Rejuvenating a Period Home

An older home built in any well-defined style — from Victorian to Craftsman to Mid-century Modern — offers the owner many opportunities to make it shine again. Using original stylistic elements can provide authenticity. Here are a few tips to approach the project — whether a room or a whole house — and keep it focused.

Research — Ideas and details for period homes are best found in books or magazines like American Bungalow or New Old House. Local historic home tours are another great source of ideas. Online sources may be helpful, but are time-consuming when searching for accurate details that will work in your specific project.

Design — Plan your design as much as possible before you start in order to stay on track and on budget. Historical colors are available from major paint suppliers. But most important to getting a sparkling result are period-style decorative lighting, hardware, moldings, doors and especially period-correct furniture and rugs.

Plans — The bigger the project, the more you need accurate plans before construction and written change orders during construction. They protect you from misunderstandings with the contractor or tradespeople. Ask for samples of materials.

Structure — If you need to move interior walls or add to the house, you should engage an engineer to make sure the structure is sound.

Construction and budget — Hire licensed and insured contractors and workers only. Get a detailed estimate of the cost and timeline, and insist on a written contract. Keep funds amounting to 10 to 20 percent of the estimate in reserve for uncertainties. You never know what you will find when working on an older house.



Gatling Design, Inc.
345 W. Juniper St., No. 2
San Diego, CA 92101



Categories: Home Design