22 DIY Restoration Tips for Amazing Old Houses
Do you want to restore your house? Are you looking for DIY projects to give your home a new life? DIY projects involve home improvement that anyone with basic skills and equipment can complete. Some of these projects involve little to no cost. Others require expensive tools or materials.
It is common to associate old houses with history and charm. They bring back wonderful memories and offer beautiful views. Unfortunately, these homes can become dilapidated over time because of wear and tear, weather damage, or simple neglect. Many Americans live in homes built before 1950. Half of those homes have significant issues that need attention. That’s why millions of homeowners and home buyers across the country are looking for ways to get their old houses back in shape. If you want to restore your home but don’t know what to do, this article will share some tips about DIY restoration for unique old homes.
1. Check Your House’s Foundation First
You can start your restoration of amazing old houses by performing a few basic checks to ensure that your home’s foundation is structurally sound. A framing contractor may help you do this. First, make sure you have adequate footing for the house. Check the footings around the structure’s perimeter, including the basement walls.
If the footings are loose, unstable, or missing, you must repair them before starting any other work. While looking at the footings, look for cracks, holes, tilting, or shifting from their original position. Without a doubt, this could show the settling or movement of the earth underneath the foundation.
2. Check Your Plumbing System
If the amazing old houses have been around for a while, it’s possible that the plumbing has become compromised. It’s easy to miss minor problems like these, but they can become significant issues if ignored. In that case, check the pipes for damage and water leaks. If you find any damage, correct them immediately before they worsen or call plumbers to help you fix the problem.
3. Remove Loose Wood
Loose wood can cause structural damage and even collapse the house if not removed properly. Part of that wood includes rotten wood, loose nails, or studs that have fallen out of place. To prevent this, cut away any pieces of loose wood that may fall onto your floor. Then clean out old nail holes where the board was nailed into place. This helps prevent rot and mold problems in your amazing old houses. But if you have doubts about the house’s stability, call a professional to inspect the structure before trying to remove and replace the wood pieces yourself.
4. Repair Drywall
Drywall can become brittle over time because of exposure to water and air. Once damaged, drywall cannot repair itself, so fix it immediately. One way to handle this is by using a pencil tip to check if the wall has cracks or holes. If yes, use a tiny drill bit and put some screws into the hole to secure the damaged area.
5. Fix Floors
Moisture causes concrete to become weak and brittle when exposed to it for a long time. For that reason, cracking and general deterioration of the structure occur. As such, you should reinforce old concrete structures exposed to excess moisture for extended periods. Check out buckled areas of your floor. If the problem isn’t too serious, you can deal with it using a hammer and nails. However, if deep crevices caused by moisture damage emerge, contact professional concrete services specializing in home building restoration.
6. Fix Any Leaks You Find
Check out the roof for leaks or sloppy shingles. That’s because the underlayment paper beneath the shingle layer may have worn away. As a result, water can easily flow through, allowing mold to grow. But you can easily replace this with a new layer of shingles. Roof leaks aren’t only bad for your indoor air quality. They can also be dangerous because they introduce bacteria into your amazing old houses. Not only that, but they also waste precious water from your household. To prevent future leaks, ensure that you seal faucets tightly and that your roof has no holes.
7. Replace Old Windows
Replacing old windows increases air circulation in your house. A drafty house can cause a house to become hot and uncomfortable. Replacing them with energy-efficient models will help reduce heating costs while keeping homes cool. Additionally, you can use the best window coverings to get a fresh new look while having the trim styled.
8. Check Exterior Insulation
Cleaning your home before insulation can remove any accumulated debris. This includes fallen leaves, pine needles, bird droppings, and other small particles that can hide in crevices and corners. Wear protective equipment, including eye protection and dust masks, if you use a pressure washing machine.
9. Keep The Gutters Clean
You shouldn’t wait until it’s too late to clean your gutters. That’s because you want to prevent leaks from dripping water into your attic or crawlspace. If this happens, it will cause rot damage, and mold and mildew can develop if moisture builds up in the area. You can also add some beauty and flair to amazing old houses by adding copper gutters. They offer a long-lasting solution that may need no replacement or repair.
10. Remove Stains
While cleaning gutters, you’ll want to pay attention to stains that might show up along the baseboards, window sills, or floors. These spots could mean a leak around your house that needs fixing immediately. You can seek professional help to get rid of them.
11. Clean Out the Chimney
If your old house is over 30 years old, it has a neglected chimney. Many never consider this part of their home until it’s too late. They usually neglect chimneys over time, leading to clogs, creosote, and other substances that can destroy your home’s roof if left untreated. You can use a mop with long handles, a bucket of water, and a chimney brush to clean the chimney. In case that doesn’t work out, seek the services of a professional to do this job for you.
12. Upgrade Your Doorknobs
If your amazing old houses have old faulty doorknobs, it can make opening the door challenging. That means you may need to repair or replace them. To do this, you can start by removing the knob and looking at what’s inside. You may need to replace the entire knob assembly if it’s rusted out. But before spending any money, consider how many times you use the door handle daily. If you don’t use the door often, use a magnetic latch instead. This way, you won’t have to worry about getting rusty doorknob holes anymore.
13. Paint Cabinets
If your amazing old house’s cabinet looks bleak or your paint is chipping off, peeling, or splotchy, that’s not a good sign. As such, consider adding a new coat of paint. Before you paint, ensure to prime the walls, ceiling, and trim. You can spread out the primer with a brush or a roller. If you’re doing a large project with many surfaces, consider renting a sprayer for the best results.
14. Create a Container Garden
When restoring your old house, garden landscaping can be expensive. That’s because it involves hiring a professional such as a composite deck builder. Instead, try container gardening. They are suitable for indoor gardens, and you can also set them up outdoors. They’re perfect if your property has a lot of outdoor space that’s not being used or neglected. You can even innovate and make a tiny terrarium of old, recycled items. If you have any houseplants, they will do well outside too.
15. Tile Countertops
You can use tile countertops when renovating amazing old houses since they’re durable and easy to maintain. But they often have a porous quality, allowing water to seep through them. This can cause damage to appliances like your refrigerator and may lead to mold growth. If you’re looking to restore old houses and install tile countertops, use products that include sealants and are pre-mixed with water. Different tiles exist, such as stone, porcelain, and ceramic. You can install tiles over existing countertops or on top of cabinets.
16. Do a Pantry Makeover
The sagging cubbies and peeling paint that come with age can give older pantries a dingy appearance. However, with some TLC and do-it-yourself upgrades, you can provide your aging pantry with a brand new appearance. If necessary, install new shelves, and give the room a fresh coat of paint. You could add a couple of add-ons, such as woven baskets pinned on sliders for convenient storage and retrieval.
17. Remove Wallpaper
Many amazing old houses have wallpapers to hide paint problems. But this isn’t necessarily ideal. Besides, wallpaper is susceptible to wear and tear. Also, an old design wallpaper may make a property seem much older than it is. To avoid this, remove the wallpaper by renting a wallpaper extractor or steamer. Then, repaint the walls with your chosen color to make your home appear as fresh as it did when you first moved in.
18. Repaint Your Door Front
You may draw attention to your front door by repainting it with a striking color such as blue or red. The color should complement your chosen color scheme for the rest of your home. Besides, your property front will improve in appearance. Paint the inside doors of your house in a neutral color or a cool gray, as this will help them complement other characteristics of your home.
19. Remove Old Flooring
Changing the carpet of amazing old houses, or even cleaning it, may be all you need to make it look new. If the space has wood flooring, get a more modern effect by placing several area rugs around the room strategically. Old carpets can turn into a breeding ground for bugs and dust mites. If you’re planning to restore your old house, ensure to remove the old rugs before moving in, so you don’t have to deal with those pesky pests.
20. Consider Additional Lighting
Sometimes increasing the light in a room is all you require, making those amazing old houses look new. It is easy to overlook interior lighting, but it significantly affects the overall look of the space once done. Some people like dimmed lighting, while others prefer brighter options. Whatever your choice, it needs to complement other areas in the room. It would help if you also considered outdoor lighting. It is helpful during the night, especially in autumn and spring. Check how your home receives natural light during the middle of the day, and then add additional lighting to bring down those high levels.
21. Embrace Room Zoning
Many older homes had unusual room layouts. But you can give these houses new life by dividing them into several zones. For example, you may subdivide a rectangular region in the house into several square sections. This helps boost the site’s utility while providing the rooms with a more contemporary feel. In one section, you can place an area rung beside open-sided furniture.
22. Restore Old Fence Gates
Many old houses had wooden plank fences around the property. These are easy to maintain but require constant maintenance. However, these gates deteriorate over time because of exposure to moisture and other elements that cause decay. When they fail, the entire structure collapses. In that case, an option would be to install an automatic fence gate. That means replacing the damaged parts of the fence gate with solid materials and automatic opening features.
When considering restoring your old house, it is necessary to prepare ahead. That means you will save time and resources. In addition, you’ll have a unified design for the whole house, which will help the space seem complete. But if you encounter challenges while restoring your old home, hire a professional company to get quality services at affordable prices.