BEND, OREGON – In many ways, the space in which we choose to reside often defines us. Yes, we decorate our humble abodes in ways which reflect our personal style and translate our personality through furnishings, art and color. But, in what one ultimately views as a literal money pit with the only solution being serious demolition, others are able to visualize the inner beauty of unlimited potential.
Tips for Converting a Historic or Other Unique Structure into a Home
– Don’t expect it to be cheap: Some structures are old, abandoned, and have little value, so they can be picked up for bargain prices. But others may have significant real estate values, especially if they’re located in a central part of town that gives the structure land value. This may be the case with old banks, school houses, churches, and other structures.
– Plan to spend time and money on renovations: Most people wouldn’t expect a 19th century school house that’s been sitting vacant for 50 years to be move in ready, but it’s still important not to underestimate the amount of work you may be looking at. Electrical and plumbing systems may need serious updates, walls, fixtures, and kitchen and bathroom equipment may need to be brought in, and older structures may have unusual surprises that pop up in the renovation process.
– Heating: With such high ceiling and with some building having outdated heating systems; an important consideration is; financially, how much will it cost to efficiently heat the building? If new ceilings are installed and rooms are created to optimize heat circulation, this is less of a problem. Rooms are often big enough to feature stunning log burners and fireplaces. Another option is to choose which rooms to heat. Another possibility is underfloor heating, which allows for greater residual warmth. If you are unable to make alterations on the building in terms of the construction of new floors, it is worth seeking advice as to what your options are and which would be the most beneficial.
– Research zoning: Many repurposed homes are former commercial or industrial buildings. You may need to petition to change the zoning on the structure before you’re able to use it as a residence.
– Accept that the building isn’t like regular homes: Converted structures often have unusual shapes, such as completely round silos or even missile bunkers. Traditional furniture may not work, and you may have to build your own or hire someone to create custom pieces for you.
– Preserve the building’s historic charm: Part of what makes converted buildings so appealing is their history. Be careful not to bulldoze right through replacing original fixtures, ceiling tiles, or wood flooring unless it just can’t be salvaged.