Renovation versus Restoration: Which is Right for Me?

img_1581Older homes have a kind of charm that newer homes just can’t replicate. There’s something about the history of a well-worn property, the stories in its walls, the way the floors creak. People who buy older homes are attracted to these qualities—or perhaps they seek to modernize the interior and sell for a profit.

Either way, the question of whether to renovate a space to reflect more modern tastes, or restore the classic finish to its previous glory, is a common one. Many property owners go back and forth, unsure which path to take. Both home renovation and restoration are a huge investment, and people want to make the right investment for their own lifestyle, as well as the future value of the property.

Here are some questions that can help you clarify whether renovation or restoration is a better option for you.

What’s going on in your neighborhood?

Older homes are often clustered together, and your home may be in a neighborhood whose average home is 50, 70 or even 100 years old. By finding out what kind of renovations or restorations others have done, and how their efforts have performed in terms of property value, you can align yourself with the “better bet.” Consulting a real estate agent or talking to other homeowners directly is one way to find out which way the wind is blowing.

What are your long-term intentions for the home?

If you have no plans to sell your property in the next few decades, your own personal tastes become much more important. Perhaps you love your home and your neighborhood, but you’ve always dreamt of a renovated interior. Or perhaps restoration is exactly what you want, despite current trends toward modern spaces. On the other hand, if you might sell in the not-too-distant future, market trends could be more important than personal tastes.

What do the professionals say?

Deciding which direction to take your historic property is not something you have to do alone. Professional renovation companies, real estate agencies, and property investors can all shed light on what the most sensible decision might be. It may be possible to restore certain aspects of the property, such as flooring and speciality trim, while modernizing things like kitchen cabinetry and storage space. If you choose to take this strategy, it’s even more important to locate a specialist who knows their stuff. Investing thousands, or even tens of thousands, into a project is only a good idea when the execution is flawless.

Pros and Cons

Both renovation and restoration have their own distinct advantages, and for many property owners, choosing between them is not exactly easy. The decision can be clarified by taking an honest look at your property and asking the questions listed here, as well as seeking the advice of a reputable home renovation/restoration specialist. Whatever you decide to do, finding someone fit for the job is crucial to making your investment count, and achieving the transformation you really want.