How to Modernize an Old Home: 6 Effective Renovation Tips

There’s nothing quite like the charm of an old home. From quaint craftsman gems to mid-century modern masterpieces, vintage homes have a style that can only be mimicked. Unfortunately, they can also lack the convenience and safety only modern amenities can provide. But with a little time and effort, these houses can be upgraded to give you the best of the both worlds. This post will share 6 of our top suggestions on how to modernize an old home:

1. Electrical Rewiring

One of the first things to evaluate when considering how to modernize an old home is to check out the electrical. Old homes often still have knob-and-tube electrical wiring or disintegrating cloth wiring. While these types of wiring are still effective if they’ve been maintained well, they are not as safe or robust as modern solutions.

If you’ve noticed electrical problems in your old home, this will certainly be a worthwhile upgrade. Consult with a professional electrician for an estimate, which will vary depending on the age and size of your house.  

2. Installing New Insulated Windows

Your old windows might look great, but they are dripping dollars every time you run the HVAC. To modernize your home, replace the old leaky windows with triple-paned windows that are well-sealed to keep the elements (and noise) outside. Wood-clad fiberglass window treatments can be painted to match your existing home, and you will be happy to see heating bills fall when the rain begins in autumn.  

3. Choosing New Kitchen Countertops

There’s a good chance that your kitchen counters haven’t been updated in decades, which makes it one of the easiest ways to modernize the look of your home. Nowadays there are many exciting materials to choose from such as granite, butcher block, stainless steel, or even concrete. Considering a full kitchen remodel? Choose a style that you feel will match the overall vision for your kitchen in the future. Or for more advice, contact the Portland remodeling professionals at Square Deal Remodeling.  

4. Replace Your Old Floors

Replacing floors in an old house is a larger project, but one that will both transform your home and even add value down the road. And if that original wood flooring is hidden beneath laminate or carpet, then you might be in even more luck! Old wood flooring can be repaired if it’s started to chip or sag. If it’s become weathered over the years, consider a refinish to a lighter or darker shade depending on your décor and vision. If you’ve got dated carpet or synthetic floors, consider modern alternatives that will still match the aesthetic of your architecture. Bamboo and cork are sustainable options, while concrete and engineered wood flooring are also gorgeous choices.  

5. Open up Your Floor Plan

Older homes tend to be quite compartmentalized. The kitchen, in particular, was often hidden behind walls and doors rather than acting as an extension of the living room or dining room. While respecting the integrity of your home’s original style, opening up the floor plan will make it feel much more spacious and comfortable for years to come. Professional contractors such as Square Deal can make an in-home consultation and determine which walls can safely be removed or shifted. Consider turning a kitchen wall into a counter space or eliminating dividing walls between the living room and dining room.  

6. Updating the Exterior

The curb appeal of old homes is sometimes the trickiest consideration to keep in mind. If you’re itching to freshen up the look of your house, consider researching period-correct enhancements that won’t threaten the integrity or history of your home. There are also a variety of modern materials that can match the style of your original home with the advantage of new technology that will last decades longer. If you’re looking to replace wood siding, for example, you’ll have the option of choosing treated woods that are much more weather resistant and durable than traditional wood.


Ready to start modernizing and restoring your old home? Be sure to contact Square Deal Remodeling to schedule a consultation. Also, click through our portfolio for even more design inspiration.