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Sep 09, 2015
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Fast Facts About Renovating a Historic Home

Although it’s 11 years old this year, the movie, The Notebook is still a crowd pleaser.  One of the most endearing parts of the story line is when the main character Noah shows his future wife the interior of a rundown house that he promises to buy and restore some day.  Because the movie is more love story than HGTV, only a few minutes are devoted to showing the fixing up of the home.  However, anyone that’s actually undertaken such a substantial remodeling project on a historic home knows all too well what goes into preserving it.  Here’s what you need to know about major elements of a historic home:

Plaster: The walls of most historic homes are a wood lath base with a few coats of plaster covering it.  This process needed to be done by a skilled laborer and the procedure is tedious.  Extra care must be taken to ensure the plaster was sleek & level.  Replacing the plaster with drywall can comprise a historic home’s integrity and even resale value.  If you’ve got areas that need attention, seek out a professional who can assist with repair of the plaster.

Flooring: Tour any historic home and you’ll be greeted with an abundance of hardwood floors.  One of the biggest cardinal sins of historic home renovation is covering them with carpeting or even worse, removing them completely.  When properly cared for, their lifespan is longer than yours.  They will need to be refinished or repaired from time-to-time.  Know that any contractor that suggests ripping them out is likely inexperienced and you should seek out a second opinion.  A helpful hint is to be sure to do any floor refinishing before you install any new appliances.

Plumbing & Electrical: Sigh…this is an area where sticking with the originals are highly discouraged (except for the claw foot soaking tub…keep that indefinitely!)  The plumbing & electrical in an old home rarely adhere to modern day building codes.  Most likely, the main panel, light fixtures and outlets should be updated.  This will prevent potential fire hazards.  It’s also a really smart idea to swap out galvanized pipes with copper or PEX ones.  Galvanized pipes are used minimally in modern-day plumbing projects because they corrode and promote blockages that inhibit the flow of water.

Insulation: Prior to the use of today’s insulation materials, it was not uncommon to find newspaper, horse hair and corn cobs used to insulate a home.  This is no laughing matter because the use of these materials makes a home much less energy efficient than it should be.  But before you start allocating money towards new insulation, it’s an intelligent move to get a home energy audit, complete with a blower door test.  A blower door uses a powerful fan that is mounted to an exterior door.  The fan pulls air outside of your home, allowing outside air pressure to flow through any unsealed cracks & openings.  This allows the technician to identify any areas that are lacking in insulation and in turn, appropriate solutions.  Installing your own insulation in a historic home is highly discouraged because you may be introducing it to areas that previously did not have it, and if the vapor barrier is disregarded, the insulation can become moist, rendering it ineffective.

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Delivering exceptional service is our No. 1 priority. Read these happy reviews from homeowners who were blown away by their home improvement experience with Lindus Construction.

"Service and work were excellent; thank you!"

Ron B.
Burnsville, MN
January 19, 2023

"The technician worked very efficiently and put in long hours to get the job done. Excellent work and we were very grateful."

Pam L.
Oakdale, MN
January 12, 2023

"I have used Lindus in the past and they once again, gave me excellent service. They stand behind their products and service. I have referred them to many friends."

Susan B.
St. Paul, MN
January 6, 2023

"We have had them do work at our home before and at my parents' house. They did great work!"

Sue R..
St. Croix Falls, WI
January 3, 2023

"The two young men that did the install were great.  They were personal and appeared very conscientious."

Jim H.
St. Anthony, MN
December 30, 2022

"Always polite and considerate. Last inspection was a quality control and I was impressed with him and his thorough inspection. Great job!"

Irene S.
Bloomington, MN
December 20, 2022

"We had a great experience with Lindus. The communication has been great. When I had a question I received a return email or phone call quickly. When Lindus employees were at our home, they explained what they were doing in great detail, my questions were always satisfactory answered. I will gladly continue to refer Lindus to friends and neighbors."

Roger D.
Shoreview, MN
November 29, 2022

"I highly recommend Lindus Construction. I have used them for three projects over the last few years and they are easy to contact, the people are friendly and they do very high quality work. Don’t hesitate to use Lindus for your next project."

Darrell M.
Lino Lakes, MN
June 9, 2022
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