Tips for Historic Homeowners {#2 Respect Your Home’s Vintage}

Whether you home is Victorian or Craftsman, Greek or Colonial, plain or elaborate you should respect Its vintage. It is what it is and trying to change it will only lead to trouble. There’s something incredibly jarring about one type of home masquerading as another. Your home has a vintage that is completely unique unto itself and that vintage should be respected. Mixing genres and decades not only destroys your historic home’s intrinsic value but also its financial value.

This principle applies not only to its exterior appearance, but also to the integrity its interior spaces. This isn’t about updating a house. It’s more a matter of turning it into something it was never intended to be; like adding a beautiful Victorian bathroom in a Craftsman Bungalow. It may be historic in design, but that doesn’t make it correct.

The best way to care for your house is to preserve its vintage. Though you may love the idea of a retro 1950s style kitchen in your 1920s Bungalow that may not be the best choice. Stick with the style and decade your house belongs too. Sure you can take creative license, but glaring inconsistencies in decades and styles makes for a confused house.

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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.


  1. Greg Fox on said:

    I couldn’t agree more…the integrity of the original architecture should be protected. It’s really hard to fit a round peg in a square hole. I run a granite countertop business and too often I see homeowners trying to take an idea out of context and force it into another. It never works. So, thanks for this great blog on the importance of working with your existing architectural footprint.

  2. It also helps with the resale value of a house to be consistent with the architectural style and time period.

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