Home restoration involves the bringing back to an original state a home or portion of a home; by way of construction and renovation. Taking anything old and making it new again through the process of exact duplication and replacement. This kind of detailed and precision type of work can involve the replacement of the homes' woodwork, windows or doors, wiring, plumbing, siding, roofing, and exterior cladding or brickwork; while making it look the same as the day the home was originally built many years ago.
Restoring a home or a portion thereof is no easy task for a novice DIY'er to attempt. This kind of job should only be left up to the professionals: like Bob Villa in This Old House, working beside his trusty expert carpenter and friend, Norm Abram. Make sure that all your homes paperwork, insurance, drawings, plans and permits are up to date, and the work you are performing is also up to code. Keep in mind, that when the old home was originally built the building code probably didn't even exist.
As a homeowner considering a home restoration please know that any piece of wood, trim work, mouldings, wainscoting, and windows and doors, can be remade to look identical to the original wood that is to be replaced. Modern lathes and other wood fabricating machinery can create an exact duplicate of any original wood, and with millimeter precision.
These types of renovations involve a careful inspection of the original home; literally every nook and cranny of the home must be meticulously examined for deficiencies and defects before one can begin the restoration process. You must know what you are facing, in terms of damage, and the need to repair or replace any piece or section of the home. Take plenty of photos and videos of all your inspections, so that it they can review and discussed with your contractor or builder.
Older homes are constantly having leaking basement issues, and are filled with the smell of mold and mildew of years, perhaps even decades of neglect. The foundation of the home needs to be worked on first, and fortified as needed with wooden posts or steel beams to properly support the rest of the home; while properly repairing the foundation and its walls; thus protecting the home, by preventing any further water damage from the grounds above, seeping below the earth and into the home. This is precisely when and where you need the expertise of qualified and experienced structural engineer.
The next step once the foundation is completed is to tackle the exterior of the home, its walls and roofing; so as to prevent any future weathering damage from the elements into the home's interior, as the restoration is going on. Replacing the roof with the original roofing may mean installing new slate or stone roofing materials; or, replacing the roof with cedar shakes. The roofing experts suggest that any new roof be installed with sufficient venting, so as to prevent dry rot by trapped in hot air that can't escape from the home; and instead, gets lodged on the roof boards under the roof.
Once you know the home is secure from the elements, you can begin the time consuming process of restoration.