Modern renovations for historic homes could add character and green benefits
Historic homes are unquestionably beautiful, and many contemporary houses, condos and apartments are more than capable of standing up to them. But what do you do when you love both vintage aesthetics and modern style? Perhaps you love your historic home, but wish it weren’t so dark indoors or was more energy efficient. Luckily, a few modern renovations can go hand-in-hand with century-old design and decor. Just consider a few of these updates for your home, starting with standing seam metal roofing.
Cap it with a new metal roof
Think your home has weathered a lot? Just read up on how long the average metal roof lasts! Talk to any metal roofing company and it will lay out the primary benefits of metal roofing for you: It’s green, it’s low-maintenance, it’s extra safe and it looks great. Granted, some homeowners with Victorian houses might question this last point, but it’s true – metal roofing has come a long way in the curb appeal category. And if you should choose, you can even keep your home’s current roofing style in tact but gain the longevity benefits of metal – just look into stone-coated steel shingles and other options!
Still, to get the most out of your metal roofing, you’ll want to go the energy-efficient route. Standing seam roofing in the right color won’t just look great – even on your historic home – it can reduce roof surface temperatures by up to 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Just imagine what that would do for your home during the summer! In fact, Energy Star reported that the right roof could reduce peak cooling demand by 10 to 15 percent in many homes. That’s a huge weight off your air conditioner. And it doesn’t even cover the fact that Energy Star-rated standing seam metal roofs can qualify for up to $500 tax credit, too.
Bring in more glass
One nearly ubiquitous feature of modern and contemporary homes is giant, glass windows and walls. If you want to give your historic home a real update, consider integrating giant picture windows or entire reinforced glass walls into your home. Contemporist recently featured a century-old Toronto home that got a thoroughly contemporary facelift
. While the front of the building features the iconic neighborhood red brick and high arches, the back is flat as a board with tall and broad windows looking out over the yard and neighborhood.
You may also want to consider how skylights or broad-bow windows could elevate your home. But there’s no reason to limit your contemporary and historic melange to the home’s exterior alone.
Create an exterior/interior dynamic
One of the other great features of the Contemporist’s Toronto home is its utilization of contemporary interior design. The home’s original long and narrow shape lent itself to the svelte and sleek style of contemporary furnishings. The living and dining room are compact spaces with white walls that lend them an open air. The homeowners even gutted several walls in an effort to give what was a dark Victorian interior more natural light and an open floor plan.
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