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Restoring a “character” home

post27To many people, the charm of living in an older character home is irresistible. Though character homes often require a great deal of restoration, it’s often worth it in the long run.

In Ontario, farmhouses are the most popular type of character homes. With their hipped or gabled roofs, dormer windows, split wood shingles and clapboard siding, these two story homes often feature a large porch with square supports.

Because curb appeal is so important for a home, it’s important to keep you character home’s exterior in tip-top condition. A contractor experienced in dealing with farmhouse restoration can properly maintain the character of all those details through replacement or with paint to spruce them up and bring out their beauty.

If your farmhouse is closer to original condition rather than updated, it may require a fair bit of renovation to make it more accommodating to your lifestyle. Farmhouses have typically featured smaller rooms that are closed off from each other with walls. Your contractor or architect can work with the home’s structure to make it more modern by opening up the floor plan. You will be amazed how much different removing a few strategic walls will make.

When considering the new layout of your character farmhouse you will likely want to update several rooms – most often the kitchen and bathrooms. Though plumbing may need to be moved in order to accomplish this it will be a worthwhile investment to turn a smaller country kitchen into a larger, open-concept, modern kitchen that your whole family can gather in.

If your farmhouse bathrooms feature classic claw foot tubs, don’t get rid of them! They are a great way to keep character in your home and tubs with chipping or fading can easily be resorted by a professional. Plus, your floor should already be reinforced to handle the heavy tub. If you are moving it, however, you will want to reinforce the floor in its new space.

The other likely renovation you will encounter will be updating the wiring to be safer and perhaps even to meet newer building codes. Knob and tube wiring may be one issue you face in your farmhouse, but a licensed technician will be able to change it out.

To avoid any leaks, replace your home’s windows. You won’t have to worry about losing the home’s character or integrity if you invest in older English-style leaded light windows. These windows will likely cost more than a standard, modern window, but the effect will be more harmonious with the home’s style and will also increase the resale value.

Whatever you do to your character home to restore it and make it yours, be sure that you stay true to the home’s integrity. If you second guess any of your decisions, consult an experienced contractor for his or her opinion.

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