Managing your Brownstone MakeoverAdministrator
A renovation of any size can be stressful, but when it comes to renovating a multi-story brownstone in a large city, stress levels can hit a new high. After all, managing an extensive renovation in close quarters while dealing with historical associations can bring out the worst in anyone.
Here are a few of our recommendations to make your project manageable:
- Experience pays off
The first step is to hire an experienced contractor who has a skilled architect on the team. A contractor and architect familiar with the permitting process and city’s ordinances surrounding old homes may cost more upfront, but will save a bundle in the long term.
- Prepare for hidden costs
Renovating brownstones often means you have to prepare for surprises. The beauty of antique millwork can also mean dealing with antique pipes, worn electrical systems and even lead or asbestos. Always build a buffer into your timeline and your budget. Having extra cash set aside ahead of time means you won’t have to make painful last-minute decisions or sacrifices.
- Know when to say goodbye
Some homeowners like the detailed woodwork, ornate trim and other reminders of times gone by that come with owning a historical homes. It’s important to design around those elements, but sometimes the cost of patching or matching certain elements can be so cost prohibitive that it’s simplest to replace them with a more affordable design that blends old with new.
If there are a lot of updates that need to be made, make sure to prioritize the renovations that will keep the home dry and safe from the elements. The roof and windows should be tended to first plus and crumbling masonry should be inspected and addressed immediately.
- Embrace the quirks and perks
Living in a brownstone may mean not having perfectly square walls, but it also provide an opportunity to blend modern items with historical accents to create a look that is beautiful and unique to your family.