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3 essential steps for historic home restoration

May 31, 2023

3 essential steps for historic home restoration

While old houses are a dime-a-dozen, homes that are truly historic are rare.

What makes a home historic? A historic home has to have unique qualities, whether they have to do with the architecture, layout, neighborhood or the house plays an important role in history. But what a historic home really comes down to is its style and atmosphere, which you don’t want to let old age erode. So whether your aging house is listed in a registry, why not consider some of these key renovation tips that will help keep the property young and fresh feeling, while retaining a classical charm and undeniable elegance.

1. Consider metal roofing
As any homeowner will tell you, roofing tends to need replacement or renovation more often than just about any other major household feature. One trend that more and more residential buildings are choosing – from seaside cottages to Victorian farmhouses – is metal roofing from Metal Roof NJ

. The benefits of metal roofing are on par with the aesthetics. Clean, efficient, attractive and long-lasting. Not only does metal roofing provide numerous green advantages, such as recycled materials and summertime heat reflection, their climate performance and durability are second to none. Furthermore, since metal roofing is entirely inflammable, your home is rendered safe from the one danger all historic houses face: fire.

Worried that the look of a metal roof just won’t fit your home’s style? You’ll be surprised at the variety of looks available via an array of colors and design – all of which provide the same practical benefits.

2. Stick with the right mortar
Once you’ve found the right metal roofing company to take on your home’s project, you may want to do some other restoration yourself, starting from the ground up. As Old House Online notes, this often means knowing your mortar. As you’re working on your home’s masonry, you’ll want to make sure you’ve got the right mortar. There are two classes, according to the source: lime-based and Portland cement-based. Portland cement mortars are hard and transmit water through very slowly. Lime is on the opposite end of the spectrum: soft and allows water vapors to pass through. This means that Portland cement is perfect when you’re trying to match your home’s brick or stone masonry. However, if the bricks are older ones fired at low temperatures, they’re going to be softer themselves, and Portland cement can end up being destructive. So, when in doubt, always stick to lime.

3. Buy good paint, prep well
Old House Online also suggests that homeowners renovating their historic homes not invest in anything but top-tier paint. For the sake of looks and longevity, it’s worth the extra cost. Furthermore, you’ll want to prep well for the painting itself. Old House Journal says that you should be especially careful during the paint removal process in an older home. Gentleness is key, so the source suggests using a trisodium phosphate solution mixed with water. Chemical cleansers may do more damage than good. Old House Online then suggests that you sand surfaces and clean them of dust and dirt. Then, prime using an alkyd mixture made by the same company that produced your premium paint.

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