It’s easy to get caught up with the charm of Westfield, New Jersey. It’s a county where small town living meets urban bustle. When it comes to buying a home in Westfield, you’ll more than likely be purchasing a historical home, which could mean a fixer-upper. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing! With details like woodwork, early 20th century fireplaces, and wide floorboards, you have the exciting opportunity to salvage history by bringing an old house back to life – and truly make it yours. Before you move forward with your project, know that historic restoration in Westfield, New Jersey and the areas around it is no small undertaking. Not only does special care need to be taken when dealing with old structures and building materials, but old houses are full of surprises, and costs can add up quickly. But if there’s one thing we’ve learned over the past 30+ years, it’s that a renovation done right will give you the home you’ve been dreaming of!

Here are 3 must-knows before getting started:

1. Watch out for the water works
Keep an eye out—especially around the ceilings, floors, and windows—for signs of water damage. Signs of water damage could be an indication of serious structural issues. If you do spot water damage, it’s important that it be addressed immediately. You can check for structural water damage on the sill plate (runs around foundation) of your historic home. Water damage could cause dry rot – also, wet environments are a go-to for bugs.

historic restoration with updated paint

2. Your historic restoration project and the Contractor
Some homeowners gather bids and choose their historical restoration contractor based off of price rather than credentials. This tactic can actually do more harm to your restoration than good. It’s important to remember that each Contractor works differently, and therefore, each prices the project differently. Some contractors provide pricing with an allowance for general materials and not specifics. The pricing will most likely include base-line products and not custom materials/requests.

“I always stress to my clients that it is important to have a “connection”.

In order to get an idea of a Contractor’s professionalism, expertise, and specifications, interview them instead of collecting a “bid”. A qualified historic restoration remodeler will explain their process, offer ideas, utilize a contract, and readily answer your questions. At the end of the interview, the Contractor should make you feel comfortable and informed.
Historic restorations require a bit more detail and planning up front to make sure that the historic aspect remains intact. Communicate your goal of restoring the property with the Contractor to ensure you’ll are both on the same page. To review how SEI’s historic restoration process, click here.

historic home exterior updates

4. Be smart about your restoration project investment
Even if you’re not remodeling to sell, it’s smart to consider resale value when setting an investment aside for your historic restoration. Also, consider the location of your home. Westfield, New Jersey historic preservations require a different investment than a home in Florida. To get an idea of what remodels in Westfield, New Jersey run, visit Cost vs. Value. To that end—research about what fully renovated houses sell for in the area and let that inform how you structure your restoration investment.

For more historic restoration projects, click here.

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