Restore or Renovate your Home?
Over time, all homes require some maintenance work. At times they require significant work. These homes are often listed as “fixer” properties. Depending on the age, style and location of the Northern Wisconsin home, you might consider a restoration project instead of renovating the property. That 1950s vintage avocado green oven might look wonderful in a Mid-Century Modern restoration project but amiss in a Western Ranch Property. What kind of project you tackle must consider these issues:
Restoration vs Renovation
Restoring a property means to bring it back to its glory days. The restoration carefully removes the evidence of changes made throughout the years by using materials, colors and finishes which were common to the original era. At times this can mean removing entire additions, if they are inconsistent with the architectural style of the time.
Renovation is a replacement process. In a renovation project you remove the old fixtures, floors, styling and replace them with modern trends. While this does not mean a disregard for the building and its lines, it often takes an older structure and develops it into a home more in tune with current new construction trends.
Examples of Restoration Projects
- Refinishing the floor to its original color and finish
- Replacing or repairing doors and windows
- Restoring cabinets, fireplaces and carpentry to original condition
- Removing additions to the home inconsistent with the era of the building
- Removing exterior siding to reveal the original building
Remove and restore are key words used in restoration projects. The challenge can be finding the older materials to use in the project. Restorers often search online for vintage fixtures, appliances and other materials. The goal is to bring the Northern Wisconsin home back to its historically-accurate condition as much as possible.
Examples of Renovation Projects
- Replacing the entire kitchen or bathroom with new cabinets and appliances
- Replacing flooring with modern options
- Replacing doors and windows with contemporary options
- Building add-on space to kitchens, family rooms and master bedrooms
Replacing the existing style is what determines a renovation project. Homes are made over with the latest trends in materials, color and design. Often the more extensive projects include changing the layout itself.
Most of the time, Northern Wisconsin homeowners find a balance between the two options. There are many modern materials available which mimic the look and feel of traditional styles. These offer increased durability and add a modern sheen to the feel of the home. Everything from vintage-styled appliances to faux wood floors can be nice ways to acknowledge the history of a building and still have great functionality.
Mixing old with new should be done carefully so that the property retains a sense of harmony. Restoration is normally more expensive than just starting over. Some cities and states offer help for restoring these homes in the form of grants and tax breaks. As you determine which kind of project you plan to undertake, do your research on the property and get expert advice. Once you understand the history of your Wisconsin property, you can decide if it needs to be restored or renovated.