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HIP Home > Tips > Architectural Tips >

Colonial

Add a porch

Try adding a porch to your home. You can use columns and extensive moldings to add classical definition to the new porch.

Create more space

If you have a small, dark kitchen, consider enlarging it. If there is an adjacent storage room you can incorporate that into the kitchen, and you can brighten the kitchen with a skylight or larger windows.

Old colonial homes may have limited closet space. You can store personal items in an armoire or in closets that you or a professional builds.

Make appropriate repairs

Your old colonial home may have iron water pipes, which are subject to sediment clogging. You should replace those pipes with copper or CPVC tubing.

For any repairs you make, you'll want to ensure that you keep your home's historical character. For instance, roof repairs might maintain the form, color, and material of the original roof.

If your chimney cap is crumbling and leaks water, you can repair it yourself. Knock the crumbling part away with a hammer, and then rebuild the cap with ready-mix mortar.

Furnish your home

If you are interested in furnishing and decorating your old colonial home with period chairs, sofas, shelving, baskets and pottery, there are companies that manufacture reproductions of those items.

Inspect for asbestos and lead paint

If your colonial home was built before the late 1970s, you may want to have it inspected for asbestos. If the asbestos is deteriorating, it must be professionally removed.

If your home was built before 1978, it may have lead paint. If you have small children, if the paint is crumbling, or if you plan on remodeling, you will want a professional to address the lead paint problem.

Paint your home

Colonial homes often look best when painted in traditional colors. This means a white exterior and muted color such as off-white inside.
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