13 Historic Home Features Worth Preserving

Remodeling a historic home is an exciting undertaking with tons of possibilities to breathe new life into remarkable (and much older) features. It can also come with many limitations, restrictions, and questions. At Factor Design Build, we understand the ins and outs of fixing up historic homes. That’s why we’re sharing our thoughts on historic home features worth preserving, what needs more consideration, and when it’s time to call in the professionals for restoration or upgrades.

Preserve difficult-to-replace historic home features 

Original historic home features can be charming and full of value. On top of that, they’re typically difficult or near-impossible to replace. Features like:

Original wood flooring 

Simply put, replacing hardwood floors throughout a home comes with a high price tag. Especially if the ones you already have just need a little TLC. With the right care and attention, original hardwoods can successfully be refurbished and last for years to come.

Fireplaces 

Fireplaces are a great feature in any home, including historic ones. They serve as a unique focal point in any room, making it perfect for gathering, entertaining, and relaxing. Even if you decide not to use it, you can still restore and decorate it.

Woodwork

Like original hardwood floors, other woodwork like baseboards and trim can be easily updated and restored. They add the perfect amount of character throughout any home, helping strike the perfect balance between modern and historic.

Stained glass windows

Stained glass windows can tell a story and add a one-of-a-kind look to historic homes. Replacing them with other stained glass windows can be incredibly costly, and it may be difficult to create (or replicate) specific patterns. If you’re considering replacing them with regular windows, you’re eliminating a great characteristic that makes your home truly unique.

Keep original features intact 

Not all historic homes come with original (read: somewhat outdated) features. If you’re lucky enough to encounter one, here’s our advice for preserving them.

Dumbwaiters

A dumbwaiter is essentially a small elevator used to transport items like food, laundry, and anything else you don’t want to carry up and down the stairs. These are definitely worth preserving to make your home more accessible to those who may have trouble with stairs. Just be sure to install child-proof locks to prevent anyone from crawling in it. 

Coal chute

Coal chutes are typically found in historic homes located in colder climates and were used to heat the home. While that wouldn’t be necessary today, you can work with our design team to turn your coal chute into a hidden oasis — like a wine cellar!

Butler’s pantry

Who doesn’t love extra storage in their home? That’s exactly what a butler’s pantry provides. You can even make this space more of your own by upgrading it to a wet bar or food-serving station.

Laundry chute

This one should speak for itself, but it’s worth mentioning how great and convenient it is not to have to haul dirty laundry down a lot of stairs.

Root cellar 

Root cellars were originally built to preserve foods, and they can still serve that purpose today! They’re the perfect space for storing extra fruits and veggies, or you can take advantage of the elements by converting it to a wine cellar!

Historic home features the experts debate keeping 

Like with any other home, there are features in historic homes that may need some extra consideration before preserving them:

  • Wooden windows: These tend to be less energy efficient than other windows. However, you can update the original windows with inserts to minimize drafts and extend their lifespan.
  • Old floor plans: Many historic homes have floor plans that include a lot of small rooms, while modern houses are more open. However, these extra rooms can come in handy in the current and post-COVID world, as you can use them as home offices, schooling rooms, playrooms, fitness rooms, extra guest bedrooms, and more!
  • Pocket doors: Speaking of floor plans, many homeowners may be tempted to remove pocket doors to create more open space. However, they’re the perfect solution to creating separate areas throughout your home (for working or schooling) without taking up additional room.
  • Clawfoot tubs: If we’re being honest, clawfoot tubs look really great and are perfect for relaxing. But practically speaking, they take up a ton of space in bathrooms and can be dangerous to get in and out of. They’re also not the most comfortable to shower in.

Preserve your historic home with Factor Design Build

Remodeling and preserving a historic home takes a lot of time, patience, and expertise. That’s why it’s crucial to invest in help from reputable professionals — like Factor Design Build — who can help preserve, update, and restore historic homes. With more than 30 years’ experience, our full-service team of architects, designers, project managers, and carpenters can help every step of the way to preserve your Denver-area home’s features and bring its history to life. 

Get started by contacting Factor Design Build today!