Owning a heritage home is a dream shared by many. Indeed, houses with this nomenclature have a particularly interesting cachet. However, regarding heritage home renovations, you must be careful because not everything is allowed.

So, how do you combine modern comfort with preserving the historic character of heritage homes? That’s what we’ll be looking at in this article.

What is a Heritage House?

A heritage house is particularly interesting from an archaeological, architectural, artistic, emblematic, ethnological, heritage, landscape, scientific, or technological point of view. The decision to designate a house as heritage is the responsibility of the municipality in which it is located. It’s a protective measure to preserve local heritage.

There are a host of different nomenclatures and classifications, and it’s easy to get lost in them: cited, designated, classified or declared property, protected, inventoried or ancestral heritage building, and so on. Whether you’re planning to buy a heritage home or already own one, take the time to check with your municipality to find out the exact status of the property. The exact nature of the work you can do will be affected by the precise nomenclature.

How do you Renovate a Heritage House?

First and foremost, check the regulations with your municipality. You can’t just do whatever you want with a heritage house. You’ll need authorization before restoring, altering, repairing, or modifying a heritage home.

You’ll also need authorization to demolish, move, or use it as a backup for construction. Generally speaking, you must preserve the property’s good condition and value.

To do this, you need to make a formal application to your municipality. Once the application has been accepted, you have one year to start the work.

You should also be aware that grants are available for renovating heritage homes. Check with your municipality or the Quebec government.

What Renovations Can Be Made to Make a Heritage Home More Comfortable?

Older homes are undoubtedly beautiful but tend to be less well-insulated and more challenging to heat. That’s why it’s a good idea to make smart renovations to make heritage homes more comfortable.

  • Improving Your Heating System

    A central wood-burning stove may look great, but it’s not always the most efficient or environmentally friendly option. An interesting solution for heritage homes is the addition of a central heat pump or electric furnace. The heat pump will keep you comfortable in both winter and summer. On the other hand, the electric furnace is remarkably discreet and efficient.

  • Re-Insulating

    Some older homes have outdated insulation. Updating your home’s insulation will make it easier to heat in winter and stay cooler in summer.

  • Updating the Bathroom

    Bathroom renovations can be costly, but they add a great deal of comfort to a heritage home. Calling in the experts will enable you to balance the new fittings’ modernism with your bathroom’s classic style.

  • Changing Windows and Doors

    Sometimes, these openings reach the end of their useful life. You’ll need to choose replacements with similar proportions and features for a heritage home. If your original windows were wood, you may have to use this material for the new ones. However, you can choose double or triple windows, making your architectural jewel more energy-efficient.

  • Restoration Work

    Home restoration work involves restoring or replacing house elements, using traditional materials and techniques wherever possible. For example, this might involve redoing the outside staircase using the same woodwork or repairing and repainting the shutters.

Any renovation project requires a certain amount of planning, and this is even truer for heritage homes, whose character needs to be preserved. If you’d like to change the heating system in your home, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’ll find the best option for you.

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