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By: Kevin Ahern on July 14th, 2016

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What You Can Expect With a Historic Fixer-Upper


The romance and beauty of historic properties is unparalleled, and owning a historic property can be very rewarding. However, homebuyers thinking about purchasing an older home with vintage features and antique systems should be aware of some of the unexpected problems that can come up.

No Historic Remodel Will Ever Go As Expected

Historic homes can have all kinds of issues. Leaky pipes, warped wood and flood-prone basements are all common problems in New Haven's historic properties. These challenges are always more obvious during renovations.

As soon as your contractor cuts into the walls and starts to make changes to the major systems of your home, you'll start to discover problems that you never even knew existed. The only way to ensure that your remodel is successful and these problems are handled properly is to hire a contractor who knows how to work with old materials.

Maintaining Historic Character will be a Priority

Once you've moved into your historic fixer-upper, you'll begin to relish the historic details of your home. The wobbly, imperfect glass in the windows, beautifully carved millwork adorning the walls, and decorative wrought iron grates over the vents will all become cherished and beloved details about your home.

Loss of your home's historic character would be a tragedy. Should you decide to renovate or upgrade your home's systems, you'll need to find a contractor that can preserve the character and appearance of your home.

As you look for a contractor to help you with your renovations projects, it's important to seek a licensed professional who has experience working on historic properties. Hiring a contractor who understands historic homes will help ensure that the beautiful architectural details of your home are preserved during construction.

Not All Older Homes are Built for Modern Conveniences

Many older homes have outdated electrical and plumbing systems. Installation of new appliances and other modern conveniences may require upgrades to the home that you never expected. For example, modern air conditioners require a dedicated circuit at the time of installation. If your home's electrical service is outdated or if the total amperage coming into your home is too low, you may need to upgrade your electrical service before you can proceed with installation of a new air conditioner.

This is a common problem in older properties, because the electrical needs of 70 years ago were very different from the electrical needs of today. Many older homes still run on fuse boxes and 60 amp electrical panels. When you purchase your older home, you should be prepared to upgrade systems in the house as a prerequisite to remodeling.

Fixing up an older home can be deeply satisfying, but during the process you'll want to develop a professional relationship with an experienced contractor in your area. For more information about fixing up an older property, contact a contractor with over 25 years of experience and a good reputation in your community. Contact Litchfield Builders today.New Call-to-action