Articles - Home Maintenance

Common Mistakes People Make When Renovating Old & Heritage Homes

18th March 2019
Common Mistakes when renovating an old home

Maybe you just purchased a property, or perhaps it's been in the family for years, but now it needs an upgrade to bring it into the 21st century. There is an art to renovating an old home, so we had a look at the common pitfalls of homeowners, so you don't live through them.

Whether you're remodelling your entire house or just updating a room or two on a tight budget, here's our list of things to keep in mind when renovating an old home.

Check if the House is Heritage Listed

Before you make any changes to your home, the first step must be to check if it’s a heritage property. Each local council will have different rules and regulations you'll have to follow.

Failing to adhere to the standards can leave you with a massive fine, or even worse - restoring the property to its original condition which could cost you thousands. Even though this can be quite daunting, learning about the history of your house can be exciting and also give a newfound appreciation for your abode and some great design ideas.

To check if you have a heritage listed property, search your states Heritage Inventory. Alternatively, contact your local council to find out if a property is identified in the local environmental plan or local government directory.

Once you've determined if you have heritage listed home, you'll be able to plan your renovations.

Stay in Character

Whether your house is heritage listed or not, the best way to address renovations is to find a balance between the original design and modern contemporary elements.

Kitchen and bathrooms will still look great with modern features while not taking away from the character of the house. In other rooms, be sure to highlight the beautiful details seen throughout old homes, such as fireplaces, mouldings, stained glass and original flooring. Most people want to rip out old wooden doors and flooring, but with a little conditioning, these elements can be brought back to their original condition, adding value to your home.

When given the option, always restore elements of your old home rather than trading them in for new items. It will provide the house with a unique charm that is impossible to imitate.


Forgetting the Façades

Old homes and terrace houses often have amazing façades. Homeowners often attempt to modernise their homes by rendering the front structure or swapping out windows and doors. The other mistake commonly made is to paint the façades bright, modern colours creating a clash between styles.

Instead, try to preserve the original façades if necessary then spray paint them soft neutral tones to bring out the true character of the home. If the house is heritage listed you may only be able to paint the house colours matching a certain period, so be sure to check with your local council.

Unsafe or Technical DIY Projects

In the generation of reality renovation shows and YouTube tutorials, many people try to save some cash by bypassing a professional for what they think is an easy or safe job. Simple mistakes can damage your home and end up costing you more in the long run. While there are plenty of DIY projects that can be attempted by amateurs, most should be left to the professionals, including:

  • Removing walls without an experts opinion
  • Electrical work and wiring
  • Plumbing and pipework
  • Anything weighty
  • Gas fittings

If you are looking for some money-saving DIY projects, focus on painting, adding wallpaper, landscaping, gardening, plastering, cosmetic renovations or manual labour jobs.

Home renovating can get complicated, but with a little hard work, you can create your dream home with a unique style that will last a lifetime.