It’s easy to see why so many people like to buy and redo old homes. Such places have character, history and are often beautifully designed. They might boast features such as architectural windows and solid plaster walls that are not present in many modern buildings. Still, the process of renovation can be extremely long, complicated, expensive and even dangerous to your health. That’s why we have prepared the following list of tips for you, which should help you cover all the important aspects of renovating your old home.
One of the most important things when it comes to redoing an old home is to make sure you have enough money for all the works that need to be performed. In order to establish exactly how much money you should set aside, the best thing to do is to have an inspection performed by an experienced expert, who should tell you what kind of works you can expect and how much they would cost, at least roughly. You should also set aside some money for unexpected works and problems that often arise during renovation project.
You are more likely to have problems with electrical wiring and plumbing problems in old houses. Until the second half of the 20th century, galvanised pipes were used both within the house and for sewer lines. These pipes get clogged easily and corrode over time. You should probably replace them with copper or PVC pipes if you’re renovating your home.
When it comes to electrical wiring, chances are you need to bring it up to code. Your old electrical panel should probably be replaced, since it was never meant to provide so many electrical appliances with power. Sometimes you can’t even use two appliances together without blowing a fuse, most likely.
Depending on when your house was built, you might have a problem with lead in the paint or asbestos in the flooring or roofing. If the project requires scraping or cutting these materials, the powder or dust can be extremely dangerous. Many people have filed serious asbestos claims, since their health deteriorated as a consequence of the presence of asbestos in their homes. That’s why you should hire experts in asbestos removal, who will know how to do it without jeopardising the health of your family.
Different building standards and codes were applicable when your old home was built and the same can be said about the materials used. Finding materials that match the rest of your house for renovation can be a very challenging job and your best option might be a reuse centre or an architectural salvage store. What you need to expect, however, is that you’ll have to pay more if you really want to get hold of matching, original materials.
What you’re probably aware of is that the layout of your old home is quite different from those of modern homes. There were no master bedrooms with walk-in closet or attached bath. Old homes were also not famous for open floorplan layout between the kitchen, dining and living room, so you have two options here. The first is to stick to the original layout, no matter how inconvenient it may be. Alternatively, you may decide to change it, but make sure you know exactly what walls can be knocked down, if any, and what other things you can do. To be absolutely sure, you really need to bring in an expert, who will tell you what options you have and how much they would cost.
The scope and complexity of your renovation project depend largely on whether your home has ever been updated and how well maintained it has been over the years. That’s why you should be cautious and budget more time and money for the project. Still, if you follow these tips, you should have a truly unique home, completely functional and safe, which will provide you and your family with many years filled with memories.