6 Differences Between Historic and Modern Homes

Renovation Project

Whether you’re looking to buy or build a house, one of the first things you should decide on is what style of home you’d like. When it comes to homes, traditional and historic or new and modern are descriptions that are often used to describe a house’s overall style. People often make assumptions when it comes to both of these styles, assuming traditional and historic may mean a house is run down or a modern house has no charm. In actuality, historic and modern are words that are used to convey the style of a home, more so than its current condition.

Knowing which style you prefer more can make finding your dream home much easier and help you know what to look out for. Of course, there are pros and cons to each of these styles of homes, so it all comes down to your preferences and what type of layout and style is better suited to your family and lifestyle. Generally speaking, homes that were built within the last 50 years were created using more modern materials and techniques, sometimes making them more resilient. On the other hand, historical or traditional homes that were built before 1920 will have more craftsmanship and handmade elements that are perfect for those looking for unique charm.

Whenever you buy a home, it’s good to have an idea of how much work needs to be done. Buying a home within your preferred style will likely reduce the amount of renovations and changes that are needed for you to enjoy the home. Below are some of the biggest differences that you’ll find between historic and modern homes and some of the main considerations you should make before purchasing one.

Floor Plan

One of the biggest and most noticeable differences between historic and traditional homes and newer, modern homes is the floor plan. Floor plans always reflect the lifestyle of the time the house was built, and you’ll notice that the floor plans of historic homes reflect just how different life was over 100 years ago. In earlier days, people didn’t have nearly as many possessions as families tend to have today. This is why older homes will often have smaller rooms with less closet space. Additionally, indoor plumbing was an expensive luxury during these times, which is why there are often less bathrooms than in newer homes. As lifestyles changed, so did floorplans, which is why modern homes will often come with walk-in closets, large, open spaces and bigger rooms overall.


Today, we have technology that makes it possible to produce windows in practically any size and shape, giving modern builders much more flexibility with window design and placement than historic builders had. This is why traditional homes will often have smaller, symmetrically-placed windows, while modern homes are more likely to utilize large windows and skylights. The size and placement of a home’s windows will greatly impact its overall look, so if you prefer floor-to-ceiling windows and lots of natural light, a modern home may be a better option for you.

Energy Efficiency

Another big, but invisible, difference between older and newer homes is how energy efficient they are. Utility costs are an expense that every homeowner should take into consideration when making their final decision. Due to their age and the materials and methods used during building, older, more historic homes will often be less energy efficient than newer, modern homes. Newer homes will have better insulation, making them more efficient at retaining heat and air, reducing utility costs. However, even though historic homes tend to be less energy efficient, there are ways to make them more energy efficient.


Building materials not only affect the energy efficiency of a home, but they can also sometimes pose certain health risks. There have been a lot of new safety regulations and building codes introduced in the last 100 years, so it’s understandable why older homes often have outdated materials. For example, materials used in a historic home’s plumbing, electric and even paint may pose a risk to its inhabitants, making it important to understand what updates should be prioritized and handled by an experienced professional.


Another difference between historic and modern homes doesn’t have anything to do with the house itself, but rather what’s around the house. It can sometimes be challenging to find a newer home with mature trees in the yard, due to the shorter amount of time it’s been on the property. Since it can sometimes take decades for trees to reach full maturity, you’re more likely to find impressive, lush landscaping with an older property.


Some of the reasons buyers may prefer an older home over a modern one include the craftsmanship and character that fill historic homes. The processes used to build older homes relied on skilled artisans that have since been replaced by more automated methods. The amount of craftsmanship in older homes means there are often unique details and characteristics that simply aren’t found in newer homes. As home building became more modern, speed and efficiency had to be prioritized over the time-consuming and ornate details found in historic homes.

There are a lot of factors to consider before purchasing a home, including the age of the home, the renovations needed and its overall style. If you’re interested in purchasing a historic home, then it’s likely that you’ll need to put a little work into it to make it your own. Sometimes that may mean a simple project like restoring the hardwood floors to their original glory or it could require something more involved like adding a bathroom or modernizing the kitchen.

No matter what type of work is needed, historic homes require a special level of care and attention that not all contractors are able to provide. Our team’s extensive experience with historic homes makes us well-equipped to tackle any renovation you might want, from the fast and simple, to the longer, more complex projects. We can help ensure the characteristics you love about your historic home remain, while improving it with modern conveniences that make it perfect for your family.

Copyright © 2023 Lemonade Marketing All Rights Reserved.


More Posts

Send Us A Message