Remodeling and preserving a Ridgewood and Mountain Lakes, NJ, Victorian house requires precise care of details and a knowledge of best restoration practices. These ideas are from home remodelers on renovating a Victorian home in such a way to preserve its charm and distinct look.
Identify the Victorian Type
A skilled home remodeling contractor may start the process by identifying the type of Victorian home you have in order to stay true to the details of its uniqueness. Among the varieties of Victorian homes are:
Terraced: These homes usually have sashed windows, low doors, and small rooms.
Arts and Crafts: The Arts and Crafts Victorian has a sloping roof, plain brick exterior, and charming casement windows.
Gothic Revival: Perhaps the fanciest of the Victorian homes, the Gothic Revival has stained glass windows, pronounced peaks and gables, and turrets.
Jacobethan: Resembling a castle, the Jacobethan Victorian home also has turrets, in addition to high chimneys, elaborate brickwork, and steep roof gables.
Art Nouveau: This type of Victorian house is usually characterized by decorative tiles around the fireplace and in bathrooms, curving walls, and stained glass.
Areas of Focus
Within and without the Victorian home are details that your home remodeler may work to preserve in particular:
Plaster walls: The walls may feature ornate plaster roses and cornice-like trim at the ceiling. Your contractor will likely have a source for replacement of any plaster details that are missing. Another concern is staining on the walls. There is usually a careful process for removing such stains and returning the walls to their former beauty.
Windows: Insulation can be a common problem for Victorian homes. If the windows cannot be salvaged and must be replaced, a specialist in Victorian replacement windows that are single or double-sash and insulated may be able to help.
Fireplaces: Most Victorian homes had a fireplace in each room to heat the often drafty home. Over time these fireplaces might have been covered over, and if you wish to uncover them, your remodeling contractor will need to take care with the opening. There are fireplace inserts that can retrofit a Victorian fireplace as well as authentic-looking reproductions.
Flooring: Many Victorian homes had plank flooring that can be refinished for an authentic appearance. When your contractor must replace planks, they may rely on access to specialized wood flooring for those spaces where the wood is missing.
Another common flooring is tile. Many Victorian homes had tile in the hallways, so if yours has tile that you wish to preserve, access to replacement and reproduction tile can be essential to the remodeling process.
Kitchen: The kitchen is one of the places where a full renovation might not serve the best purpose, depending on how far you want to go with your restoration and your lifestyle. Your contractor can update the kitchen with the latest conveniences, while incorporating the Victorian detailing that characterizes the era.
Bathrooms: The bathroom is another place where updating is necessary to life in this day and age. Two ways to keep the Victorian influence can be to use tile on the walls and to incorporate a clawfoot tub.