Apart from being a real estate investment, a home is always special to the inhabitants. This holds true, especially for people who are living in older homes that have housed generations. Even if the home is a bit rundown, you wouldn’t want to live anywhere else because this place holds a lot of sweet memories.
If your older home is in bad shape and you feel like lifting it back on its feet, you can think about renovating or remodeling it. Renovations for older homes are a little trickier than renovating a relatively newer property since there are a lot of factors that you have to consider, even before you start planning for the renovation.
A Complete Guide To Renovations For Older Homes
Don’t worry, because we bring you a complete guide to renovations for older homes so that you will be able to go about it efficiently and conveniently.
Things To Check Before Planning The Renovation
As we mentioned above, there are several things that you have to ensure before you pick up a notepad and start noting down the color of the walls and the types of tiles you want in the bedroom. Since this is an old construction that dates a few decades at least, you should be worried about its structural integrity.
Here are some things you should check before planning the renovation:
Check the Electrical System
The very first thing you should do is to check the electrical system of your home or have it inspected by a professional electrician. If the house is more than 50 years old and hasn’t been renovated before, then you may have old wiring that could have become brittle with time. Its insulated coating can wear off and expose the copper wiring, and this can cause a major fire hazard. Therefore, you should check the wiring as soon as possible.
Inspect the Plumbing
If the house has never been redone before, the chances are that it still has its original plumbing, which consists of copper, cast iron, and galvanized steel pipes and fittings. Although they are of high quality and don’t rust or corrode for up to 100 years, you have to consider that the time is approaching for them to become weak and break in many places. Corrosion can also lead to lower water pressure, so if you don’t want to deal with problems any time soon, get your pipes checked quickly.
Be Wary of Rotting Wood
Back in the day, houses were made from highly durable and premium quality wood, which can last for a good few decades. However, if your home hasn’t been maintained in a while, you should expect the wooden structure to rot in places and become weak. Therefore, start with the exterior and check every nook and cranny carefully. Then, do the same for the interior.
Check for Lead Paint
In older homes, window sills and door trims were painted with lead paint since people were not aware of its hazardous effects. If you see any paint peeling from the windows or doors, make sure to protect yourself by wearing a mask and safety goggles. Also, keep your family members, especially children, away from the area where there is lead paint.
Consider what you can Retain
There are certain things in the house that you can retain, such as the windows. Typically, older homes have single-pane windows that are highly durable and long-lasting. Moreover, window replacement can cost you a lot of money, and it is best to retain them by getting them cleaned and polished.
What To Do While Planning Renovations For Older Homes
Once you have checked all of the areas of your home that need an inspection, it is time to consider what to do while planning to renovate your old house. Have a look at the following tips that can make your life easier.
Have a Realistic Approach
When you are planning your renovation or remodeling, we suggest that you take a holistic and realistic approach to the planning. This involves asking yourself what problems would you like this project to solve. For instance, if you need more light or insulation in your house to keep warm in the winter, your planning should be directed towards these points.
Another helpful tip that you should think about is to employ professional help, such as renovation experts or contractors. You might think that doing it all on your own will help you save a lot of money, but there is a vast difference in the quality of your work and what a contractor can do for you. If you are going for a full-scale renovation, you should consult with an architect or an engineer.
Spend a Lot of Time in Design
By choosing a professional to renovate or remodel your house, you can also get access to professional consultation regarding the design of your home. If you are a creative person, this is a fun opportunity for you to play around with colors and unique designs. You can also check out home decor websites and forums for the latest home design trends and choose the best items and fixtures for your house. Hiring a contractor or home renovation specialist will also allow you to get your ideas validated by an experienced professional.
Prepare a Budget
One of the most important things to do before you start renovating your old house is to plan out a budget, which will define how much money you can spend on the project. It will also determine the scale of renovations that you can afford, as well as the quality of items that you can buy and install.
By hiring a renovation contractor, you will also be able to get a rough idea of the remodeling costs that are involved, such as labor fees, costs for the material, and much more. Once you have a defined budget, you will be able to plan out everything perfectly.
Pros Of Renovating An Older Home
Whether you are living in an old house or you have recently purchased an older home, there are endless ways you can renovate or remodel it. However, it is not an easy feat, and it comes with its fair share of pros and cons.
One of the biggest advantages of old houses is that they are much cheaper to buy than newly constructed houses, in case you are looking to buy a home and renovate it. Even after paying for remodeling the house, you will still save money.
Another benefit of renovating an old house is that it is built from premium quality and highly durable materials, and it has a strong structure that you wouldn’t find in new homes nowadays. You might need to replace the electrical system and the plumbing, but the structure won’t require too much work. Therefore, once you renovate the house, it will retain its structural strength and also look beautiful.
Cons Of Renovating An Older Home
One of the downsides to renovating your old house is that you will have to set a much higher budget for renovation, as compared to a newer house. Most of your money will be spent on replacing the roof and foundation, as well as the electrical fittings and plumbing. One way to work around this is to hire an expert to inspect the entire house to you know what you are working with.
Another disadvantage of renovating older homes is that they contain the use of materials such as lead and asbestos, which are known to cause health problems. If you don’t know if your home has any health hazards, it is better to hire a professional to inspect it for you. However, this will also add to your renovation costs.
Lastly, there is also the time factor. Renovations are not only costly but time consuming, especially when you are working with older homes. This is because most of the things need to be removed completely and rebuilt, causing the timeline to change drastically. So, if you really want to renovate your home, make sure you know of all the hurdles you may face.
How To Cut Costs On Older Home Renovation?
If you are afraid that your renovation costs will spill over your budget, there are certain ways to cut corners and save money on the remodel. Even if you follow the advice that we have mentioned above, you may have to go over your budget when renovating an old house.
Have a look at these tips to save money on renovating your older home:
Leave the Walls Intact
One of the important tasks of renovating older homes is to strip out the walls and build them. This way, you can get a new look and a stronger structure. However, if an inspection shows that your walls can be retained, leave them as is. This will help you save a lot of money. Even if you get your walls redone, don’t spend too much on wall preparation.
Don’t Expand The House
If you were planning to add some more space to the kitchen or expand your living, put it off if you have budget constraints. Even if you plan on adding a few hundred square feet to your kitchen, it can set you back by $300 to $500. If you are planning to expand the kitchen due to space constraints, you can free up room by removing fixtures and appliances that take up a lot of space.
No More Windows
You might also consider adding more windows to the house for ventilation and natural light. But you should know that it would cost a lot to cut holes inside the walls of your house. So, it is better to reconsider your decision and look for other lighting options instead of natural lighting.
Buy Used Fixtures
When you are on a tight budget, there is no shame in buying used fixtures and materials to deck out your house. In fact, this will also allow you to buy slightly used items that are of a higher quality than the new fittings you can afford. So, this can actually be a blessing in disguise when you renovate your home.
How To Find Reliable Renovation Services?
Now that you have gone through all of the above advice, you should be convinced to hire a contractor for the renovation and remodeling work, since it will save you a lot of time and money in the long run. Not only does a contractor have sufficient experience in renovation, but they have also worked on older homes, which is why they will be able to guide you better at every step of the process.
If you have searched far and wide for quality renovation services and can’t find anything, there is no reason to worry because Renovate Residential is your trusted and experienced partner for all types of renovation, remodeling, painting and rebuilding tasks. We have more than 25 years of experience in the industry, and we are also well-equipped in the renovation of older homes.
All you need to do is pick up the phone and get in touch with us right now. Our experts are always ready to serve you.