Many people love older, historic homes and it’s easy to see why. There is a charm to them that you just can’t find in newer homes. But it’s not unusual for the home to need some updates and maintenance. So, how do you maintain the historic charm while improving a home’s functionality?
Prior to Your Renovation
Before you begin your renovations on a home in a historic district, it’s important to note that for any exterior modifications, you’ll need to obtain a “certificate of appropriateness” from the city. And if you’re doing something major, it must be approved by the Cultural Heritage Commission. Many of the city’s historic districts have design guidelines, which you can find online at the city website.
Hire an Expert
When choosing a contractor to work on your vintage home, be sure to do your homework. You don’t want just any contractor working on your historic home, you’ll want to hire a contractor who has a credible background in updating old homes. Old homes come with old home problems, and working with a contractor that knows how to navigate those common problems will save you headaches down the line. Before you hire a contractor, look at reviews and make sure they’re licensed.
Things to Consider
One of the biggest mistakes to steer clear of when renovating your historic home is implementing trendy improvements, rather than timeless ones. To maintain the character of the home, choose replacement materials that are similar to the original style of the home or appropriate to the time period it was built in. Repurposing original elements is another option that is environmentally friendly and easier on your wallet.
It’s common knowledge that kitchens and bathrooms are usually the first spaces to get remodeled in a home. However, these are the two spaces you need to be the most careful with because they tend to have a lot of original fixtures and hardware that add character.
Here are some features we recommend keeping or restoring throughout your historic home:
- Original wood flooring
- Sinks and Tubs
Luckily, Long Beach knows a thing or two about historical architecture. There are 18 designated Long Beach historic districts so when it comes to historical home rehabilitation, there are plenty of experts who can help you get the ball rolling. If you need a referral, give us a call at 562.896.2456 or fill out the form below.