Old Home Renovation: Things to Keep in Mind


There’s just something special about old homes. They are full of history, charm and vintage architecture, so it’s understandable that you don’t want to replace it with a boring new house. However, every house needs regular maintenance and renovation, older homes especially. So, if you’re planning a reno, here’s what to keep in mind to prevent those unpleasant surprises

Hazardous materials

Houses build a few decades ago are mostly built with outdated and harmful materials like lead and asbestos. Asbestos is especially dangerous because it can cause various (even deadly) diseases when inhaled, so make sure to call pros to remove it from your home before you start tearing down any walls. You can also check out websites run by experienced asbestos lawyers and collect a lot of information about the diseases and even compensation. 

Outdated plumbing

Some 50 years ago, most contractors used galvanized pipes. The issue with these is that they get easily clogged and they corrode over time So if you’re planning a more serious renovation that involves plumbing, anticipate pipe replacement with copper or PVS pipes. 

Outdated electrical

Just a few decades ago, people didn’t have the need for many outlets and serious electrical panels. But today, our homes are filled with electronics and little gadgets that draw more power than your old electrical system can handle. Plus, outdated wiring can pose a serious hazard for your property and your family. So, if you’re planning to introduce some new appliances to your home, make sure to upgrade your wiring. Replacing old knob-and-tube wiring will set you back a few thousands of dollars, but it will be so worth it. 

Shortage of materials

In the olden times, homes were constructed according to different standards and completely different materials. Windows were smaller, doors were narrower and flooring was different. So, if you’re planning to maintain the old vibe of your home, finding fitting materials can be very hard. Expect to spend a lot of time snooping through architectural salvage stores and other reuse spots or you can hire a remodelling pro specializing in old homes. In any case, expect to pay a little more for matching materials than you really want. 

Outdated layouts

If you watch HGTV or love to scroll through Pinterest, you’ll see that new homebuyers love open floor plans that are much different than what your home has to offer. Everyone seems to have a master bedroom with an attached bathroom and a walk-in closet and everyone seems to want a three-in-one kitchen, dining room and living room. It’s hard to find these modern layouts in older homes. For instance, Victorian-style homes have a room for everything and every area is separated with walls and doors. Even 20 or 30 years ago, no one thought we would all want to live in an open space layout. So, if you want to modernize your home with a new layout, make sure to consult experts that will know which walls can go down and which need to be kept. There are a lot of structural issues to deal with, so professional help is necessary. 

Years and years of bad renovation

Most older homes were sold many times and changed a lot of owners. If every owner did some work on the house, you can expect layers and layers of renovation projects, some good and some horrible. In some cases, “improvements” were made with total disregard to the overall look and feel of the house. Maybe you have exposed pipes running through your attic or messed up electrical works hidden in the walls. Oftentimes, you won’t even know what to expect until you start your renovation, so keep an open mind and prepare yourself for emergencies. It’s always a good idea to have a capable contractor you can trust to handle any mistakes you run into. 

No matter how much trouble your old house gives you, your renovations will give it a new life and make you fall in love with your home all over again. When you see how good your improved home looks, you’ll forget all about new, cookie-cutter houses for sale!

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