One of the best things about owning your own home is that you can make whatever improvements to it you like. While in many cases, this means you can just start planning out and jumping into a large project, if your home is on the older side, any DIY projects require a little more prep work. Older homes have different requirements; they may have unexpected load-bearing walls or weaker floors that cannot support the weight of a new installation. This is why it is important to know exactly how your older home will impact any projects you plan to take on. Here are some of the most common ways you can navigate the needs of an older home to make the right improvement decisions.
What is your goal in renovating the home?
Before you begin your project(s), it is important to know which are worth taking on at all. This will ultimately be decided by your goal in tackling a DIY project. Are you looking to make your home fit your tastes more, or become more comfortable in general? Or, are you looking to add value to make the property more attractive to potential buyers? If you are planning on staying in your home for a long while, the types of projects you should take on can be more varied. If, however, you are renovating the house with an eye to sell, you should focus on a few projects that will add the most value.
Reuse original furnishings
One thing you can do that will save money and make the house more attractive is to reuse as many of the home’s original furnishings as you can. For instance, if your home has original hardwood flooring, instead of ripping it up and refitting the floors with generic mass-produced floors, restore the original ones to their former shine. Many of the pieces that make up older homes were custom made. Often, all that is needed is a thorough cleaning and polish to make them look like new. By including original parts of the home, you will have helped to make it seem more historical in the eyes of potential buyers, which is a selling point.
If your home is decorated with antiques or original furnishings, it is important to prevent them from being damaged in the process of your renovation. It’s highly recommended that you rent out a self-storage unit to keep them out of harm’s way. A self-storage unit is a small investment for potentially valuable furnishings. For instance, the average price of a self-storage unit in Fenton, Michigan over the past 180 days is $86.06.
Adding value to an older home
When you are renovating and upgrading a house to make it more appealing to buyers, there are several things to keep in mind. First, know that the most expensive improvements will not necessarily add the most value to the home. In particular, try not to spend more than you have to on kitchen upgrades. On average, a high-end kitchen renovation costs over $45,000. And while a remodel may make the house itself more appealing, kitchen renovations do not tend to dramatically increase the selling price.
A variation of that fact is true for bathrooms, as well. Instead of spending thousands of dollars on a new bathroom addition, focus on making your current bathroom more appealing with a modern, glass-enclosed shower, double sink, and attractive design. Be careful when doing anything in the bathroom, though. The plumbing in older homes can easily become a problem if even the smallest pipes get knocked about. Plus, depending on the age of the house, many of the pieces used in older-home construction are difficult or impossible to find. If you have to deal with plumbing or electrical problems, hire a professional to save money in the long run; the average price to hire a plumbing company is around $45 to $65 per hour.
Renovating an older home is a large but worthwhile task. To add value, treat the home with care, hire a professional when things get too complicated or dangerous, and restore old pieces rather than replacing them.
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