They just don’t build them like they used to, do they? The charms of old buildings are undeniable and buying one in this day and age may be one of the only ways to ensure that your home has certain features that are simply no longer implemented on a regular basis. However, it is important to keep in mind that old buildings come with one big caveat – you need to renovate them. Depending on the type of building, its age, and various other factors, this may be very difficult, but if the end result is the home of your dreams, it’s definitely a rewarding experience.
Where to start?
Before you even begin planning the renovation of your building, you need to do your research. We’ve already mentioned that the age of your building plays an important part in the process itself, but it also determined what types of permissions and testing you need to acquire and perform beforehand. Once you’ve performed all the research you need and you know what can be achieved, it’s time to temper your expectations even further and set up a budget. You can’t decide on the work you want to be done until you actually know how much money you’re going to spend on it. While it’s important to set up limits for your project, it’s also a good thing to remember that you need to be flexible. The scope of work can be greatly impacted by various factors, so you should be prepared to spend more than you plan at this stage – make a nest egg. Of course, the opposite is also true and you might end up saving money in unexpected places and spending less than you anticipated. The key is always to stay flexible.
Planning and design
Now that you know exactly how much you are able and willing to spend, you can move on to much more pleasant matters. Whether you’re just sketching it out or outlining a full-on architectural plan, this is the stage at which you decide what exactly gets renovated and what your finished building will look like. A couple of pointers to get you started:
- make a list of all the things that you want and all the things you definitely don’t want. This will make it easier to plan out both your interior and exterior more thoughtfully once you get to the drawing stage,
- make a list of the contractors or subcontractors that you need to take care of the job, e.g. if you’re remodeling the exterior of a tall building, you might want to hire abseiling painting experts,
- if any of the operations on your list goes beyond what is normally permitted, make sure that you apply for all the necessary permits.
Out with the old, in with the new
Renovating an old building takes a lot of tearing down old walls to bring in new, so once you’ve secured all the elements that you want to stay untouched, you need to take care of the demolition process. It’s time to hire contractors that will take care of this in a careful, precise manner so as not to damage the parts of the building that need to stay. Of course, a container for waste will be pretty much necessary.
Once you’ve made sure that all that’s left is what is definitely staying, it’s time to handle the rest – roofing, foundations, siding, windows, structural carpentry, insulation, plumbing, electricity and all those other elements that simply make a building function. If we’re talking about a high-rise building, rope access technicians are your best bet when it comes to ensuring that everything is taken care of in the smoothest manner possible.
While it may seem like a daunting task, it goes without saying that a properly renovated old building is a sight to behold. Don’t be afraid to follow your dreams – follow a plan and everything will eventually fall into place!