The old house is a lottery, however, such games of chance sometimes bear fruit. 100-year-old property: what is it, how to deal with it, how much does it cost and do you need special documents for it? We tell about it in this article.

Understanding how the house should turn out in the end

Of course, before starting any renovation, you must clearly understand what you want to see in the end. This also applies to both an apartment in a new building newly put into operation and a house that can already celebrate its 100th anniversary. Often, the areas of such a space allow designing in the most daring and fastidious styles. However, do not forget that your 100-year-old house may be on the list of historical buildings, and then there may be no room for manoeuvre at all. Before you start developing a project with a designer, you need to be 100% sure that your house is just an ordinary average building. And only after that, our designer will be happy to help you decide what appearance of your new home will suit you in terms of functionality and character.

Analysis of the house for the possibility of reconstruction

A 100-year-old house renovation is not the easiest task that can be imagined. Of course, everything will depend on what initial state it has. Perhaps all this time it had good owners who had the opportunity to make a minor renovation and an overhaul on time. However, if it is not in the best condition, then the situation is quite different. To understand how things are with your building, you need to analyse the house for the possibility of reconstruction. In this way, you can understand whether it is worth investing in the renovation or whether it will be easier and cheaper to demolish the old building and build a new house in its place.

First of all, it is necessary to survey the old foundation and the properties of the soil at its base. If you are planning to make extensions, change the roof and engage in any other modernization that involves a change in the load on the structure (and you most likely plan), then the structure itself must be examined. Usually, this is done by individual specialists and, of course, the examination costs money. Therefore, we advise you to find out right away in what year the foundation was poured and approximate technologies for building houses at that time. This will help to understand whether it is worth spending money on examination or whether it is better to immediately abandon the idea of reconstruction.

The second step is to check the utility lines inside the house. Should they be replaced, what condition are the present ones in, is it possible to install a new type of heating if the existing one does not suit you? Before deciding to renovate, you should find out the answers to all these questions, because if you plan to live in comfort, then you are unlikely to enjoy spending crazy money on heating and constantly throwing firewood into an old stove.

And the third, most important thing which you should be sure of in advance is that your house does not belong to historical buildings. Usually, the reconstruction, and even more so the demolition of such objects, is either very difficult and full of formalities, or impossible at all.

Obtaining permission to renovate a historic house

If your house is included in the register as a historic building or a monument of architecture, then the requirements for its renovation or reconstruction will be completely different than for an ordinary building. Before starting any work, you must obtain a building permit from your local monument conservator and only then can you proceed with the application for a building permit. Briefly, it will be as follows:

Step 1. Checking the Local Development Plan or getting the development conditions if there is no such plan for your building plot.

Step 2. Submission of an application for obtaining the conditions for connecting the future house to the relevant utility lines: water, electricity, gas and sewerage.

Step 3. For design purposes, it is necessary to prepare a situational and elevation map at a scale of 1:500.

Step 4. Preparation for the architectural and construction project, taking into account the plot. This step should be done when you already have a building plan and a preliminary design of the house.

Step 5. Preparation of documents for the project documentation development team (PDDT). For this, you may need additional documents.

Step 6. Submission of the relevant application to the city or municipal administration along with the necessary annexes. This step is possible after you have all the documents required to apply for a building permit.

Renovation or reconstruction

The words renovation and reconstruction are often used interchangeably, but if you know the subtleties of their definition, it becomes obvious that these are completely different concepts. What is the main difference?

  1. Reconstruction includes structural partial changes. That means that the floor covering may, in general, be in good condition, but some individual elements may still need to be replaced.
  2. Reconstruction often costs more than renovation. This is because during the reconstruction it will be necessary to replace utility lines. Also, you can try to do the renovation at least partially with your own hands, but the reconstruction will have to be fully entrusted only to professional craftsmen. The cost of materials for reconstruction is usually higher than for regular renovation.
  3. Depending on what kind of work you plan to do you may also need a permit for the renovation. However, it might still turn out well and you won’t have to run around the authorities. But if you plan to do the reconstruction of the building, then you will need a permit to carry out construction work.

We would also like to remind you that the situation with historical buildings always varies from the situation with ordinary houses. In many architectural monuments, only renovation is allowed. Reconstruction of them is strictly prohibited. In such a house, you will not be able to change the layout, the appearance of the facade, and, most likely, even greatly change how it looks inside. Sometimes it will even be necessary to renovate the wall with real plaster instead of using drywall if the city requires it. And all other building materials will have to look as close as possible to the original.

Outdoor work:

Roof replacement

Most often, in old houses, roof replacement is a must. Of course, everything will depend on the initial state and whether there were residents of this house before you. Roof replacement is a very complex and expensive undertaking, especially when it comes to a complete replacement. However, there is a chance that you will not need this particular procedure, and everything can be done with only a minor reconstruction (for example, partial replacement of the roof truss). Roofing can be chosen depending on your budget and requirements for the appearance of the house.


A facade in a 100-year-old house has a chance of only having one original type, which by law you cannot change. This part of the construction work is also the first stage of thermal modernization. An experienced craftsman will help determine what insulation material is right for your 100-year-old house.

Windows and front door

The next step to increase the level of energy efficiency is the replacement of windows and the front door. Up to 40% of heat is lost through old windows on average. If you also add here the past-its-best front door, then in winter you may heat the street to a greater extent than your own house. Most often, the installation of even the most expensive windows pays off in the very first years of cold seasons.

If you can’t change the appearance of your house much, then you can install the same metal-plastic windows as they are installed in any modern building, only with a wood-like design. In addition to retaining heat, new windows also perfectly perform the role of soundproofing. If you can change the number of windows in the house, then it also becomes possible to let in more natural light into the house, to make the right redevelopment.

As for the front door, the question of both energy efficiency and security remains open here. In old houses, the front and interior doors are usually not in the best condition anymore and they can be successfully opened without even having a key.

Interior doors, in turn, will help create a complete picture of your interior. We will be happy to help you choose reliable manufacturers who will have a large selection of beautiful and reliable products.

Internal works:

Finishing works

Finishing works begin after all the exterior is finally completed. They include:

  1. Work with the ceiling. Older houses usually boast very high ceilings, which makes it easier to create a room design. For such a house, you can choose both minimalism and any direction of the classical style.
  2. Work with walls. Dismantling and construction of new walls, levelling surfaces, painting, laying wall tiles, wallpapering – all this happens at this stage of work.
  3. Floor replacement. Old houses often have a good floor made of high-quality expensive wood. And if that wood is repairable, you’re lucky. It will serve in the future not only you but also more than one next generation with proper care. Sometimes this floor needs only minor replacement and cleaning.

Plumbing work

Plumbing work in the house can be carried out at any time of the year, which means that there should not be any particular inconvenience. Good craftsmen replace the plumbing in just a couple of days without unnecessary difficulties.

Electrical upgrades

Working with electrics is one of the main procedures in any housing: be it 1-year-old or as many as 100 years old. Competent wiring solves a bunch of problems that, in theory, may arise after renovation. Therefore, it is necessary to approach the issue of electrical updates with all responsibility. Here you should not rely on yourself but put it in the hands of the real professionals: a designer who will make the electrical wiring on the plan, and after that – an electrician who will bring this plan to life with pinpoint accuracy.


Depending on what budget you have, what kind of interior design you prefer, and what kind of furniture you already have in the old house, you can try to save a tidy sum on furniture. If the existing elements are subject to reconstruction and you are not a fan of futuristic design, then an old chest of drawers, bedside cabinets or a bed can fit perfectly into the interior.

The cost of a 100-year-old house renovation

The cost of such an old building will start from about PLN 100 thousand. Of course, the final amount will depend on the amount of work, the initial condition, your budget, design, materials and other very variable conditions. In our experience, the 100-year-old house renovation can hardly be cheaper than this amount, but we will be able to give more detailed figures only after familiarizing ourselves with your facility.


To understand whether it is worth investing in the 100-year-old house renovation, you first need to assess its condition. Sometimes even an ordinary person who has absolutely nothing to do with construction can do this. If you see with the naked eye that everything in the house needs to be changed, starting with the foundation, then it is hardly worth doing a renovation in such a house and spending money on an appraiser. It will most likely be cheaper to demolish this building and build a new one. However, if your house belongs to architectural monuments, then the situation will be much more complicated because such a building is not something that can be demolished, even reconstruction is not always possible. Come to our office and we will be happy to help you solve your legal problems, as well as try to do everything possible to give your 100-year-old house a chance to have a new life.

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