Top 5 Tips for Buying and Restoring Old Houses


If you are aiming to buy an old house that has character and restore it in a modern fashion, then you should be prepared for the full journey. With enough patience and dedication, this could be the path to the home of your dreams. We have gathered the top 5 tips for buying, but also for restoring an old house to help you with your endeavors:

No.1 – Before everything else, do your research about the house

Before you even think of signing the papers on a house, you have to do a lot of research about it. You have to evaluate the pros and cons of a property to avoid financial mishaps. You may find an amazing mansion from the ’50s that you would love to live in, but you have to be ready to support the full restoration process before you get there.

Since you are looking to renovate an older house, you will have to preserve its original architecture as much as possible, which means that you have to do your research about it. Whether you are interested in a thatched roof country home in a sleepy village in England, or opting to renovate a classic terrace house in bustling Sydney, you have to learn all about the standards and requirements by which these classic homes can be worked on in any given area and how their original architectural style dictates the same.

This way, you will find out what you are aiming for architecturally. Then, you have to analyze the current state of the house to know how much work you will have to put in to renovate it. You have to be honest with yourself and think long and hard if you are able to tackle such a project. While some houses only need a fresh coat of paint to look good as new, others may require heavy-duty renovation that can become a costly affair.

No.2 – Keep the house’s original windows

If you have decided to restore an old house, one of your objectives should be to keep the house’s original windows. These play a crucial role in preserving the character of the house, so they may be worth keeping.

When it comes to wooden windows, if you only do basic maintenance and a minimum of repairs, you will earn a couple of more decades on them. If you refurbish them completely, then you are all set for many years to come. You will have to assess each window individually because these may be in different states of disrepair.

No. 3 – Keep the features that make your house unique

An old house’s charm lies in the details. From personalized radiators to carved wooden finishes on the wall, pay attention to these gems because they are worth investing in and preserving. When you restore these, you bring the old house back to life and add a touch of historic elegance as well.

Take your time to get to know the house’s personality and look for these small things that make it unique. It may be a couple of old lamps, a vintage phone post, or stair decorations. Try to understand how these work together and try to recreate the house’s personality.  

No. 4 – Introduce modern features that match your house’s character

Restoring an old house means preserving its original features, but also adding your own personality to it. You will surely add modern technology and modern furniture to it. This combination between old and new will look fantastic as long as you respect the house’s personality.

Choose your modern furniture after the restoration of the house’s old features are complete and make sure these are compatible. A clash between old and new can be a work of art or it could be a design fiasco, so you may want to consider consulting an interior designer for this.  

No. 5 – Pay special attention to roofing

The condition of a house’s roof will make a big difference in your restoration budget, so make sure you are very careful with its assessment. You have to find out the exact type of slate used on the house as well as its potential longevity.

If you are looking at a roof with a 100 years longevity that is 90 years old, then you have to put in a lot of money into the roof. On the other hand, this may not be the case. Some roofs come with a far longer lifespan and you could be looking at many more years of proper quality.

If you’re planning to buy and restore an old house, it is important to stress, that no matter the size of the residence, you will have your work cut out for you. Older homes have the history and architectural beauty that most newer homes lack, but they also come with a plethora of potential problems that can be ruinous if not researched and planned properly.

However, if the project is executed correctly, the results will be spectacular. We hope that these five tips will get you on your way to having the house of your dreams, so put in the time, with planning and research and you will not be disappointed! Good luck!