If you are new to your old house. Here are some tips to consider before jumping into those projects!
- Environmental and safety issues come first. Vintage houses can contain vintage nastiness such as lead, asbestos, and more. Get informed and be aware about the environmental & safety hazards in old homes, materials and products. #1 RULE: Consult with your own properly licensed professionals.
- “Test” contractors on small projects first. It may take a few smallish projects to find a contractor that you can work with very effectively on the most costly projects.
- Get a subscription to Consumer Reports. When you are in spending cash like this, your head will spin. Consumer Reports is known to be an unbiased resource out there to do testing to try and really triangulate to “value” delivered by available products. They are a not-for-profit entity, and they don’t take products from manufacturers – they buy their test products in the store.
- If you are new to your old house — go slow. Before you proceed thinking you need to gut remodel the kitchen or bathroom(s), for instance, get to know these rooms super well. Live in your house to get to know its flow and how it works for you and your family. This includes getting a rich, deep understanding of whether there is a real need to alter the architecture. During this time, you’ll also be able to study up on your home’s original style and features. By waiting and exploring (rather than quickly changing) you’ll also have time to explore your “Retro Style” — because there’s way more than one way to retro.
- Focus first on the functional fundamentals. Figure out what should be done all at once – plumbing, electrical, and insulation – for the whole house and what can wait. Get qualified and licensed professionals to look over your infrastructure (plumbing, electrical, etc.) to alert you of hazards as well as things that will need to be brought up to code. Those things can affect the changes you make (and the cost) and you should know those things can affect your remodeling plans, particularly if you do need to go ahead and fix something.