There are a lot of good things to be said about older houses. They are cozy, warm, and feature all sorts of unique architectural elements that were gradually abandoned for the sake of frugality. Where else can you find all that free space, massive porches, and those beautiful colonial windows? Still, the fact remains that old houses are… Well, old. Putting them back into shape can put a lot of problems in front of their owners.
If you are one of them, you’ve come to the right place. Here we are going to take a look at some of the common problems you may encounter while restoring your old beauty.
Giving the house a fresh coat of paint is one of the easiest steps you can take to make your home look beautiful again. However, if the walls are damp the interior moisture will quickly start to peel off the paint and the walls. Before you start any serious painting job, you should find yourself a probe moisture meter, drill two small holes in the walls and check their moisture level. If you get the readings that are above average, you should determine the cause of dampness, repair the fault, and prevent any future problems with waterproof bituminous paint.
Outdated plumbing and electrical systems
Both these systems are laid throughout the entire house so, if damaged, they can pose a serious safety risk. As we’ve seen from the previous passage, damaged pipes can also prove to be an obstacle to future remodeling efforts. If we take a look at Australia, a country known for its beautiful colonial architecture, we can see that the condition of the pipes can be easily checked with water pressure testing. Checking the electrical wiring is just as simple and it can be performed with a simple circuit tester. Still, adapting the entire wire network to modern needs is strongly recommended regardless of readings.
Dangerous materials like asbestos and lead
The floors, ceilings and the HVAC systems of old houses are often filled with dangerous materials like asbestos and lead. If left alone, these substances can do very little damage. However, as soon as remodeling works start, they can spread throughout the house in the form of powder. If we stay a bit in the Land Down Under and take a look at one of its biggest cities, we can see that the owners usually hire some asbestos removal Sydney service to inspect the house and take out any poisonous materials before starting the major works.
Compromised foundations can cause a wide variety of problems ranging from cracked walls to uneven floors and swinging doors. If you notice any of these problems, take a walk around the house, remove the grass and debris and try to determine are there any low spots. The other indicators that point out to damaged foundations are cracks and excessive dampness. Unfortunately, these problems can have a very serious impact on the structural integrity of the house, so you should probably hire the services of a contractor to solve them.
The needs of the people who were building the old houses we currently inhabit had different needs than ours. More often than not, that means overly excessive corridors and compartmentalized layout. The modern multitasking lifestyle habits require something more spacious and free-flowing. That is why you should strongly consider tearing down some of the walls and embrace the open floor concept. Your home will become more functional and any future renovations will be performed much easier. Of course, all these adaptations should be made with the blessing of an architect.
Lack of original materials
Finally, if you want to preserve your house's original look, you need to be aware that you are going to deal more with restoration rather than a renovation. One of the main problems you are going to face is the complete absence of the original materials and household elements. Take for instance the old colonial windows and massive doors. You can find the solid contemporary lookalikes, but they are not what the original owner intended. To stay true to the spirit of the era, you will need to use online resources and check a couple of architectural salvage stores.
These were the top six problems you will most likely face if you are trying to renovate an old house. We hope the tips we gave you will help you to address them without too much hassle. The historic buildings may require a bit more effort to look good. But, if you put enough love into them they will reward you with something the newer houses simply can’t.