in/Reuse High Quality Heritage Materials
In general, heritage-related materials will cost more than your typical modern materials (e.g. a slate roof vs. a corrugated iron roof). However, using heritage materials with the right tradespeople will result in a longer life span for your home than modern materials can provide. More often than not, these materials will just need repairs instead of complete replacement, so be sure to scavenge the existing materials in your home before you completely replace it.
5. Splurge on Unique Pieces
To truly make your heritage home restoration successful, splurge on unique elements like period woodworking and stained glass. These touches will not only make your heritage home look more authentic, they will also make your home feel like your own!
Blackwell Masonry Ltd. – Masonry Specialists for Kitchener/Waterloo
Blackwell Masonry has served the Kitchener/Waterloo region for over 25 years, and specializes in all areas of residential masonry. Visit our services page for a full list of the services that we provide.