By barbara Pronin
Buying an older home can net you lots of charm and character, often at a more affordable price than you’d pay for a newer model. But, say home improvement gurus, a few strategic renovations can go a long way toward making it more comfortable and efficient.
Renovation expert Bob Vila, host of TV’s popular “This Old House,” suggests the top six projects new owners may want to plan for when they move into an older home:
New front door – Replacing a decades-old front door will do more than improve your home’s curb appeal. A high quality new door will enhance energy efficiency and provide more dependable security.
New windows – Old windows are drafty and hard to operate. Replacement windows that meet Energy Star® guidelines are not only beautiful and easy to open but will save you hundreds of dollars a year on heating and cooling bills.
Updated electrical system – Modern life involves a lot of gadgets. If you are experience tripped circuits, buzzing noises, or dimming lights when you turn something on, a licensed electrician can update your system to make it safer and more compatible with today’s electronics.
More open floor plan – Older homes were built with smaller, boxed-in rooms that were fairly easy to heat. If you long for a more open floor plan, a licensed contractor can remove barriers and design a brighter, airier, more inviting arrangement of space.
Floors worth a second look – Owners of older homes often find the happy surprise of hardwood flooring under worn linoleum and carpets. If that’s the case, think about refinishing. In any case, check it out before installing new tile or carpeting.
Cook’s kitchen – An older kitchen can be a cheerful and homey gathering place. But if you’re not happy with the old cabinetry and countertops, replacements for both are a great investment – not just for you, but as a draw for new owners when and if you decide to sell the house.