While newer homes are certainly great in many ways, you may have your heart set on purchasing an older home. Filled with character, amazing architecture, and sometimes having historical significance associated with them, older homes offer something that is rarely found in today’s world. However, while you may be in love with your home’s architecture, chances are it needs some repairs. To know which ones you should tackle first, take a look at these various areas.
First and foremost, always examine your older home’s plumbing system for any potential problems. From pipes that may be rusting to updating the water heater and correcting any issues you may be having with low water pressure, always have an experienced plumber look over things and make repairs as needed. They can look for things like the wrong kind of pipes used in repairs, improper installation, and how long things like the water heater will last.
Additionally, you should inquire if the main water line has ever been replaced or had repairs. Often on older homes the watermain will break at some point and it is quite an expensive fix. Unless you have money saved for repairs like this, a watermain break is something you should try to avoid when looking into an older home that you are interested in buying for yourself.
Replacing the Roof
If you’ve bought an older home, you’ve probably also bought an old roof. Unfortunately, an old roof is probably leaking or getting ready to leak, meaning you will have even more problems if you don’t get it repaired as soon as possible. To do so, you can check into such options as standing seam roofing. With most older homes, if the roof is at least 15-20 years old, make plans to get a replacement.
If the roof on this older home was recently replaced, have an inspector look over it to make sure that everything was done correctly by professionals. Ensuring that the roof is in good condition and was recently entirely replaced will save you thousands of dollars down the road.
Updating the Electrical System
When your older home was first built, the internet and other forms of modern technology did not exist. As a result, it likely had a very simple electrical system. However, today’s world demands almost any home have a modern electrical system for computers, appliances, and other items. If you fail to update your older home’s electrical system, two problems will develop.
First, you will probably be unable to have internet access and use state-of-the-art appliances. But more importantly, you will put you and your family in danger, since failing to get new wiring will create a fire hazard for your home. Since it is not inconceivable for older homes to have wiring that is 100 years old, have an electrician inspect your home’s wiring and get it updated. The cost of an electrician will be worth it to save your family from the risk of unintentional shock when they are simply plugging something into the outlet.
Install Replacement Windows
While an older home’s windows may have character, they are also single pane and offer little regarding insulation. As a result, your home will have some areas that are always cold and others that are burning up in the summer. Because of this, your utility bills will be inching higher and higher. Rather than waste money, install replacement windows that are double-paned and provide excellent insulation. This is a repair that you can potentially do on your own, but it could be worth your time to hire professionals to do it for you. When the windows are replaced make sure the old caulking is cleared away and updated with something that will hold the heat in your home better during the winter months. New windows are less costly in the long run than always paying more to run up your furnace or air conditioner.
Replacing Outdated Materials
Building codes have changed drastically over the last century and this is often reflected in what materials were used to build early 1900s homes. Many of the materials that were once used have been found to have harmful side effects on people’s health. First, you should check the paint on the interior walls to see if there is any lead. If there is, you’ll need to strip the paint and cover the walls, ensuring you carefully remove all of the chipped paint so it doesn’t end up in your HVAC system, and then repaint with a new paint. You should also have a professional come in and check for asbestos in the walls or on the ceiling. Asbestos in your home can cause serious health problems over time to you and your family. Additionally, you should have the home inspected for mold in hidden areas, like in the pipes, the HVAC system, behind the walls, or anywhere else where there could be hidden moisture and poor ventilation.
Once you make these five repairs to your older home, you will have peace of mind, lower utility bills, and a leak-free roof. Before buying your home, make sure you have it inspected to check for each of these issues and anything else that the inspector wants to bring to your attention. Take to professionals in each field to ensure you are having the best work done possible to keep the home functioning for years to come.