If you have a character home in Winnipeg and you’re considering updates to your property, the first decision you must make is whether you’re interested in restoration or renovation. What’s the difference, and why does it matter? Find out more below!
What is a character home restoration?
As the name suggests, a character home restoration is intended to keep the home’s character features, but to also restore the worn-down parts of the house to their previous beauty. This is a good option if you love how your home looks, but it’s older and has been through quite a bit of wear and tear.
Common character home restoration projects
Wondering what a character home restoration might involve? Here are a few common projects we’ve done when restoring Winnipeg character homes.
Refinishing hardwood floors and wood features
High-quality wood can easily be refinished to restore its natural beauty and appeal.
Fixing cracked or broken molding, baseboards, and other features
Repairing and restoring these original features can ensure that the original character of your home is maintained.
Updating and restoring wood staircases and banisters
Just like flooring, staircases can be sanded, polished, and refinished to make them look beautiful once again.
Adding modern light fixtures that maintain a vintage feel
With the right lighting, you can brighten your rooms and get better energy efficiency while maintaining a heritage look.
Restoring wood-burning fireplaces and their facades
Nothing says “tradition” like a wood-burning fireplace, so restoring a non-usable fireplace and its façade and hearth is a common project, especially in chilly Winnipeg!
What is a character home renovation?
Unlike a character home restoration, a character home renovation is designed to incorporate modern features into the character/historical features of the home. While it will still maintain some of its original character features, these renovations are usually much more extensive and leave the house with a more modern and less traditional aesthetic.
When doing character home renovations, it’s especially important to work with an experienced contractor. You do not want your new additions to clash with the existing details of your character home – and balancing modern additions and heritage style is a difficult proposition if you’re not working with a highly-qualified contractor.
Common character home renovation projects
Thinking about renovating your character home in Winnipeg? A few common renovations we’ve done in character homes in Winnipeg include:
Opening closed room-specific floor plans, creating open-concept space
Many older homes have closed-off floor plans, which can make them feel stuffy and a bit closed-in. A very popular way to address this is by removing interior walls and creating more open floor plans in kitchens and living spaces. Open concept floor plans, since being introduced in the early 90s, have since evolved but continue to be in style. If you’re character home renovation includes an open concept plan, chances are, your home’s functionality, usability, and value will increase after the renovation is completed.
Adding more bathrooms
Most older homes in Winnipeg are lacking in bathrooms. Often, finding the space to add a bathroom isn’t the issue as these homes are typically larger and have square footage that isn’t being used to its full potential. But even with an abundance of space, the biggest issue facing the addition of a bathroom is the plumbing required to reach the bathroom’s location. The amount of effort required to create the plumbing infrastructure will usually impact the cost. However, adding an extra half bath or full bath can make your life much more convenient, particularly if you have a large family.
Creating more floor space or larger rooms
Using additions or by knocking down and replacing interior walls, it’s possible to resize living spaces, bedrooms, and other interior spaces in the house. Often, bedrooms are smaller in character homes than their more modern counterparts. However, if you have a home with 4 or 5 smaller bedrooms, plans can usually be made to create 2 or 3 spacious bedrooms.
As well, basements in character homes were designed to compartmentalize and be used for a single function. In modern home design, rooms are built to be multipurpose. Much like completing an open plan layout on the main floor, a basement renovation can greatly benefit from strategically removing walls.
Furthermore, depending on the style of your home, the space occupying your attic could be put to use to create additional living space within your character home.
Updating plumbing & electrical systems
This is very common for older homes that may have outdated piping or “knob-and-tube” wiring systems. Updated plumbing and electrical systems ensure the safety of your property and your family.
What’s right for me – a character home renovation or restoration?
At All Canadian Renovations, we specialize in Winnipeg home renovations – and we can restore or renovate character homes throughout the city. If you’re not sure which type of project is right for you, we’re here to help. Contact us now or call us at 204.779.6900 to explore your options for character home renovation and restoration services in Winnipeg.