The challenge of making an old cottage new again
One of the primary reasons to invest in a cottage renovation or remodelling project, is to bring an old or aging structure up to today’s standards for energy efficiency, longevity and even style or design. It can be a challenge working within an existing space, but professionals with experience remodelling historic properties know how to navigate these intricacies.
Here are a few tips we suggest that will help to make your old cottage new again:
Lighting and electrical is an important update to make in an aging cottage. Replacing traditional incandescent bulbs with LED or compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and adding lighting controls to moderate the amount of lighting in each room will reduce consumption and wasted energy exponentially.
Heat distribution and proper insulation is probably one of the most common and most critical upgrade older cottages require. Heating and cooling of the home can account for approximately 40%-70% of energy consumption. Older homes and cottages in particular tend not to have has much (or the right amount or type of) insulation—building codes, regulations, materials and trends have changed drastically over the years.
It’s typical for about 25% heat to be lost through the roof, 35% through the walls, 15% through the floor and 25% from windows and draughts. Thus, those are the focus areas for a remodelling project that aims to create a more energy efficient space.
Out of date appliances are also major contributors to a home’s overall efficiency. Appliance efficiency has come a long way, even in the past decade. When remodelling a cottage, take the opportunity to update all appliances from fridges and stoves, to hot water systems and washer/dryers.
Style and design
The most obvious way to turn an older cottage new again, is to make aesthetic changes to its design and style. The tricky part in any overhaul of your cottage’s design, is striking the right combination of old and new styles in an existing space. A balance can be achieved with the use of mixed materials, colour palettes and even floor plan layout.
Mixing materials like stainless steel and earthy wood grains or stone will nicely bring balance to a cottage with old and natural charm that needs a modern boost. Colour palette packs a larger punch than one might think. An accent wall in a bold colour, or a fresh coat of paint in every room will immediately update your interior. Lastly, a remodel where the floor plan changes—perhaps to remove walls and open up the space—will feel more modern, as open concepts have become the preferred interior aesthetic.