Preserving (and enhancing) an older home

Replace the old with the new

Update your older home while keeping its charm and upgrading your comfort.

As identical housing developments seem to pop up in every city and town, there remains an undeniable authenticity and individuality in older homes. While these unique homes offer a charming aesthetic, they may fall flat with prospective homeowners when they don’t meet modern design trends or functional needs. However, there is promise (and a lot of satisfaction) in restoring older architecture to its former glory. Below are some ways that you can bring an older home back to life.

Modernize your kitchen design

A challenge that owners of older homes may face is achieving a design that suits the 21st century while retaining the home’s historic features that contribute to its character. 

The kitchen is a great starting point to freshen up the feel of your home since it’s a space where we cook, clean and gather with family and friends. With all the movement and activities taking place, the kitchen needs ample storage space that’s easily accessible.

Some older homes may come with cabinets that aren’t functional or simply look outdated. Installing new cabinets can meet your need for practical storage while breathing life back into the design of an older kitchen.

With no shortage of cabinet door surface options, you're certain to find a look that's just right. You can opt for a white or light gray cabinet surface to create a bright, polished feel, or you can choose a navy matte surface to add colorful sophistication to your kitchen design. Maybe, instead, you'd like to bring the essence of nature inside with engineered wood.

REHAU M Gould Windows 13Sept17 091 - 108982

Update your home’s envelope 

The envelope is the “outer skin” of a home, comprising features such as windows, roofing and doors. These features keep the home structurally sound and control the flow of outdoor elements into the home, all while contributing to aesthetic appeal. Over time, the outer skin of your home eventually grows old, so it may need a face lift. 

Windows are the eyes of the home, and can be a smart place to start when looking to enhance the exterior, interior, efficiency and comfort of your home of your older home.

Inefficient window systems can cause heat or air conditioning loss depending on the season. This can negatively impact your comfort and your wallet as your heating and ventilation systems work harder to make up for the loss of warm or cool air. To prevent discomfort, energy loss and expensive bills, modern uPVC windows are the way to go. High-performing uPVC windows, using compression-seal technology as a barrier against drafts and leaks, can cut energy costs by up to 35% compared to outdated windows. These type of windows are also effective at blocking unwanted outside sound through its sound abatement technology.

Not only do uPVC windows improve the livability of an older home, but they can also boost curb appeal and interior lighting with new options in shapes, colors and textured finishes. If you want to take in the views surrounding your home and maximize natural lighting, floor-to-ceiling picture windows are the perfect choice. Different colors have different benefits. Choosing black can add depth and richness to your home design, while choosing white or a lighter shade of brown can accomplish an airy aesthetic. Can't decide?  You even have the option of having a different colors for the inside and the outside.

Learn more about REHAU window solutions

RAUPANEL Install - 93852

Improve your home’s mechanical systems 

While a historic house may catch your attention with its classic beauty, it might not quite feel like home to you if it’s lacking an efficient heating or cooling system. Historic homes are notorious for having inefficient systems, which not only leave you feeling uncomfortable, but also waste energy and money. 

To sustainably boost your comfort in an older home, you can install a radiant heating system. Sometimes called under-floor heating, this system circulates warm water through a network of piping  typically placed in the floor system, either embedded in a concrete slab or installed in panels between the subfloor and the finished flooring.

Radiant heating can also be installed beneath existing flooring, allowing you to preserve the architectural integrity of your historic home while boosting its efficiency and livability. But the system isn’t constrained to just floors. There are also other placement options including ceilings, or even walls to reduce HVAC clutter in a space.

Several features of radiant heating make it an efficient system, such as room-by-room control which allows you to create heat allocation zones in your home. You may prefer your bathroom to be warmer to avoid feeling chilly after stepping out of the shower or bath, or you may enjoy a cool bedroom for a night of blissful rest. This is a huge improvement over mechanical systems in older homes that may not have properly distributed heat in the first place, let alone allowing you to choose which areas receive more heat.

You don’t have to completely gut your home to make it more livable.  By updating your kitchen, windows and mechanical systems, you can create a space that suits your needs without sacrificing the architectural integrity of your home.

By Erin Slupe, REHAU Communications

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