Q: We are about to purchase a c. 1690 New England colonial in New Milford, Connecticut, that we intend to restore. We have completed all of the "traditional" inspections; the post and beam construction and stone foundation appear to be sound. Where is the best place to begin a large-scale renovation?

— Stewart, New Milford, CT

A: Tom says:You first need to have a good plan on just what you want. Start with the things like wiring, plumbing and heating. I would say that if you are doing this project yourself, you want to make sure to go slowly. Start with one room that will have no impact on any other room. The kitchen and bathrooms will cost the most, but they will also bring the biggest return for the money. Complete the room—from electrical, heating, plaster, paint to floors. Then move on from there. As you move forward with each project, you'll be able to look back with satisfaction on the ones you've already completed, and know that there is an end in sight.
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