Do you also believe that old homes have a different charm? Well, they boast architectural elements like long corridors, huge living room windows, solid plaster walls, fireplaces and much more. While living and owning an old house is indeed something you can enjoy and be proud of because of those unique catches, maintaining it is a different story altogether.
Whether you are thinking of renovating or redecorating it, there is much more to remodeling an old house than you might think. Even if you are doing minor repairs, the renovation process requires a substantial amount of time and effort. Also, during the renovation of an old home, you can expect to encounter various hindrances that may delay the work.
Troubles during old home renovations are never-ending. So, to help you prepare for potential home remodeling interruptions, we have listed some of the common ones below.
Use of Unsafe Materials
Was your house built several decades ago? If yes, then there is a good chance that you will find asbestos in the flooring, ceilings, or roofing. Asbestos is a fire retardant product found in insulation, adhesives, and a few paints. If left uninterrupted, it won’t cause any harm or damage. However, once asbestos begins to break down, it becomes an inhalable powder. The asbestos fibers are released and can cause severe damage to the lungs, making asbestos removal necessary.
Another risky material often found in old homes is lead paint. Undisturbed lead paint is not dangerous. However, it might break down during renovation, peel, or chip off, making it hazardous. Hence, be careful if you are thinking of making changes to your home that may require coming into contact with asbestos or lead paint. If you are handling it yourself, make sure you follow all the precautions; otherwise, the ideal thing to do is to let the professionals take care of it.
Before you put your ambitious home renovation plan into action, make sure that the foundation is solid. Finding a foundation crack during renovation is on top of the list of landowner’s nightmares. Sometimes the foundation problem becomes visible by the look of cracks in the walls and floors. Whereas gaps along the edges of the rooms, doors, or windows also indicate this problem. Precisely, foundations might not always hold the test of time. The type of cement used in old homes might start to crumble.
Moreover, older houses might have grading issues that affect water flow. Besides that, the weight of the house might also put pressure on the foundation, causing the concrete to break. Whatever might have caused damage to the foundation, it can be very costly to fix and needs special attention. Therefore, before you start remodeling your house, look for foundation problems to avoid problems or cave-ins later on.
Outdated Plumbing and Electrical
Building codes change over time. As a result, your remodeling project may reveal that your old house’s plumbing and electrical systems are outdated, in disrepair, or can’t support the needs of your modern appliances. Before the 2000s, plumbing generally used galvanized pipes. Unfortunately, these pipes are prone to corrosion, clogging, and seeping. Therefore, if your house renovation involves plumbing, get your existing plumbing system analyzed. If they are galvanized, replace them with modern options like copper for the safety and protection of your house.
Side by side, older electrical wiring can also be a major worry factor due to the risk of electrocution and fires. Also, the principles that assigned electrical wiring back then were vastly different from those presently in place. Moreover, the old wiring may not be able to cope with the demands of modern machines. Therefore, it is best to do whatever is necessary to bring it up to present-day requirements.
Bad Renovation Over the Years
More often than not, your attractive old house may have experienced some form of renovation in the past. Sometimes, past owners might have done makeovers without taking into consideration the original layout of the house. It might be the uncovered water pipelines from the bathroom in the corner or a wall positioned in the wrong place. Once the walls are broken, seeing random wires hung out or distorted floors can be signs of lousy renovation done over the past years.
Owners usually won’t uncover these problems until the remodeling of the house starts. As your renovation begins, it is possible to uncover a dig full of poor workmanship. A sloppy extension, uneven woodwork, and old mistakes executed by inexperienced contractors might be witnessed. Therefore, a trustworthy and capable contractor can be suitable to undo all the old mistakes you find.
Outmoded Layouts and Confined Space
Who doesn’t like getting a master bedroom with a walk-in closet and attached bath? Well, fitting it all with the layout of an old house seems impossible. It is hard to maximize space in old homes due to the outdated layout. While the aim of the renovation spree is to make the old house more usable and functional, rooms in these houses might not even have proper built-in storage.
Therefore, if you want to improve the look of your room according to modern standards, seek advice from a professional. Professional interior designers and architects can guide you on whether it is a good idea to rip down a particular wall, restructure a beam, move a window, etc. In such a situation, ideas to maximize space in your bedroom, like ensuring all items in the closets are properly stacked, can be helpful. Besides that, find a builder to get an estimated cost of rebuilding.
Owning an old house definitely has its charm. However, maintaining it could be a bit of a hassle. Thus, keeping adequate funds at hand and having the help of a professional designer are imperative. These can make the renovation process more accessible. When remodeling an old house, remember to “expect the unexpected.” Apply the old rule of thumb to set aside a 15-20% possibility for unexpected problems to arise, so you can readily deal with any issue that presents itself.