I hope that everyone enjoyed our first post in our new renovation series, so let’s not waste any time and jump right in to the next!
Some people tend to call the renovation process “flipping houses” and I completely and utterly LOATHE that term because to me it implies two things. First, it makes you think that the only important thing is a quick return on your investment and second that it is a “quick” process, which it is most certainly not!
Barrett and I never go into the renovation process of a home if it does not seem financially smart…Notice I called it a HOME. We go into every single project with the plan that we will or we could live there… my heart is completely in it. From experience, if you do not go into renovating a home as if it is going to be where you will live, you will never cherish it and it will definitely show in the finish product. Homes need love and attention to detail.
There is a lot of good that comes from this process. Almost every home we have ever renovated has been vacant and some have even be condemned. There is a sense of fulfillment in providing life to a structure that hasn’t seen it in ages. Uncovering history and trying to restore it while improving the neighborhood are some of the major positives in this process. A lot of people expect and want imperfections in an old house because that is what gives it character and that is why you buy an older home! Imperfections are a GOOD thing!! If you don’t want this in a home, then doing a renovation might not be the right thing for you!!
So, if you think you’re up for the challenge of renovating a house, here are a few quick do’s and don’ts…
**Restore those old windows, don’t replace them
At 1215 Felder, Rett’s nursery has the original built in’s and look how fun they are!!
**Reuse the original doors and hardware
Our door to our bar in 1215 Felder is original to the house, we just gave it some TLC with some new paint!
**Keep the old bath tubs and sinks…just get them restored. Locally, I adore Bath Innovations for restoring these old beauties.
This old bathtub was salvaged and placed into our master bathroom in 797 Felder..
I love the look of an old claw foot tub!!
**Keep finishes historic…(next post has some great examples of our favorites)
**Never ever enclose porches to make more heated and cooled square footage, enjoy the porch what it really is!!
Our fourth house, 754 Thorn Place, had the most amazing porch that we spent countless nights enjoying!
Who doesn’t love a good porch?!
**Be creative with closet space. Old homes don’t have much to offer here so use a wonderful armoire for additional storage. Plus you get to take it with you to the next house!!
**Replace broken glass in old windows with the old school wavy glass. Your local glass company can provide it…you just have to ask.
**Research historic paint colors before you get color happy. (again suggestions to come!!)
**Don’t use a lot of color in hard finishes, ie tile and countertops
In 704 Felder, we used white marble and warm hardwoods which are acting as timeless finishes with minimal color in this kitchen!
**Steer clear of very trendy finishes…think timeless and historic
**No vinyl siding or hardy board. Sorry. They weren’t used 100 years ago…
This is the finished product of 1935 Graham Street!
Once we started renovation, we found the original wood and look how beautiful is!! It just needed a few coats of paint!
**One of my biggest peeves… Do not cut a decrepit chimney off at the roof. Get a mason and fix it. It isn’t that expensive.
**Don’t put tile down over original hard wood. Wood is totally fine in a bathroom, kitchen or even a laundry room. It’s original for goodness sake.
**Don’t replace old cast iron tubs with fiberglass tub/shower units. Signature Hardware makes wonderful curved shower rods to help these old school tubs adapt to showers.
This was our guest bathroom at 797 Felder which we easily transformed the bath tub to double as a shower!
**Block glass is just wrong…in any instance
**Don’t use carpet to cover original hardwoods, repair them from wall to wall! You can patch and refinish to match the originals!
I hope you enjoyed my top “do’s and dont’s” for the nitty gritty renovation process!!