Universal Design in Cincinnati: 4 Mistakes To Avoid When Remodeling Your Historic Home

Cincinnati’s neighborhoods are graced with beautiful architecture that expresses the areas rich heritage and culture. It’s a link to our city’s past that is worth preserving when it’s time to remodel them. The thing you may not want to preserve is that small non-functional kitchen or the pink tiled bathroom that also happens to be the only one in the house.

If you own one these classics and it’s time to remodel, you may find yourself asking, “How do I make sure the character I fell in love with is still here when the project is finished?” Fortunately, with the right planning and design, it is possible to get that stunning kitchen and luxurious bathroom without disrespecting the home's style. Let’s walk through some of the things you’ll need to be aware of to make sure your project is a success.

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Remodeling an Older Home: It Starts With Good Design

When expanding or remodeling your older classic home, be sure to start by taking notice of the homes architectural elements. We’ve all seen that tacky 70’s bathroom remodel where the materials of the times were jumbled together with no respect for the surround home. Getting the small details correct will pull the entire design together accurately.

Pay attention to the use of materials and the profiles of everything from a shutter to a baseboard. The trim items need to match in style and in material. Many older homes have wood siding and trying to match up modern vinyl siding would be a huge mistake and clash with your home's character. Fixtures such as faucets, sinks, bathtubs, and tile can be a dead giveaway as well and will look out of place if the wrong style or finish is selected.

Do You Have the Power?

Because building codes have changed over time, many older homes don’t meet current requirements and you may be forced to bring them up to date. For example, there are more appliance options now than ever before and a large refrigerator, cooktop, ovens, wine refrigerator, and a kitchenaid mixer will ramp up your home’s electrical needs. Older homes were just not designed to handle that amount of electrical demand. This could mean that you’ll need to update your electrical service and/or panel to meet that demand.

If walls could talk, oh the stories they would tell.
— Jerry Bauscher, Founder of Bauscher Construction

What’s Hiding in Those Walls

When you remodel an older home, more surprises tend to lurk behind all that plaster than what is found in newer construction. It’s not uncommon to find plumbing, wiring, and structural items that need to be updated, and this can be tough to predict during the design and planning phase. Because of this, it can be a good idea to allow a little more in the “what if” part of your budget to cover what could be some surprise costs after deconstruction.

Get the Lead Out

In 2010 the US Environmental Protection Agency passed the Repair, Renovation and Painting (RRP) regulations that required specific actions when remodeling homes that have lead paint in them. Take a look at our blog on this topic here for more details information on this regulation. Most of the older homes in Cincinnati are going to have some lead paint, and it’s important to make sure any remodeler you hire is equipped to deal with this.

 remodeling an older classic home loveland ohio

Get the Right Help

As you can see, from design to construction, there are many small details to be managed to bring together a beautiful collaboration of form and function. Make sure you work with a design-build firm with experience working on older homes who can help you enhance that wonderful Cincinnati heritage that you love.

Click the links below to see a few examples of homes in Hyde Park and other great Cincinnati neighborhoods. Can you see where the original home stops and the addition begins? These are wonderful examples of historic remodeling project done right.

Please leave comments below with any questions or concerns you might have. Or give us a call to get your project started!

Universal Design in Cincinnati: 10 Tips on How to Choose a Good Designer

Finding the perfect fit in a designer might be the most important part of beginning the remodeling process. It can be scary and nerve-racking to try and find the perfect one, but it will make the rest of the journey that much easier if you have someone by your side guiding you through the whole process.

A great designer will be able to see the project before it is done and give you great advice on what to select. So how do you hire the right designer when there are so many to choose from? Follow our tips below, and you are sure to find a designer who will be your remodeling bestie!

Choosing a Designer: First, Find Your Style

 how do I choose a good designer loveland ohio

Nailing down your own style before trying to hire a designer will help you express your likes and dislikes to the designer in a clearer way. Being open and honest about this at the beginning can prevent headaches and misunderstanding later down the road. Being confident in your own style will also make it easier to stand your ground if a designer tries to push their own preferences on you.

Look at their portfolios

Houzz is a great place to go to find and read designer portfolios in your area. Check to see if the designer has already designed a space that fits your style. This can put your mind at ease knowing that they already get what you want and can deliver it as well.

Check for certifications

Just like with any professional you would hire, certifications are a great way to see what kind of education or training a designer has gone through. Though experience is the most important training a designer can get, courses and classes are where the groundwork is laid. Certifications can also prove that they are up to date on all that is trendy and new!

Interview designers

 how do I choose a good designer loveland ohio

When you've gone through Houzz and found a few promising candidates, it's time to start the interview process. Meet up with the designers to ask them about their past projects and how they like to go about designing a space. Talk about your style and get their thoughts and feedback on what you're looking to create. This is the time to really get to know the designer and to simply see if you like them!

Ask lots of questions, ask for referrals

During the interview or in a follow-up email after the interview, ask for references. Someone who has worked with the designer will be able to tell you what it was really like to work with them. Ask them if they designer was enjoyable to work with, or if they would hire them again if they needed to hire another designer. Dive deeper into how to designer treated them and their home.

Make sure you click

While getting to know the designer you may or may not feel an instant connection, and though this isn't a lifelong relationship, it is important that you click with your designer. Getting along and even becoming friends with your designer will make the whole process more enjoyable and way more likely to end with you in love with your new space.

Looking for a great designer not a good one? Find out how to tell the difference by clicking the link below and read our blog: The Difference Between a Good Designer and A Great Designer.