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By: Kevin Ahern on May 21st, 2015

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7 Tips On Preserving Your Historic Home

Residential | Residential Remodeling

Owning a historic home is unlike any other homeownership experience. While historic homes require a great deal of maintenance and care, for the right owners, restoring and preserving a historic home can provide ultimate satisfaction and pride of ownership. These tips on preserving your historic home will help ensure that your property maintains its value and beauty for years to come.

1. Save Original Surfaces Whenever Possible

Original building materials often have value beyond the market value of comparable newly installed materials. To give an example: lovingly restored wooden oak floors will have markings and textures from years of care, which is a look that cannot be achieved by installing a brand new oak floors.

2. Do Your Research

The more you know about your home's original appearance and the time period when your home was built, the more likely you are to make informed an decision about the maintenance and restoration of the home. For example, if you're hoping to paint your Victorian home and are trying to acheive a look that is authentically Victorian, you'll need to know which paint colors a Victorian occupant would have selected.

3. Avoid Making Impulsive Decisions

Historic home preservation and restoration is patient, careful work. Impulsively buying the wrong type of cabinetry or investing in the wrong style of door can send a confusing message about the historic origins of your home, and can lessen the impact of your restoration efforts.

4. Get Regular Inspections

Even the most well-built historic homes require constant, ongoing maintenance. Getting regular inspections of the various systems of your home will enable you to catch problems early, preventing those maintenance problems from doing major damage to your property. Have your home's roof, plumbing and wiring regularly inspected so you can correct problems in their early stages.

5. Match Aesthetic Styles

When it's time to remodel your historic home, take care to match the aesthetic and stylistic sensibilities that already exist on your property. Adding newer, more contemporary elements to your property can create a confusing patchwork quilt effect. To match the old style of your home, work with a contractor who understands and appreciates the visual aesthetic of the home where you live.

6. Match Materials

Patching holes in the walls, tuck pointing mortar and replacing damaged boards in the floor are all a normal part of maintaining a historic home. Take care to match materials, or work with a contractor who matches materials, to ensure that the repairs will last. For example, when tuck pointing the exterior of your home, work with a contractor who can match the original mortar mixture that was used on your home's outer walls.

7. Hire Certified Experts

Your historic home is too valuable to leave in the hands of an underqualified contractor. Work with experienced, certified experts who have successfully restored historic homes in the past. For more information about restoring your historic home in the New Haven area, contact Litchfield Builders. Our trained and experienced professionals know how to work with historic materials and appreciate the value of a historic home.

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