All your friends may be asking you, why you have chosen to renovate an old house. You can have a million of reasons, it may be a house you are emotionally connected to, you may consider that the craftsmanship is better for old houses, and you decided to buy this type of property and to restore it; or you may simply have liked the way the house looked, and you are willing to make the effort to renovate it and make it your home.
The moment you will start restoring it, you will understand that it will be a challenging project, but it is an effort you are willing to do, because it is the home you have always dreamt of. When it comes to renovating an old house, unexpected problems can arise, like mold, asbestos and dodgy plumbing. Also you will have to decide if you want to maintain the authenticity of the house or not, because if you will want to restore it to its previous form, then you should expect the process to be expensive. Very few contractors are able to restore old houses and to respect the authenticity when it comes to details, because they have to make sure that they match exactly.
Now we shoulddiscuss the challenges you have to be ready to face.
Take a look at the windows
Some people may consider strange the fact that the windows require special attention during the restoration process, but when we are talking about an old house, it is important the windows to be preserved in a form as close as possible to their authentic form, because they enhance the beauty and style of the rest of the house. Also, you will have to check the type of windows the house features because old single-pane windows are quite expensive nowadays, if it were to compare their price with double-pane energy efficient ones. Check the market to see what options you have, and in case you want to replace them with double-pane ones, you should check if the authorities approve your construction.
Check the masonry and roof
The majority of homeowners start renovating their house by choosing the furniture they will use to decorate it, but it is smarter to start with a more practical aspect. It is important first to check if there is any damage that needs your attention. Start with the masonry and roof, because they are crucial for the state of a house.
When it comes to the quality and strength of your house, you should know that it is influenced by the geographical area where it is located and by the materials used to construct it. For example, some structural issues can be caused by the fact that in some regions there are used mortar and sand. They have a negative impact on the integrity of the house, especially if it was not restored and cared for a long period of time. In these cases, the masonry will be weaker and you will have to pay attention to the way you renovate it.
Do not forget to check if the chimney and fireplace need restoration work, or they have to be replaced. The best way to understand what aspects require your attention is to ask a team of professionals to conduct a preliminary check, and to offer you guidance.
Water is your number one enemy
Why do we say this? Well when moisture is present in a house, it leads to mold, mildew, bacteria and even termites. The mold behind the wallboard requires a thorough check from InchbyInch mold inspectors because it is important to understand the extent to which the structure of the house was affected by it. Water damaged houses are expensive to be restored, because the structure may be rotten or termite infested. The renovation of a house that was affected by water can increase the bill with 5-20%, so it is important to have this aspect in view.
Termites are small but the damage they produce is extensive. They will eat away everything that is made from wood. The worst part is that if you do not hire experts to check if there are termites in your house, you will not be able to find them.
Are there are foundation cracks?
Yes, old houses are amazingly built from the ground up, but when it comes to their foundation, some of them need maintenance to stand the test of time. Because the materials used to construct the foundations in the past were not very durable in time,therefore, the foundation of your house may have cracks, and those cracks allow water to penetrate the structure. The houses that were built around 50 years ago require the usage of sealer on the outside part. In order to check if the foundation of the house is cracked you will have to dig around the property. Some people avoid doing it, because it implies damaging the landscape. But if you want to make sure that your house is in a great shape you will have to do it.
Is your house featuring asbestos?
The majority of old houses are asbestos infested, and it is advisable to have it tested before moving there, because it can become a serious risk to your health. In case the house is infested with asbestos, it is recommended to hire a team of professionals to remove it. Asbestos is commonly present in the attic, basement and behind the walls. Depending on the area where your house is located you may have to check with the authorities on the process you have to follow in order to remove it. In the past, asbestos was found in multiple products used to construct a house, like in the insulation and floor coverings.