Restoring and Upgrading an Old House

person doing wood work

The homeowner usually encounters the need to restore and upgrade an old house when he attempts to sell his house or when the family gets bigger. If your house needs some renovations, you can improve its value greatly by replacing old materials such as wood paneling and carpeting with modern alternatives. With a little planning and the right tools, the restoration process should go smoothly, and the results will be well worth your time and effort.

When you begin a restoration project of any kind, it is necessary to list everything that needs to get done. This checklist for restoring an old house can help eliminate some guesswork involved in the restoration process. You can make a general list of what you think needs to be done, but it is also helpful to break the project down into more manageable tasks.

Step One: Get Organized

The first step in any home improvement project should be to get organized! If you are restoring an entire house, then this step may take a little longer, but it is still important to take the time to plan everything out. Break the project down into smaller tasks and list the materials you will need for each task. Make sure to include everything, from the obvious (paint, brushes, sandpaper) to the less obvious (plunger, ladder, caulk gun).

Step Two: Survey the Damage

The next step is to survey the damage and list the repairs that need to be made. This may include fixing cracks in the walls, replacing rotted wood, and re-painting faded surfaces. Make a note of anything that needs to be fixed or replaced, even if you think it seems to be a minor problem.

Step Three: Remove Old Materials

Remove all old wood paneling, wallpaper, carpeting, and other materials that need to be replaced or restored (such as hardwood floors). Clean the surfaces that will remain after the renovations are complete. If your home restoration project includes re-painting or remodeling the kitchen and other areas, this is a good time to apply a primer.

old house

Step Four: Repair Damage and Replace Materials

Repair any damage found during the survey process, and replace any materials that need to be replaced. This may include installing new drywall, replacing flooring, and installing new trim or molding. If you find that the wood in your house is damaged, then you might also want to consider replacing all of it with new composite material such as Fiberon.

If the wood on your walls and floors is beyond repair, then paneling or carpeting may be a better option for your restoration project. You can save yourself a lot of money and time by installing new, pre-finished wood paneling. The most efficient way to install it is with a pneumatic stapler and galvanized finish nails.

Carpeting can be another great option for restoring your old house without spending much money. The carpet doesn’t require any finishing or priming before it is installed, and it can be cut to fit around any obstacles in your house. For an even easier installation process, you might want to try using peel-and-stick carpet tiles. Another popular option for installing new flooring on stairs is carpeted stair treads.

Step Five: Painting

The next step of the restoration project will be to paint. Choose a high-quality latex paint in the color you desire. Make sure to choose scrubbable, fade-resistant, and mildew-resistant paints for maximum durability. Interior chalk-type paints can be used on any surfaces where writing is desired (walls, doors, etc.). Chalkboard paint can be applied to any surface for writing, drawing, or even chalkboard panels.

For painting woodwork around your house, it is best to use oil-based paints. Oil-based paints are more durable, and they stand up better to high traffic areas where doors rub against them all the time. Check out our article about spraying paint with an airless sprayer for more tips about painting your house.

Step Six: Finishing Touches

The final step of the restoration project will be to add any finishing touches needed. This can include installing new doorknobs and drawer pulls, adding trim around doors and windows, or installing a new mailbox. Make sure all of your work is complete before moving on to the next step.

Restoring an old house can be a lot of work, but it is also rewarding. By following these simple steps, you can make your old house look new again. Do not hesitate to seek professional help when necessary.

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