Historic houses need to be updated now and again to ensure that they’re safe and practical to live in. However, you need to be careful when modernising an old house – certain home improvements could strip away your home’s character. Below are just a few ways to tastefully modernise an old house.
Update the electrics
If your home hasn’t had any electrical work done for a while, this could be the first job on your list. Old wiring could be a safety hazard – after many years, the casing on the wiring can wear away. Things like flickering lights and buzzing sockets are a warning sign. By taking time to rewire your home, you could reduce the risk of a future electrical fire.
Rewiring your home could also be an opportunity to install new sockets and light fitting where necessary (most old homes have a shortage of outlets as they weren’t built to deal with the electrical demands of today). Make sure to hire a professional electrician service such as Darren Spencer Electrical to rewire your home. DIY electrics can be dangerous – especially when dealing with an old home.
Replace old plumbing
Old pipes can be a problem too. Original pipes may be starting to corrode and fur up, which could lead to blockages or leaks. Low water pressure, unexplained damp and funny tasting water are warning signs to look out for.
It’s worth hiring a professional plumber to replace any old piping. DIY plumbing on such a scale can be difficult and messy if you get it wrong.
A lot of old homes have practically no insulation. This causes them to lose heat in the winter, resulting in more heating usage and higher energy bills.
Check whether your home has insulation features such as loft insulation, double glazing or cavity wall insulation. Investing in these home improvements could save you a lot of money on energy bills and keep your old house cosy in the colder months.
Remove these outdated features
Some historic features could be worth getting rid of and replacing. These include features such as:
- Worn wallpaper
- Old carpets
- Rusty radiators
- Old-fashioned light switches
These features can make your home look tired and could reduce its overall value. Replace old wallpaper with paint and install fresh carpets, radiators and light switches. If your home is very old, make sure to seek planning permission first. This guide at Bob Vila lists a few more outdated features worth getting rid of.
Preserve these period features
Just as there are some features worth removing, there are some that you’ll want to preserve. These include
- Timber windows
- Original hardwood floors
- Decorative moulding
- Any quirky and unique historic features
These are the types of features that add to the overall character of your home. Stripping them away could strup away your home’s character and reduce the value. Obviously, if such features are severely damaged and are posing a safety hazard, you should get rid of them. However, otherwise you should try to preserve them as much as you can. In some cases, there may be ways of preserving them while still partially modernising them (such as potentially adding double glazing to a historic wooden window frame).