Brief 

Old houses often come with significant issues that need fixing, posing creative challenges for renovators. Regular homeowners can learn a lot from the creators of this show. Here are some great tips, both from Cheap Old Houses, and in general, to renovate any old house like a pro.

 

Insight

Who doesn’t love a good renovation? There’s an unparalleled pleasure in watching something old and beaten down get a second life, often with relatively simple fixes such as new wood and fresh paint.

Wife and husband team Elizabeth and Ethan Finkelstein understood this when they began their show Cheap Old Houses, which premiered on the HGTV network in 2016. Since their launch, they’ve gained more than 1.6 million followers–so they must be doing something right.

According to Real Simple, the couple started the show as a way not only to demonstrate the power of renovation but to save historical homes that are in sore need of repair. Most of the homes sell for less than $150,000.

Old houses often come with significant issues that need fixing, posing creative challenges for renovators. Regular homeowners can learn a lot from the creators of this show. Here are some great tips, both from Cheap Old Houses, and in general, to renovate any old house like a pro.

 

Work With the House You Have

While you might have big visions for your old house, The Finkelsteins caution that you have to be realistic and work with what you have. You can’t turn a Tudor into a Dutch Colonial through a few minor renovations, and you don’t want to. Instead, appreciate the bones of the one you’ve got and see what you can do to restore it to its former glory.

 

Go Slow

Renovating an older house requires patience and is not a speedy process, the Finklesteins say. Elizabeth told Real Simple, “We really preach the idea of slow restoration.” That might mean even living in the space for some time before doing anything major to it. She gives the example of their own kitchen restoration of the old house they live in.

 

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