Tips for Remodeling/Restoring Your Period Home
by Risa Davis and Yvonne Buchanan,
Nouveau Realty Group
ever wondered, how a remodel will affect the
resale value of a home with character? At Nouveau
Realty Group, we are happy to help you with
any questions you have about updating your period
home. Following are 10 tips to get you started.
Period and Style: It is important to stay
with the style of your home. While builders
in the early 1900s often mixed attributes of
two styles (for instance, Swiss Chalet and Craftsman
or Craftsman and Oriental), mixing styles is
best left to the experts. Updating by adding
modern touches that in 10 years will be out
of date is not recommended. Worse is removing
original architectural elements that may never
be able to be replaced.
Windows: There are many ways to deal with
windows; there are folks that repair existing
ones. For the energy conscious there are heavy
drapes and double pained storm windows. If you
want to replace the existing windows, we suggest
staying with the original style (e.g., wood
double paned). No vinyl, please!
Doors: Try to determine the type of door
that was original to the home; hopefully most
of them are still in place. Restore or replace
doors with original wood style. (No hollow core
Flooring: Marmoleum, tile, marble, fir and
oak (not Pergo or laminate) were the most highly
used flooring in the northwest in the eara when
vintage homes were built. If you are lucky enough
to have them still intact. Many great companies
can refinish as well as replace damaged pieces,
often with no visible seams, so your floors
look like new again.
Exterior Siding: Wood siding (usually cedar
or cedar shingles), stucco and brick are the
best choices. Dont be drawn into the vinyl
or metal siding dream, vinyl is plastic. What
happens when you leave plastic out in the sun
and weather? It becomes brittle and cracks.
Not to mention the disposal nightmare. Natural
material is the best option.
Moldings and Trim: Dont skimp here,
Look at the original molding if any are still
in place. If it had an update in the 70s it
may be all gone. Sometimes an out of the way
closet has a lot of information in it. Several
places in Portland can help you find reclaimed
moldings or remanufactured to look like original.
Never make the mistake of adding molding that
does not suit the style of a home. We have seem
gingerbread molding (more suitable to Victorians)
in and on Craftsman type homes! Disastrous.
7. Lighting: Portland has a wealth of
wonderful reproduction lighting manufacturers
and stores. Big Box stores will generally will
not have what you want! Big Box stores try to
please the masses and carry what is in style
at the time -- good for the short term but it
will eventually date your project.
Bathrooms: Practicality is key here: bathrooms
are all about cleanliness, function and convenience.
It may be hard to put a period pedestal sink
in a small bathroom when it means there will
be no room for storage. However, there are ways
to make modern cabinets look like theyve
been there all along. Many wonderful styles
and finishes are available.
Kitchens: A key room in your home, it is
worth your while to first start with a spatial
planner / interior designer for the kitchen.
He or she will help you with layout, beauty
and style. We have found the cost is about the
same to have a local cabinet maker fabricate
and install the cabinets than ordering from
a Big Box store. Custom cabinet makers can also
compensate for the unique and odd angles in
many older homes.
Paint: The paint on the interior and exterior
of your home should be given careful consideration.
Properly preparing surfaces by sanding, scraping
and in some cases burning off old paint, will
help you achieve the smooth look you are going
for. Pay attention to special surfaces: orange
peel and brocade have a completely different
look than a flat surface. As always, go with
what is right for the period.
Moore, Sherwin Williams, and other paint stores,
have period paint pallets such as Arts
and Craft that you can select from. Avoid
garish, trendy colors that do not fit with the
period of your home. The Devine line (through
Miller Paint) has pallets you can select from
that flow well together from room to room. Try
to avoid a patchwork look by painting every
room a different hues and different tones.
Word on Wallpaper: Wallpaper appeal is very
subjective. If youre preparing your home
for sale, generally you will want to remove
all wallpaper and go with painted surfaces.
For a Pre-sale or pre-buying consultation, please
e-mail or call:
Davis, 503.358.4311 or Yvonne