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Home Renovation Tips for Remodeling Old Houses

Old house needs remodels

If you are thinking about renovating a house, the age of the home is a major factor in developing the plans for this overhaul. Old house remodels take a special touch when renovating. Old homes were built before modern day building standards were in effect. They were also built of different materials and from a different kind of contractor than your average modern day track home. Thus requiring extra care and a little more effort than your everyday fixer-upper. 

Is fixing up an older home worth it? It depends on the project and what your long-term goals are for the property. Home renovation tips are a little different when it comes to reconstructing the bare bones of an old house. Here is some advice to keep in mind so that your endeavours are not in vain and your health stays intact.  

What You Need to Know About Old House Remodels

Outdated House Systems

Old homes have antiquated major house systems, as opposed to the modern building appliances that you are probably used to seeing. Your heating/cooling, plumbing, roof, exterior, and electric systems will need to be considered when planning your major update. An important home renovation tip when redoing any major house system, is to always seek further evaluation from a qualified professional before you go cutting wires and replacing roofs. 

Health Risks

If your house is truly old, chances are, it is full of unsafe materials like lead and asbestos. For your health, you should have your home’s paint tested for lead so you know what dangers you are working with. You should also watch out for a white substance you see in the home’s building materials while renovating. Unfortunately, asbestos was used frequently in the construction of older homes. Please remember this home renovation tip: never attempt to remove asbestos on your own. It is highly dangerous to your health, if disturbed. An abatement company will need to be called for removal. 

Unavailable Materials

You may run into building material problems. Sometimes the materials used to build your home are no longer available. Old house remodels may require you to visit an architectural salvage store or other similar reuse/recycle centers. If you are looking for original materials, be ready to pay the price. It can get expensive to find the real thing. 

Multiple Owners or Generational Ownership

Your house is old, so you know it has changed ownership a few dozen times in its life, or it’s been your family’s ownership for generations without much change. A home renovation tip to keep in mind is to allow wiggle room in you budget for unforeseen corrections that may need to be made. A lot of times, while renovating, you will come across the haunting handy work that a past owner has left behind. This usually involves unapproved methods and almost always involves budget-friendly techniques. 

For Homeowners Looking To Completely Renovate

It’s best to err on the side of caution with your allowed time to complete your project. Old house remodels tend to take some time, if done properly. Make sure you budget much more time and money for your home renovation than you think you need. A home renovation tip and a good rule of thumb to practice, is to set aside a contingency account for unexpected problems and changes that will most likely occur with such a project. This will help alleviate some of the stress that can come along with major renovations.  
Electrical wiring and plumbing problems are common in older homes. If your house was built before 1960, galvanized pipes were used for both interior plumbing and sewer lines. They tend to get clogged and corrode over time. A good home renovation tip to consider when replacing old plumbing, is to exchange the galvanized pipes for PVC or copper. Additionally, the property’s electrical system will need to be brought up to code to avoid major safety issues.

Home renovation tip to replace plumbing

All renovations done by a licensed, qualified company will need to be brought up to standards. Meaning all receptacles will need to be updated to GFCI and possibly AFCI protection. Smoke and CO2 combination detectors will also need to be installed in every room on every floor, including the garage.

Tips For Property Managers

If you currently manage an old property or are renovating one to eventually manage in the future, maintenance is the key to your success. All old homes need continual maintenance to keep the whole home system working properly. Proper exterior covering protection and a solid roof system are any buildings first defense. The most overlooked home renovation tip is to always ensure proper ventilation. This will prevent mold and moisture issues, which is your home’s mortal enemy. Inform your tenants to keep their bathroom windows open, unless you decide to install mechanical venting. 
During an old house remodel, make sure not to overlook the things you can’t see. Seek help from a professional design and remodeling company who can help you find or recreate the look and feel you are looking for.

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