Six Challenges To Renovating A Historic Home

August 6, 2020

renovating a historic home

A historic house can be of two different types. It can either be hundreds of years ago, or one categorized by the National Register of Historic Places as significant. Whether you are a homeowner looking at renovating a historic home, or someone who wants to buy one and renovate it, it is challenging to undertake. Despite people having an attachment towards old landmarks, the evolution of practices and building materials makes it difficult for them to be renovating a historic home or buildings and preserve their original form. Historic homes have character. They contain plaster walls and old architectural windows, which you usually do not find in newer ones. Learn about renovating a historic home.

If you are someone who owns a historic home and wants to know about the challenges you may face during a renovation project, this article will be helpful. Renovation problems are not only common amongst historic houses, as some of them may also come up when renovating newer ones. Today, we will share with you six challenges you might face in renovating a historic house. These six challenges are listed as follows:


If you already own an old estate and want to renovate it, a perfect place to start your renovation project would be from the outside. It is now time to tackle that jungle that has grown out of proportions as nobody was there to look after it and maintain it. Ensure that you have everything you need to start the yard renovation. Equipment such as gloves, shears, fertilizers, and scissors is a must if you wish to navigate it.

You might see a lot of weed growth and untrimmed bushes and trees. Dive right in with your shears and scissors and remove any weeds and prune or trim out trees to give them new life. However, if you do not like to get your hands dirty, then hiring a professional yard maintenance service will be your best bet. And if you are living in any state of US like Florida, California, or Texas, then you can browse to find names such as tree pruning Austin TX, and avail the services they offer.


Plumbing and electrical wiring issues are things present in every old home. During the 1950s, contractors used galvanized pipes for both sewer and plumbing lines. Now the problem with this kind of pipe is that it rusts with time. When you decide to renovate your historic home, you should start by removing all old piping and replacing it with newer ones made from PVC or copper to avoid corrosion.

Also, outdated electrical wiring needs to be brought up to code to avoid electrical hazards from occurring. There were no dryers and microwaves during the old times, so, depending on the type of appliances you plan to use inside your home, you need to upgrade the electrical wiring accordingly.


If you own a house built a couple of decades ago, then chances are there is asbestos in the ceiling, ducts, flooring, HVAC system, and roofing, and the paint on your walls may contain traces of lead. If you leave them undisturbed, they will not cause you much harm. However, if you plan to scrape or cut your house floors, ceiling, or ducts, you might inhale the powdered asbestos, which can lead to health issues. You can also test out the existing paint for lead contaminants yourself.

But for every other thing, you will need to hire professional services to conduct a thorough search of your premises for hazardous chemicals and materials. Expect to pay anywhere from 1000 dollars to 2000 dollars to an asbestos removal company, if found inside your old house.


A recent study showed that homebuyers nowadays go for open floor plans, and you cannot find them in old houses. Due to these layouts, finding the space to expand rooms or rearranging something can be difficult with an old house. If you want to have an open space layout inside your old-styled home, you have no other option but to hire a contractor and start from scratch.

You will also need to hire architects and engineers as they are the ones who will come up with a floor plan as per your needs and requirements. Tearing down walls or rearing rooms can cost upwards of thousands of dollars. Not to mention the structural issues that plague an old house.


You must understand the time and money required to renovate an old house. Do not expect your renovation project to complete within a few days. Renovating or restoring an old house requires handmade items, custom designs, and numerous labor hours, which takes much time than a modern home.

Sure, hiring a professional carpenter or working with an experienced builder might allow you to save some time, but do not be unreasonable with them. Don't expect them to complete the project within a week or two.


When someone owns a historic piece of real estate, chances are it has gone through numerous renovation projects previously. As time passes, so does the interior design trends change along with it. There might be a chance that the kitchen consists of a different architectural style than the dining room, or the one-bedroom follows one theme while the other follows a different one.

Undoing the damage done by previous owners can be an expensive and not so easy task. You may need to hire professional house renovation services to get your house up to date or preserve and restore it.


If you live inside an old but well-maintained home, you probably will not face these challenges, and your renovation will go smoothly. However, with old ones with numerous previous owners, you may require a lot of money and time to correct mistakes done by the previous owners to renovate it according to your taste. So, consider the six challenges we have shared with you today. They will encourage you to take extra precautions and avoid the mistakes done by the previous owners.

I hope you enjoyed reading about renovating a historic home. Furthermore, please leave your thoughts and comments below. Finally, read some other articles like this one on our frontpage.

Tatjana Faplo
I am a professional writer and editor with a rich history of writing experiences. In the past, I've worked for glossy magazines, branding agencies, creative institutions, architectural and design firms, nonprofit organizations, small businesses, and health foundations.

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