It’s amazing living in an old home, as they are full of charm and character and often have beautiful architectural features that you can’t find in modern buildings. However, when the time comes to renovate it, these old homes suddenly lose their charm and often reveal a ton of unpleasant surprises.
Here are some of the most common issues you might encounter when re-doing an old home.
Outdated Electrical and Plumbing
Old homes are known to have electrical wiring and plumbing problems. Old electrical wiring is very likely a safety hazard and should be brought up to code. In the early 20th century, homes didn’t have many appliances that draw a lot of power, nor many power outlets. To support your modern electrical needs, you’ll definitely need to upgrade the entire system.
In addition, before the 1960s, galvanized pipes were used for sewer lines and indoor plumbing and their main issue is that they clog and corrode easily. As a part of your home renovation project, you’ll need to replace those with copper or PVC pipes.
There’s a good chance that various hazardous material was used in the construction of an old home, such as lead paint and asbestos, which is not dangerous if left undisturbed, but if your project calls for restructuring the home, the materials will be released into the air.
From the 1940s until 1985, asbestos, a natural mineral fiber, was used in many buildings and homes. However, exposure to asbestos fibers and dust causes various diseases that may not even reveal symptoms for decades. In these cases, there are teams of dedicated asbestos lawyers who offer legal help to make a compensation claim to people suffering from asbestos-related illnesses.
To prevent this from ever happening to you, hire a professional to inspect your home, detect and abate hazardous materials. This may cost a lot but it’s worth every penny knowing your family will live in a safe and healthy environment.
Old and No Longer Used Materials
Homes constructed a while ago were built according to different codes and standards than today and most often, with completely different materials. The layouts were different, doors lower and narrower, windows smaller, bathtubs smaller too, and rooms much less spacious.
In order to preserve the home’s charm and character, it can be very hard to find today materials that will match the existing old ones. You might get lucky at salvage stores and other shops selling reused and repurposed materials, but you need to bear in mind that it may cost you more, as will hiring a renovation professional to fit it all in seamlessly.
Bad Renovation Work
The older your home is and the more times it changed owners, the bigger the possibility is that it had a lot of renovation work done already. Moreover, those improvements were often done with complete disregard to the original design and home structure. Sometimes, you can have water pipes for an additional bathroom in the attic running exposed, and sometimes there will be hidden issues that are only discovered once you dig deeper. This is why it’s crucial you have an experienced and capable contractor on your team.
When re-doing an old home, it’s best to exercise caution and plan a much bigger budget and time frame than you initially think you’ll need. Typically, this means 15% to 20% contingency for any unexpected issues, especially if you suspect your home might have some that are listed here. Hopefully, that will give you a good start to having a house of your dreams in the end!