Get Professional Help
If you have any doubts at all about this big project, you should definitely hire a contractor. But be careful in choosing someone that has knowledge and experience with this kind of restoration and preservation. A good place for a recommendation is a local historical preservation society, or neighbors in your area that also have Victorian homes.
If you bought the home in order to sell and restore it, but don’t plan on living in there, consider having a structural engineer who specialize in preservation assess the home. They can give you a general estimate of how much it would cost to restore it, and can point out structural, plumbing, and wiring issues that you might not have been aware of.
Keep it Victorian
There is nothing wrong with making your Victorian home more suitable for modern living, such as adding an air conditioning system, removing lead paint but don’t go overboard. You still want to keep the Victorian essence of your home. Features such as intricate plaster molding, fireplaces, and wooden floors should be restored, but not removed. These features will add value to your home if you decide to sell it.
There are some features that are simply must-haves for Victorian homes. One example is a claw foot tub such as the one below from www.thevictorianemporium.com in the bathroom, and cabinets in the kitchen and bathroom that are reflective of the time period. Modern cabinets and plumbing fixtures will clash with your traditional home.
Add a Porch
Victorian homes were known for their big porches, where they could catch a breeze before air conditioning was invented. If your home doesn’t have a porch, consider adding one to add to the look and authenticity. An outdoor wicker furniture set, complete with rocking chair, will perfect the Victorian theme.
Can you add modern touches to a period renovation?
Although you want to keep the Victorian charm of your home, don’t hesitate to add some modern touches. Going green is one way to update your home, and it will also save you money if you plan on living there, or be a big selling point if you plan to sell. Replacing drafty windows with energy efficient ones, low flush toilets, energy efficient appliances and light bulbs will add to the value of your home without ruining its Victorian essence.
Restoring a Victorian home is no easy task, but it is well worth the effort. With a little professional help and some hard work, you can restore your home while still keeping some modern touches that will add to your home. Victorian interior design is currently in vogue and regularly comes back into fashion so sticking to a Victorian look and feel in your home can only make it more desirable to you and subsequent home owners.
This was a guest post from Movoto Real Estate, an online brokerage with homes for sale in more than 35 states in the US.