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From Fixer-Upper to Dream Home: Tips to Transform an Old House

before and after home remodel
From Fixer-Upper to Dream Home: Tips to Transform an Old House

There’s a certain charm to buying a fixer-upper and turning it into your dream home. Older homes are full of unique historical features that you simply can’t find in modern builds. Plus, buying an older home is a great way to get more bang for your buck.

However, that romance quickly turns to panic when you realize just how much work your old house needs. With a limited budget and a to-do list a mile long, where do you start?

Organize your old home remodel

Don’t start painting walls before ensuring your home’s bones are in good shape.

● Experts recommend the “house sandwich” approach to renovating old homes. First ensure the roof and foundation are in good shape, then turn to the siding, windows, doors, and major systems.

● Check for old home hazards like knob and tube wiring, lead paint, and asbestos. Precautions are necessary when remodeling a home where lead or asbestos are present.

● Search for “home improvement near me” to find reliable remodelers in the Dallas area.

● Set a home renovation budget and set aside a 20% buffer for surprise expenses. Working on a limited budget? Prioritize and get creative to save money on minor projects.

● Keep track of your improvements. This not only shows just how far you’ve come, it’s also important during reappraisal to quantify your home’s added value.

Know the dos and don’ts of renovating old homes

The best old house renovations combine historic charm with modern amenities.

Don’t get rid of the unique architectural features that make old homes so special. It’s possible to update an old home while honoring its history.

Do pay attention to scale when modernizing an older home. Modern designs intended for open spaces can overwhelm the closed layouts of old homes.

Don’t try to do major renovations yourself. Hire contractors experienced with homes from your property’s era and view examples of past work.

Do add little DIY touches to add personality to your new home. New lighting fixtures, window treatments, and décor are low-stakes improvements you can do yourself.

Living through home renovations

Renovating an old house is a time-consuming — and stressful — endeavor.

● The key to living through a remodel is to create a living area separate from the construction. Hang plastic and seal vents to contain dust.

● Practice self-care during construction. Renovation stress is real and it’s important to take time to relax, recharge, and step away from the mess.

Renovating an old house might not be the romantic undertaking you imagined, but it can be incredibly rewarding to take an old home and turn it into a space of your own. Know what you’re getting into, pace yourself, and when in doubt, remember why you chose your old home in the first place.

Follow Seth Murphy for more Home Improvement tips.

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