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Then living in an older house, with its irregularities, may not be for you.

“I would do anything on earth to maintain the wavy glass in the windows, even if it means having a drafty room,” says Gambrel. But, if you’re not that person, then that’s not the right house for you.” Keep an eye out—especially around the ceilings, floors, and windows—for signs of water damage.

“In Manhattan, I have a house that was built in 1827. The baseboard might be 6” high in one location and then 8” in another.” Similarly, if you’re figuring out where to add bathrooms and closets, try to view the problem as an opportunity.

The restored Captain Overton house has a bedroom with a bed built into a niche that was created when Gambrel added a bathroom to the second floor.

“It’s called a split system, and it’s a really good way to have not as much damage done to the historical fabric of the house.” Leveling out uneven floors in an old house can be a time-consuming—and costly—process.