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Creating open-plan rooms is a renovator's favorite way to modernize an old home—but that’s not necessarily possible in many houses. Such factors as construction materials, the site and landscaping, support beams, and plumbing lines will limit you—unless you’re planning to do a total tear-down or pay through the roof for more substantial renovations. And if you’re looking at an older home or in a neighborhood with historical significance, beware: There may be deed restrictions or other limitations on what you can do to alter the look of the house.
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