7 Signs You’re Renovating a Home in New England

July 12th, 2016 | Kitchens

There are certain colloquialisms that come with renovating a home in New England. Some are charming, others are downright annoying, but all are unique to our beautiful area of the country. Here are a few of the surefire signs you’re renovating a home in New England that we’ve pinpointed over the years.

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You have to present your designs to a committee. When you move into a historic New England town, you also take an unofficial oath that you’ll help preserve its charm. Which means your chances of replacing your 1800s colonial with a contemporary glass-house design AND staying friends with your neighbors is slim to none. In fact, in some districts and towns you might have to go before a historic preservation committee before making any sort of major architectural modifications to your home. Therefore, your best bet for design ideas is usually turning to the house next door.

You want your house to look small. Going hand-in-hand with the above: many residents are so enamored with the classic architecture of New England’s homes that they prefer to hide their additions. Which you know if you’ve ever driven by that teeny Cape Cod home only to find that once you pass it, there is an addition that stretches a few dozen yards behind it.

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You NEED heated floors. In some parts of the country, heated floors might be considered a luxury. But for anyone who has stepped out of a shower in Massachusetts in the middle of January knows, heated floors are actually a must-have in New England.

You’ll make budget cuts in other areas to ensure you have the best insulation possible. Cold winters, and hot, humid summers mean that good insulation has the potential to be life changing.

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The electrical is older than your grandparents. If you’ve ever been faced with the task of upgrading electrical during a home renovation, there’s a good chance you contractor pulled something out of the walls that looks like it belonged in a museum, like knob-and-tube wiring.

You find something during demolition that you want to keep forever. From perfectly weathered barnboard that would make the ideal kitchen table, to a long-lost piece of dishware or book belonging to a homeowner from centuries past, New England homes are veritable treasure troves.

You feel bound by tradition. New England style is classic, preppy, and traditional, and you might find yourself leaning in those directions even if your personal style is a bit more modern, industrial, or glamorous. Though the exterior of your home might be best left to tradition (or mandated as such!), inside it’s all up to you! Strike out and go contemporary  — many of our happiest clients have filled their historic homes with modern decor and cutting-edge appliances.


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