Perhaps your plans for purchasing a new home cannot be realized. In such a case, you might consider the prospect of remodeling your house or investing in an outdated home to remodel. Various articles written on housing intimate that a new bathroom, new bedrooms, or a newly insulated roof added to the average home will solve most of the owner’s problem. To know how to remodel, these home improvements are a decided advantage—provided they do not use up the entire remodeling budget. House remodeling begins with a complete study of the structure, without and within, to determine what possibilities there may be in the shell. The foundations, walls and roofs are examined to strengthen them if required. If you do decide on a house remodeling, your money may be spent to give the house more beauty, to make it more comfortable and convenient, or to secure a desired period atmosphere. If you do fix up an old house, it will be almost as great an adventure as picking out your own lot and building a new home.
How to Remodel a House
The charm of an old house is itself an inspiration in planning changes. Some try to make the home more attractive by adding a new bathroom or kitchen. No doubt better planned heating, ventilation, and plumbing will do much to make a place more comfortable; but these mechanical details will have little effect upon its appearance. Some people would prefer to have a beautiful house with colorful surroundings, and to this end would sacrifice mere details of convenience. This is a matter for the owner to decide. For example, should you spend the bulk of your house remodeling budget on an exorbitantly expensive Sub-Zero refrigerator, or should you paint the outside of the house, re-paint one or two rooms, replace some outdated lighting fixtures, and finally buy a moderate priced GE refrigerator?
Remodeling Old House
Actually, there is no difficulty in choosing here, for it is a thrilling experience to remodeling a home and garden into a definitely attractive house, all on an abbreviated budget. Like most people, you may crave to select a site and plan a new house from the ground up, but suppose your budget restricts you to an old house to makeover. You may have accumulated a fat folder of clippings and photos of houses that have been remodeled in original ways. If you decide to do a little of this old house remodeling, look for examples of old homes steeped in some kind of atmosphere. Perhaps you will be lucky enough to find something quite out of the ordinary, such as a barn, an old mill, or Victorian houses with wooden shutters on every window. An inspection of a region of odd stone homes, run-down brick buildings, quaint little cottages or bungalows, shuttered and neglected, offers as much potential pleasure in remodeling a house as a furniture hunt in a Mid-West flea market. Do not buy an old house for its plumbing, but rather for its steep roof, quaint mantels, hardwood floors, or old house windows.
If you purchase an older home, study it for some time. Take pictures inside and out—many of them. They go online to look for photos original old homes that have any relation to it. Explore interior images, architectural drawings, landscape designs, floor plans, and history of the historic houses. You can also find period house plans to compare your structure and understand the bare bones of the house. To home owners of period houses and historic houses, these original house plans will be valuable as a reference in the planning of restorations, adding additions, or in the remodeling of old houses, saving much time, study, and calculations. If it is a small, run-down, tin roof home with a Victorian flavor, analyze all the pictures you can find of places of this style; from these you can find and select ideas that can be adapted. Should the house remodeling warrant an architect, take him all your photos; otherwise outline the ideas you have collected and work them out with the builder or remodeling contractor.
House Remodeling - Salvage Materials
Next, go to secondhand or salvage building material dealers. Here you may be able to secure a few old doors, window frames, and moldings, perhaps even an old mantel, relevant to your house remodel. When you add rooms, the details will then have the same flavor as the old part of the house. Be careful to supplement all these old architectural items with enough new material so that you do not have a rag-bag home. To understand what types of materials can be found, watch an episode of Salvage Dawgs, a show about one of the premier architectural salvage operations in the United States, Black Dog Salvage.
If you cannot find one of these old period homes, you may decide to remodel a nondescript farmhouse. The problem then will be to remodel it entirely for greater beauty. Undoubtedly, like most ordinary farmhouses, it will have a wide dark porch built on the front. After this has been taken off, engage an architect to redesign the area. Except for removing porches and painting the outside, there is not much chance to improve such a house without a major house remodeling operation. Unless you are able to employ an architect, the result may be as uninteresting as the original. For example, a Tudor style or Colonial style home can have its wide porch remodeled into a delightful sunroom. The massive rock or brick pillars on the edges of the porch can be taken off, and the whole area glassed in. Windows from the living room can be remodeled into French doors. The entrance door, which opens out to the porch can be removed and a small window at the side of the house can be turned into the main doorway. The original cement of the porch will make a fine floor. In this case, house remodeling can serve a double purpose—improving the appearance of the façade and provide a cheerful second living room space.