Living in the countryside is a lot cheaper. And you get to save a lot of money on rent, supplies, and travel.
But if you’ve decided to relocate to the countryside, you’ll first need to start with renovating the old farmhouse and transform it into a modern house.
However, this process isn’t straightforward because, like with any renovation project, it does have its unique set of challenges.
In many cases, most homeowners start renovating their farmhouse without first creating a detailed plan.
As a result, the process of renovating the farmhouse ends up with numerous mishaps that hinder the smooth completion of the project. If you don’t wish to experience such disappointments, look no further.
Below is a list of things you need to know when renovating your farmhouse.
1. Understand the Legalities
Renovating a farmhouse is a massive project. Therefore, you shouldn’t rush straight ahead and start thinking about the farmhouse renovation design without consulting with the local authorities.
Doing this is crucial. Familiarize yourself with the building codes, rules, and regulations set to govern the renovation of old houses in the region.
Subsequently, you’ll need to pay government fees to get the necessary licenses or permits.
You must understand the building codes and regulations because some have changed due to health concerns in the last few years.
For example, farmhouses built before 1978 may have used lead-based paint. But current regulations require all the lead must be removed when renovating the farmhouse.
And the professionals doing this must pass lead-safe work training.
You’ll also need to learn of other aspects of these regulations because some areas of farmhouses constructed in the 1970s, such as flooring tiles, insulation materials, siding shingles or roofing, and other areas might contain asbestos.
2. Make Sure an Inspection Is Done
Renovating a farmhouse is often complicated, and there’s a high chance of unwanted issues arising later on, thereby increasing your expenses.
This is the last thing you want. You’d surely want the smooth running of your project.
The best way to prevent issues in the future is to get a commissioned building surveyor to survey the farmhouse.
A building survey is worthwhile despite this costing you between USD$600 and USD$1,000. This price depends on the house’s age, size and location.
With a report on the farmhouse’s condition, you can identify possible issues before buying the farmhouse, such as structural problems and the need for a new roof.
This is crucial as some issues are hard to determine with the naked eye, but an inspector will point them out after a comprehensive assessment.
Therefore, you shouldn’t overlook the need for having an inspector with you.
They will be a suitable guide to help you decide whether or not the farmhouse is an excellent investment.
A professional home inspector usually identifies issues with your farmhouse by assessing several areas, including;
- Plumbing fixtures
- Heating systems
- The roof
- Electrical wiring
Consequently, they’ll give you a list of items in your farmhouse that should be replaced or repaired.
3. Don’t Try DIY
The thought of saving some money when renovating your farmhouse is quite tempting.
Many homeowners nowadays resort to this, thanks to the online tutorial videos and blogs on do-it-yourself (DIY) tasks.
While all these might be useful, the task of remodeling your farmhouse might be a bit too much for you despite your expertise as a DIYer.
You might end up making mistakes that eventually cost more than what you would have spent paying a professional contractor.
DIY also takes you a longer time to complete the project.
Instead, you should hire a professional contractor even for tasks that might seem trivial, such as removing or stripping paint from the old house.
This is crucial because the old pain in most historic farmhouses contained lead which is harmful to your health.
A professional will also know how best to preserve your house’s original character as best as possible.
They do this by restoring items rather than ripping them apart, thereby preserving the house’s original elements and saving you money.
4. Set a Realistic Timeline
Home renovations usually take longer than earlier anticipated. This situation is a lot worse when renovating a farmhouse in a relatively remote location.
It can take a lot longer to get the essential materials from the nearby town.
Therefore, you should set a realistic timeline and expect delays to free yourself from constant frustrations due to how slowly the renovation project can take.
For example, the delays in renovating your home could be due to the longer time it takes to find a new fixture, and not the number of hours it takes to remove the fitting.
This is even worse when the farmhouse is deep in a rural area because you couldn’t simply go to a nearby hardware store.
Instead, you needed to source the fixtures from the city center.
Therefore, you shouldn’t be surprised if a project estimated to be completed within a week eventually takes six weeks.
5. Renovate Authentically
The cost of renovating an old farmhouse is often remarkably high.
Because of this, many farmhouse owners resort to quick-fix solutions, using cheap modern materials or by cutting corners.
However, these actions are no good for the house as your renovation project won’t end up looking authentic.
In addition, you end up spending a lot more money to do repairs in the future.
With this in mind, you need first to understand the materials used during the renovation project.
Ideally, it’s best to use the same techniques and materials, or better ones, when renovating your farmhouse.
You also should preserve some of the house’s quirky attractions that in the first place made you interested in it.
Doing this makes your farmhouse stand out from a city-style home. It retains its character.
If you’ve always dreamed of owning a farmhouse, you’ll need to be aware of the main challenge which stands in your way, and that is renovating it.
If done correctly, this entire process can be quite rewarding and fulfilling.
But because a farmhouse renovation project is often complex and filled with lots of potential pitfalls, you’ll need to prepare yourself properly for unforeseen circumstances.
This guide has highlighted all the essential details you need to know to ensure your home renovation project goes through smoothly.