How to Renovate Your Historic Property: Keeping Character

Historic properties are one-of-a-kind because they give us a glimpse into the past while living in the present. It can be tough to straddle the line between preserving the old while incorporating some of the new design trends we’ve been seeing this year. We can witness living history just by observing these buildings and the relics inside, so it can feel disconcerting to renovate your historic property. But what if we told you that you could remodel your historic property while still maintaining its character? Yes, that’s right! Historic renovations aren’t doing away with the old- it’s simply adding a freshness to what’s already there without diminishing the property’s originality. Plus, you’ll find that renovating a historic property is much more cost-effective than starting a home renovation from scratch. 


How Can You Renovate Your Historic Property Without Losing Its Old-School Charm? 

  • Do your research! When renovating your historic property, you should be conscious of styles that match your home’s era rather than incorporating a modern bathroom in a 1900s-style home. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t add modern fixtures or refurbish the home with biophilic elements! Researching architectural styles of your home’s decade will give you some insight into design ideas you can use during the remodeling process. 
  • Maintaining your historic home’s structural integrity is critical; one way to do that is to stay faithful to the details! While you may opt for a modern neutral palette for walls and ceilings, it’s a good idea to keep hinges, handles, and doorknobs to maintain your home’s character as long as it’s in good working condition, of course. 
  • Be discerning with your wood stains! You’ll find that rustic tones and wooden trim work influence many older homes. For example, farmhouses of the past incorporate different types of wood, so you can choose to scale back on some woodwork and keep the tones you prefer instead of feeling obligated to keep all the wood stains. 


What Should You Avoid During A Historic Property Renovation? 

  • Creating a budget with zero room for error is a big mistake in any renovation, not just historical ones! Especially with historic renovations, it’s best to be prepared for anything when walls and floors are opened up due to the nature of historic home renovations. A good rule of thumb would be to factor in 10% for any unforeseen hiccups when renovating an older home. 
  • Do NOT ignore issues like mold or rotting wood which are often hidden from the naked eye. You can easily address these environmental issues, but you must be aware of the signs to prevent them from becoming bigger problems down the road. For instance, mold and rotting wood are often characterized by a damp, musty odor and can be extremely pungent. 
  • DIY home improvement can be fun, but a full-scale historic home renovation requires more than just a few touch-ups here and there. Avoid trying to do it all yourself to save money because electrical rewiring and structural repairs are best left to the pros

At The Dan Company, we integrate integrity in everything we do, whether in partnership or procedure. We bring a sense of professionalism and order into a process that can be seemingly overwhelming at first glance. We aim to create a positive environment for our clients and employees through streamlined systems and transparent communication so that no one gets left behind. With over a decade of experience in luxury home remodels and historic property renovations, we approach every project with a level of care and attention to detail that is difficult to find in other general contracting companies in Nashville. Want to contact us? Give us a call at (615) 891-1572. We’d be happy to help you with your historic renovation this winter!