What You Need to Consider When Renovating/Remodeling an Older House

Home improvement projects can be fun, especially fixing up an older home. Older homes are fascinating, with their original woodwork, vintage light fixtures, and sophisticated detailing throughout the home.

Buying and fixing up an older home can potentially be cheaper than buying a brand new home, as long as you know what you’re getting into when you decide to flip an older house.

Old houses can be tricky sometimes, since they were built in a time period completely different from today. Here are a few things to consider when repairing an older house.

The Cost

Older properties can be purchased at a lower price, but the home improvement projects may end up costing a great deal of money. You may need to replace/upgrade things like the HVAC system, plumbing, electrical, and roof.

Before purchasing an older home to repair, it’s important to have a proper home inspection done to avoid any unwanted surprises later.

Not only will fixing up an older home cost you money, but it will also take up a lot of your time. When fixing up an older house, remember that not everything will always go as planned with your original timeline.

Older houses have a tendency to have hidden problems, but when it’s expected, it’s less likely to cost you any more time and money.

The Method

Renovation vs. Remodel

After you’ve had the house thoroughly inspected, it’s time to decide which method of home improvement to go about. You can either renovate, remodel, or even do a combination of both.

Renovations are just cosmetic improvements, and they don’t require you to make any substantial changes. Remodels, on the other hand, are structural changes that usually change the entire appearance and/or function of the room.

Most of the time remodels are more expensive than renovations, but it’s still important to choose the best viable option for the house.

The Sandwich Method

Many experts would say that the “sandwich method” is the best approach for fixing up an older home. Whether you’re renovating or remodeling, with this method, you would start from the top, making sure that the roof is in good shape.

Next, you will need to check for and fix any foundation issues. Once the top and bottom are situated, you’ll focus on everything in the exterior middle— doors, windows, and siding. And once the outside of the home is completed, you can move on to fixing up the inside.

Contractor vs. DIY

house contractor

A lot of renovation projects can be done without the help of a professional. Things like installing flooring, countertops, and painting can all be done by non-professionals.

However, with older homes being more prone to more issues (specifically electrical and plumbing), it’s a better idea to have a licensed electrician and plumber look at these problems.

Other Considerations

In addition to older homes being likely to have more issues than new homes, they are also likely to have toxic materials, such as asbestos and lead.

Homes and other buildings today don’t harbor these toxins due to certain regulations, but homes built before a certain time are likely to have asbestos present in the insulation and/or lead present in the paint.

Back then, it wasn’t widely known that if you’re exposed to asbestos, it can cause cancer and kidney and brain damage, respectively. This is another reason why a professional home inspection is an important step in the home improvement process.

Professionals can look for and safely remove these toxins from an older home.

After taking all of these tips into consideration, you’re ready to begin home repairs on your older house. Of course, not all older homes are the same, and it is likely that you won’t run into any major issues at all.

The key thing is to be prepared, and having a professional do a proper home inspection is the first step. Once you know what your particular house requires, it will be easier to decide on and make all of the necessary home improvements.

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