If you wanted to bring your Victorian or Federal-style home into the 21st century, now may be the right time to do it. After scouring through a long list of properties for sale, survived a bidding war, and finally closed the deal on your dream home, you’ve been living in it for the past few decades or so. Not only does updating the look and feel of your home up to date, but you also improve your chances of listing your home to modern buyers if ever you plan to do so. 

Before you draft a plan for your renovation project, it’s important to be aware of the pitfalls that you might fall in to. Nothing’s worse than messing up a project and inadvertently wrecking your home in the process. Our team from GetPro Construction knows the right tools every homeowner needs to make a project into fruition – not to mention where homeowners easily trip. Here are common mistakes homeowners need to avoid when renovating older properties.


Taking a trip down memory lane can be a lot of fun, but can also help you decide on aesthetic decisions and avoid costly mistakes. You can add a lot on the success of your project with a little bit of due diligence ahead of time. This can easily be done by checking out old maps from your local historical society. To make things easier, you can do this online through the U.S. Geological Survey website.

The importance of this is this helps you decide on which materials to use based on your home’s climate and setting. If you look back at your property’s real estate listing, it should include a backstory into previous owners’ history. Be aware that materials that were previously used to build your home aren’t available anymore. This is due to the fact that older homes just like yours were constructed with different building standards than they are today.


A lot of contractors and homeowners are divided on the idea of making structural changes to older homes. Older floor plans can contradict when it comes to modern-day living. However, a well renovated and expanded kitchen can increase the value for almost all properties. Historical homes have a design that often has a more compartmentalized layout. Back in the day, these homes didn’t originally have kitchens, but rather, they were considered additions. If you work a lot on the spatial organization with your renovation project, you find that an open concept or floor plan would benefit a lot better.

It’s perfectly acceptable to knock down a few walls. What’s important is that the structure in itself isn’t being torn down, but rather reused. Keep this in mind when you plan to sell your home in the future. Everything from the square footage, kitchen, and room count goes hand in hand. Reducing any of these would only work against you. Remember, these are marketing factors that prospective buyers look into before they decide to attend an open house.


A lot of homeowners of historic homes tend to refurbish most of the home’s original elements, such as the woodwork or install reproductions. Although it helps whenever it comes to cutting costs, these pristine copies of your former home’s elements can look out of place. In fact, some of the materials used to refurbish them lack the quality and durability of the original materials. 

Your home’s original elements could be finishes or objects that aren’t in perfect condition, such as light fixtures that have a worn-out metal finish, or a wood trim that shows signs of wear and tear. It all basically comes down to the details. Nothing looks worse than antique details adjacent to poorly done new ones that are desperately trying to match. You just end up with a design choice where the new element highlights how dilapidated the old one looks. 


In this tech-savvy age, a lot of homeowners bypass hiring a professional for what they think in an easy job when it comes to renovations. Mistakes that you make can cost you a lot more than a handyman’s fee. This is true especially when it involves renovating older properties.

As simple as stripping the paint off the walls requires a lot of caution. Older homes weren’t originally done with modern paints that don’t have harmful substances such as lead. You need a professional to address the issue first before applying a new coat. Some cosmetic improvements are usually DIY-friendly. However, if the project requires finishes to be removed or walls to be knocked down, it should always be left to the right people. For older homes, even something as simple as changing a couple of fixtures should be approached carefully. For example, some faucets in older homes have different cutouts or dimensions compared to the more current ones. You need an educated opinion on how to salvage some of them or have them custom made for you. 

If your home has been well-maintained over the years, you probably wouldn’t run into any of these pitfalls. But the thing about older properties that have stood the test of time, you never know what might happen. It’s always best to stay on the side of caution to save you a lot of time and effort on your home renovation project. Working with our team at GetPro Construction can help you bounce back whenever you’re met with any unexpected problems in your project. To learn more about our services, contact us at (734) 822-9595 or reach out to us via email at