The Beginners Guide to Renovating a Historic Home

Whether you currently own a historic home or you’re thinking of acquiring one, investing in an old house takes an extra ounce of personalized care – as well as some help from seasoned professionals.

As custom woodworkers for nearly two decades with a niche in recreating historic columns, pillars, and other wooden features, today we’re sharing our tips and tricks for affordably restoring old houses while honoring their extraordinary charm.

Keep reading as we map out a strategy to conquer any historic home restoration project by replicating the enchanting pieces that are already inside! Or, reach out to TurnTech now for a free price estimate on any historic house renovation idea.


A Basic Introduction to Restoring Old Houses

renovating a historic house exterior

A “historic home” is defined as any structure preserved by the National Registry of Historic Places. So, no matter if your home is technically recognized as historic, or it is just an old charmer, it’s understandable you want to honor and preserve its original beauty – whether you’re being forced to by a historical society or not.

Restoring an old house is NOT like restoring a normal house. When renovating a historic home, there are certain rules, regulations, permits, and materials that your local historic society may require you to abide by.

Before you swing a sledgehammer or pick up a pry bar, here are some basic things to know about restoring old homes:

Things to know about restoring old homes

  • Permitting is a necessity: Every historic house renovation or remodel requires permitting not only from your local township, but from your local historic commission as well.
  • Materials require approval too: Just like building permits, the materials you plan to use in your historic home renovation must also often go through the approval process with local authorities. Again, the reason being for keeping the home’s original splendor intact. Anything from energy efficient window upgrades to the type of wood used on your front porch posts need to be submitted for review.
  • Replication is key: One of the biggest factors when it comes to renovating a historic home is matching the original style of columns, pillars, table legs, moulding, and wood staircase components when updating them to a modern condition. Though this may seem like an impossible task, a custom woodshop (like TurnTech) not only makes it feasible, but easy! We’ll discuss more on this topic later in the article, but you can skip ahead here!
  • Budgets are merely baselines: Considering the age of the home and the complexity of the project, the cost to restore old houses very often run above the estimated budget. Professional contractors typically suggest setting expectations for encountering hiccups and possible material shortages along the way!

The best way to stay on budget while restoring old houses is to get honest pricing upfront from your contractors and suppliers. When you trust TurnTech as your preferred woodworking company in PA, you can expect accurate prices and lead times on every standard or custom piece you need. To learn more about renovating a historic home with Turntech or to get a free quote, contact us via phone or online form now!


Historic Home Restorations: Interior & Exterior Woodworking

historic home restorations with wood columns

As we mentioned earlier, one of the most important aspects of restoring old houses is exactly matching and replicating its existing charm and character. Not only is this a wise aesthetic decision, but it is often required by local historic societies as well!

With a family-owned woodworking company like TurnTech, the design possibilities are truly endless! A few of the most popular items we’ve designed for historic home remodels include:

  • Porch columns or posts
  • Moulding varieties including crown, rope and decorative
  • Wooden corbels and brackets
  • Total staircase components
  • Table or island legs
  • Custom bun feet
  • Interior columns or pillars
  • And so many more wooden home accents!

If you need just a few pieces or an entire home’s worth of custom woodworking, our team at TurnTech can get the job done – and done right. We always encourage customers to send us photos of existing pieces so that we can perfectly replicate them! See some of our best work with restoring old houses here – or learn more about one of the most common historic home renovation projects: restoring historic front porches!


Custom Order Your Products for Renovating a Historic Home

historic staircase upgrades

Renovating a historic home can be tricky, but Turntech is here to make it easier! By simply sending us a photo of the item you need recreated, our team will design and manufacture a custom porch column, table leg, moulding, corbel, staircase feature or other wooden accessory you need to complete your historic home remodel seamlessly. Our custom millwork company has years of experience working with professional historic home restoration contractors to create and deliver the materials they need for your project.

Take the guesswork out of your historic house renovation – contact TurnTech today!

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They did superior project for the columns on my front porch. The house will be 100 years old in 2024 and the parts of the columns they made fit the time period. The 1st photo has the new torso made from Spanish cedar installed under this column and the remaining torso beside it. All 9 are now installed. The 2nd photo is the same column with the rotted torso.
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