When remodeling an old home, it’s important to know the difference between charming historic features and ugly outdated features. Certain features could provide your home with character and add value. Others could be unattractive and could devalue your home. Some old features clearly need to be updated for safety reasons such as old electrics, but not all are so obvious. This post lists 5 examples of features that are worth preserving and 5 examples of features that you’re better off getting rid of.
5 features you should preserve…
Even though there’s little practical need for fireplaces in modern homes, they can still be attractive features and are sought out by homebuyers who are interested in older properties. Feel free to block up the chimney, but don’t block up the fireplace as it could devalue your home.
Original hardwood floors in older homes carry so much history. Unless they’re severely damaged, you should do what you can to preserve them. Sanding and refinishing them could be a great way to get rid of any scratches or stains without having to replace the floorboards.
Old ornate stained glass windows can be beautiful pieces of craftsmanship that you should try to preserve. These are sometimes found on front doors – if you need to replace your front door because it’s worn and unsecure, consider whether you may be able to transfer the stain glass to a new door.
Laundry chutes were once commonly found in homes, allowing dirty laundry from upstairs to be easily transported downstairs to a laundry room. They became less popular as they became associated as a fire risk – smoke from downstairs fires can easily travel up these chutes and spread to upstairs. Fire risks aside, they’re still very useful and sought after. Plus, there are ways to make them safer while preserving them.
A historic name plaque can also be an artefact worth preserving. These plaques can play a very important part in the character of your home. You should only replace these plaques if they’re severely damaged. Old metal name plaques that have become rusted or mottled may still be able to be restored.
5 features you should update…
Popcorn ceilings were popular in the 1970s and 1980s. Their bumpy texture was created using small pieces of styrofoam (and sometimes asbestos). Nowadays, these ceilings are seen as less attractive due to the harsh shadows they create and dust they collect. While a lot of homeowners don’t like them, some put up with them simply because they can be a nightmare to remove – it may be worth hiring professionals to carry out popcorn ceiling removal to save you the stress. Replace these ceilings with smooth ceilings, which are much more likely to add value to your home.
Floral print saw a huge rise in popularity in the 1950s. It then saw its peak in the 1970s when everything from sofas to curtains went floral. Nowadays floral patterns are largely seen as dated. They often have too much texture and don’t age very well. There are some tasteful ways to add floral designs to wallpaper. However, by and large, most classic patterns are ugly by today’s standards, and are best getting rid of.
Original linoleum floors aren’t very common nowadays, however they do still exist. These floors have a cheap feel to them and typically age poorly, which makes them look worse. You should consider replacing any linoleum floors in your home with high quality vinyl, laminate or tiles. Avoid cheap vinyl floors, which can often have a similar quality to linoleum floors (some older vinyl flooring designs were even made to look like linoleum and have aged just as badly).
In the 1980s, tile countertops briefly became a fad. They’re still found in some older homes, but they often look very dated – especially if the tiles have started to crack. A big reason why they became unpopular is because the grouting was found to quickly become dirty and was often hard to clean. Solid material countertops are a much better option when it comes to easy cleaning – opt for laminate wood, natural stone or artificial stone instead.
Glass block windows
Glass block windows were also very popular in the 1980s, but have since become less trendy. Many people nowadays find their thick appearance to be ugly. While they can be useful in bathrooms for offering privacy, there are much more attractive options such as frosted windows. Such alternative options can also allow more ventilation. All in all, you may want to consider getting rid of any glass block windows in your home.