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Preserving Architectural Character in Older Homes

Do you live in an older home filled with charm and personality? If you do, you likely chose your home for its character, those architectural elements that make it unique. But older homes also possess their fair share of issues.

Older homes were not designed for modern-day living. While you may love your home, you likely know that it could better function for your family. But just because you desire function doesn’t mean you want to give up the character that fills your home. That’s where a well-equipped New Jersey home renovation contractor like our team at American Home Contractors steps in. We recognize that a home renovation should maintain the integrity of the home you love while providing the modern aspects needed to create a functional home for the present day.

Here are a few ideas for preserving your home while also modernizing it.

Modern Materials with Authentic Charm

Modernizing your home means utilizing modern materials and technology. But it does not have to mean compromising charm. Certain products are designed in classic styles while providing more durability.

Opt for high-quality materials when making more modern selections. The better material choice you make, the longer it will last in your home. This is especially important for your home’s exterior, which protects the rest of your space. Consider the following modern, exterior updates.

New Siding, Soffit, and Trim

Protection from the outside in is essential to older homes. To preserve the character of your home through a renovation, choose the same style of siding and trim in a product like James Hardie® fiber cement. You can keep the charm while installing a material that will last longer than wood and require less maintenance.

James Hardie ColorPlus

Choosing a product like Hardie Board also comes with the benefits of modern paint technology.

Traditional paint will chip, fade, and crack, requiring large amounts of maintenance. But James Hardie ColorPlus® Technology does not have the same issues. It will not flake or crack. And ColorPlus boards come in traditional color palettes to preserve your home’s style.

Make sure to hire a James Hardie Elite Preferred contractor for your installation to keep the warranty for your siding and its paint technology intact. James Hardie Elite Preferred contractors are specifically trained to install and care for James Hardie products.

Energy-Efficient windows

Having a New Jersey window contractor swap your old, outdated windows for new, energy-efficient ones will better protect your home and can save you money on your electric bill. You can select a fiberglass window in the character-enhancing style of your home while gaining a more durable and efficient product.

Save and Enhance Character-Adding Materials

Which aspects of your home do you love? Those materials that drew you to your home and add charm should be saved and incorporated back into the new design. Salvage items like:

  • Crown molding
  • Baseboards
  • Porches
  • Gables
  • Mantles
  • Hardwood floors
  • Banisters
  • Window casements
  • Columns

As long as these materials remain in quality shape (not damaged by water or time), they can become the backbone of your new modern home design while preserving the original architecture of the home. So you get the best of both worlds!

Look for items that add character and speak to the original style of the home in both the interior and exterior.

Opening up the Spaces

It is common for older homes to feel cramped and dark due to enclosed rooms. Many homes were designed with the idea that each room served its own purpose and should be isolated. However, modern homes thrive off of an open concept floor plan, open spaces that lead into one another to create a cozy and inviting environment.

Rather than restructuring your entire home’s layout, you can save the original character by removing the walls that are unnecessary. The biggest benefit of an open concept comes from connecting your kitchen, dining space, and living room into one large, open entertainment area. You can maintain elements of the original design while creating the modern home you want.

Choose Quality Work Over Quick Fixes

Older homes will often need major repairs, and it’s important to ensure the foundation of your renovation is solid before implementing a design. No matter the materials you salvage or the new materials you bring in, if you do not invest in quality, you will find yourself disappointed in your renovation.

Don’t opt for quick fixes or DIY solutions when renovating and restoring an older home. Make the upfront investment to hire a professional with experience and certification.

Bring Everything Up to Code

More often than not, older homes don’t meet modern-day codes, which are essential to ensuring a home and surrounding buildings are safe for residents. When completing your renovation, it is essential that you bring your home up to code in all areas.

The good news is that if you hire a professional contractor for your project, they will know what codes are required for your space and how to meet them. As a New Jersey window and siding contractor, our American Home Contractors team knows how to meet exterior codes for your home.

A Solid Renovation Foundation with a Lasting Exterior Remodel

Your exterior is the best place to begin your older home’s renovation. With a solid exterior sheltering your home, you can begin your renovation with the assurance that it will be well protected.

Hire the right contractor to give you an exterior that will save you from a headache of problems and preserve architectural character. Not only are we at American Home Contractors a qualified New Jersey siding contractor, but we are also a James Hardie Elite Preferred contractor, so you are guaranteed a solid installation of a high-caliber siding material.

Schedule a free consultation with our team to learn more about how James Hardie siding can be used in a modern renovation while preserving the character of your home’s exterior.