Should an old house be torn down or can it be renovated and possibly turn a profit? These are legitimate questions when you have a house that has seen better days. Old homes have a kind of value that is more than monetary to the people who own them. Sometimes it’s sentimental, but the historic value of these houses should never be discounted.
Even when they are properly cared for, some amount of deterioration is inevitable in an older home. We enjoy working with older homes because we get to see what woodworking methods were used in decades past. We also enjoy working to renovate or remodel older homes to create an entirely new architectural style.
No two houses are alike, especially when it comes to the kind of repairs needed. Here are some basic tips that can be helpful in a historical restoration project:
The Mortar –There has to be a good match between the old mortar and the new, even if it can’t be exact. Any significant inconsistency can weaken the structure, but our contractors are very experienced with choosing the best materials for each job. Mortar is generally strong, so even if there is damage, it won’t always be necessary to replace all of it.
Woodwork – Wood requires special attention as all damaged areas must be removed, and the replacement must be properly treated and finished. Woodwork should never be left to just anyone. The selection of the material is just as important as the workmanship, and the more durable types of wood will add value to your investment. Replace period pieces with equally crafted period pieces where possible.
Intricate Woodwork – This is a completely different category from the woodwork we just mentioned. Most old homes have staircases, door and window trim, and many other built-in wood elements. Not many of today’s woodworkers can touch the amount of detail or the impressive quality of these older hand crafted wood elements. We take great care in restoring these old wood pieces to their original luster.
Window Maintenance – Even old windows don’t necessarily need to be replaced. Each window may have a different type of damage or deterioration so it is important to check them all. Some may need weather-stripping, and any spaces around the frame will have to be sealed. This is necessary to keep heat in and cold out when the weather changes. Replacing the windows may be necessary if you’re looking to more thoroughly weatherize the home and make it more energy efficient. There are, however, covers that you can get if you wish to keep the original windows intact for authenticity.
Blending Old and New – Adding a modern touch is not difficult if you choose the right contractor for the job – like us. It is not unusual for the owner of a historic home to want to add a few modern amenities. Rather than passing this job to the first contractor with a reasonable quote, consider our vast experience in dealing with these types of properties.
Historic home restoration calls for a lot of planning and preparation time. If there are many areas that need attention, the project may have to be done in stages. Roof damage and termite infestation are among the issues that may be priorities. At SEI Construction we have the knowhow and the tools to restore your old house to its former glory.