Repair or Replace: Remodeling Old House

Photo: Shutterstock

Have you recently bought a historic home and are unsure of what needs to be repaired and replaced? Older homes have a certain charm that cannot be denied, but to ensure sustainability for a modern family, they frequently require renovation. With these few suggestions as to what to save fix and replace, we hope to assist you in restoring your old home.

What Needs Repair

Pick the elements which are most difficult to replace or reinstate when it comes to repairing and restoring them, provided they are even now in decent shape.


Photo: Full Service Chimney

Every room in many homes built a century ago has a fireplace, which not only adds beauty and character but also provides you with additional heating alternatives. As the years have gone by, past owners may have entirely covered them with drywall, placed ductwork through them, or bricked them shut. The idea is to preserve your historically accurate home by exposing the old fireplaces and having them refurbished.


Photo: Vintage Industrial Style

Even if they are now covered with carpet, hardwood flooring in century-old homes can frequently be refinished. The trick is to remove any carpet and check on the floors for warping, cracks, insect infestation, and water damage. If the flooring is assessed to be in good shape, refinish them to update your historic property while maintaining the old charm and saving some money.

Trim and Baseboard

Photo: Tilo Industries

If you still got the original trim at home, have them sanded down and stained the color of your choice. After all, what makes older homes appealing are the trim and molding. Additionally, repainting all the trim and molding helps reduce the cost of your project. There are stores and warehouses that keep baseboards, molding, and trim pieces; so can probably buy pieces reminiscent of earlier designs for spaces that lack a similar trim.

What Needs Replacement

Doors and Windows

Photo: Amberwood Doors

Old doors and windows can cause you on your energy bill. While vintage windows and doors can be so elegant and dramatic, we cannot guarantee their efficiency and safety. So the key is to door and window replacement. Considering they have aged and experienced so many things through time, acquired some damages and cracks, and have become hardly operational—they become less energy-efficient. There are many door manufacturers that produce custom-sized doors so you won’t have to worry about getting one that fits the size of the same old door you have at home if you aim for door replacement. And there are plenty of design styles that will complement the overall vintage curb appeal you are eyeing.

Energy-efficient windows have become a trend not only beauty and performance they provide but also the ability to shrink your expenses on energy. They come in a variety of types and styles which you can choose from.


Photo: Home Advisor

Even though historic a home’s roof normally survives a century, there is a strong chance that it will require a new roof in the future. Slate roofs are common in older houses. Your old house could benefit from a new slate roof, but it can be costly. Depending on how historically accurate you want your old home to be, you will be able to find a type of roof shingle that looks similar to slate roofs which are considerably less expensive.

Heating and Cooling

Without a doubt, air conditioners were not included in the construction of historical homes. However, you might have bought one with a boiler because they frequently featured fireplaces and/or wood burners.
There is also a big chance that prior owners installed an old air conditioner. But you need to make sure it works properly. If it’s older than ten years, it could need to be replaced.

Wiring System

Your old house might not have electrical wiring that complies with current regulations. This is primarily due to the lack of a ground requirement in earlier electrical systems in which a 2-wire system was used. The electrical system will need to be modified in order to comply with current building requirements because wiring systems nowadays are all either 3-wire or 4-wire. Additionally, you will need to switch to a circuit breaker because the old house assumingly still has a dated fuse box.


Did you know that the federal government banned the utilization of leaded pipes in 1986? Well, the plumbing in old your home might be made up of lead pipes, which could end up in your water, depending on when it was first installed. Lead pipes that were installed in the 60s may have been constructed of galvanized steel that corrodes and rusts. The home likely has galvanized steel if you get water discoloration or no water is flowing out of the taps at all. If the plumbing is mostly made of copper, you might be able to maintain it. However, make sure to have it inspected for leaks before deciding whether to maintain it or go with a replacement.

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