Tips For Historic Home Owners {#12 Restore or Remodel}

Remodel or Restore? They may sound like the same thing, but they are very different when it comes to an old house. And understanding the difference is key.


To remodel something literally means “to alter” it. Because of that you might think that remodeling is juxtaposed to the idea of preserving an old home, but it doesn’t have to be. Often the original features are long gone and there isn’t much original material to save. With careful forethought you can save the important architectural parts of your old home and still make it your own.


To restore an old house would mean to “restore” it to the way it was at a particular time in its existence. You might be one of the rare people who want the house in the exact condition it was when built. You might have a very old house that has been added to over generations. There’s no need to tear down an addition because it isn’t original. That addition has historical value too. How accurate should you be?

I’ve found that what usually works best is a combination of the two. The most valuable old homes are the ones that look original and have the conveniences of a modern home incorporated into their carefully restored historic fabric.

What are your thoughts? Remodel, Restore or Both?

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by Scott Sidler

I'm a historic preservationist and licensed contractor. I help old house lovers understand & restore their homes so they can enjoy the history and character that surrounds them more everyday! When not working, writing or teaching about old houses I spend most of my time fixing up my own 1929 bungalow with my wife Delores and sons Charley and Jude.

One comment

  1. bin there on said:

    wow, what a profound write-up.

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