Taking on the renovation of an entire house is quite a challenge but well worth it in the end. Older homes have a unique character that one rarely finds in newer constructions. The problem is, we sometimes want the old charm along with modern amenities. Using a few tips for renovating an old house is an excellent start toward preserving old home appeal with new home functionality.


Everyone’s favorite task, budgeting, is imperative when beginning any renovation project. It can be so easy to tack on a little here and a little there—then suddenly, there’s no money left and no bathroom floor. Set a realistic budget, and work with what you have.

Make a Plan

Spontaneity has its place in life but not in the renovation of your older home. Planning ahead is a great way to prioritize and stick to your budget. With a solid strategy, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that you’ll eventually be able to complete everything. And if you can’t get everything done, a plan shows where you should focus your efforts first.

As you plan, look around and decide what you will keep and what needs to change. Embracing some of the original features, colors, and styles will save time and money and help you maintain an older home’s charm.

Safety Issues

One major issue in older homes is not meeting today’s safety standards. You’ll need to check electrical components and get them up to code. Things like circuit breakers must meet a certain standard to handle today’s appliances safely and effectively. Older homes don’t come with GFCI outlets in the kitchen and bathrooms. You should also have a professional test for radon and black mold.

Cover the safety issues first as part of the renovation process, then move on to cosmetic alterations.

One Room at a Time

Imagine the shock as you start tearing out plumbing and knocking down walls, only to realize you now have nowhere to cook, sleep, or shower. The renovation plan should strategically map out which room will be out of commission when. If you have to live without the kitchen for a while, at least keep a bedroom available for sleeping. And if there is more than one bathroom, by all means, do them one at a time so that you can still use the other!


When the headache and joys of renovating are over, step back and enjoy your hard-earned reward. Then, let the fun begin with decorating. As you decorate your older home, incorporate some new items or new-to-you items that function well yet complement the old-world charm of your treasured home.

Use these tips for renovating your old house, enjoy the journey, and enjoy your older home.