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Renovation Tips for Old Homes

Brent Lunde - Friday, January 29, 2016

The Pacific Northwest is filled with wonderful old homes worthy of preservation. In the Vancouver/Portland area alone, you're able to view houses that go all the way back to when the area was first settled by Canadian and American settlers in the 1820's, whether it's a visit to Fort Vancouver itself, or to the well preserved homes of John McLoughlin and Forbes Barclay in Oregon City.


But not all the historical houses in the area are so well taken care of. Plenty of beautiful homes have fallen into disrepair and are in bad need of some tender loving care. A lot of us dream about buying a historical house and restoring it to its former glory, and there are a lot of great reasons for doing so.


In addition to being a great investment (depending on the home itself and how much renovation it needs, you can sometimes double or even triple your initial outlay), restoring an old home can bring a lot of personal satisfaction. It's also better for the environment to renovate rather than completely knock down a structure and start over.


If that's not reason enough, check out this renovation of a 106-year-old house in Upstate New York. If this doesn't inspire you, than you probably shouldn't be on the market for a fixer-upper.


However, if home renovation is your thing, here are a few tips you should keep in mind when you set out to do a restoration.


Pick the right house.


Portland and Vancouver are rife with historic neighborhoods, featuring lovely, and often quirky, homes. It won't be difficult to find a project. But it's important to take your time, do your research, and pick the home that's right for you. While you might get the house for a great price, you'll be investing years (if not decades) in restoring it. You don't want to have buyer's remorse six months in.


Don't be afraid to seek out help.


You might be feeling confident in your abilities because of the kitchen renovation you did in your last home, but performing a full restoration of a century-old home can be daunting, even for a professional. Don't let pride get in the way of bringing people in to help out as needed. Whether you are repairing the foundation, clearing out damaged masonry, or renovating an antique radiator, you can do irreparable damage if you don't know what you're doing. There will be plenty of work for you to handle yourself, so hiring out contractors as needed won't leave you with nothing to do.


Bold color choices can go a long way.


When you're getting near the end of a renovation, penny pinching can become a necessity. One cheap but highly effective way of putting the finishing touches on a restoration is by giving your house a bold makeover with some stylish color choices. Check out this example of a 2006 remodel of an 1879 brick rowhouse in Washington, D.C.


And speaking of paint, if you want to make sure that your renovation looks great, at a great price, Pro Paint NW has the professional expertise to make sure that all the work that has gone into restoring your beautiful home pays off.

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