To put it simply, older houses are pretty awesome. They are very affordable, built on the locations that can’t be touched by newer properties, feature spacious square footage and incorporate some great design elements that are no longer used so often (porches, colonial windows, etc.). As a matter of fact, the only real issue that comes to mind with these old beauties is the maintenance.
Yeah living in an older house tends to be quite tiring if you don’t make some necessary fixes. Let us take a look then at some of these essential upgrades to move this crucial problem off the table.
Take care of the roof and gutters
Roof damage and clogged gutters have to be one of the most common old house issues. What makes them even worse is that, due to their unique location and spread, they can affect the large portions of the building. So, as step one, clean up the attic, identify all the weak spots and patch them. Depending on the roof condition and local weather, you may want to reinforce the construction. As for the gutters, they should, preferably, be replaced with a wider alternative (up to six inches).
Rewire the electrical network
The quality of the wire-network in older buildings can vary from solid to atrocious. One thing’s for sure, though, neither of these wireworks was design for the modern consumptions where outlets need to support dozens of devices hooked up at the same time. If you want to solve this problem, you will need to rebuild the wire-network from the ground up starting with the newer and more contemporary fuse box. Also, take some time to evaluate the usage of outlets and future power distribution.
Repair the plumbing
In their essence, leaky pipes are not that different from a damaged roof – both are hard to notice until your walls are damp, and both have a great effect on the structural integrity of the building. Well, the good news is that as serious as these issues are, they are not that hard to address. For instance, if you live in Sydney, companies like Super Drains can fill in the pipe holes from the inside (pipe relining) without the need to tear down the walls. However, the old pipe networks could benefit from a bit of face-lifting.
Install sustainability upgrades
When older houses were built, life was a bit simpler and sustainability not that much of an issue. These days, though, when energy became precious and bills colossal, these giants represent a force to be reckoned with. So reckon you will. Start by replacing your old loose windows with the double-glazed variety that will do a much better job keeping the temperature inside. Then, it is time to install or replace the insulation. Finally, ditch the old incandescent bulbs and replace them with much more economic CFL or LED variety.
Inspect the floors
The chances are that, after years of abuse and all sorts of problems, the flooring will need a couple of repairs. If this patching exceeds some reasonable lever, you should strongly consider replacing the floors altogether. And keep in mind, this update won’t be purely aesthetical. The floor materials like laminate lof time, money, and effort in years to come. In the case of the kitchen, you can as well replace the tiles with vinyl that share a lot of the properties with two materials counted above.
Reinforce the basement
Basement keeps the entire house in place – it is in your best interest to keep it in good shape. The first thing you will need to do is to throw everything out of the basement, let it dry out and try to identify (and fix) any interior damage. Then, dig a trench around the exterior foundation wall, lay a layer of mortar (about one inch apart) and fill it in with concrete. If you want to, you can also grade the soil, so it slopes away from the house. Five percent of slope per 10 horizontal feet should keep the foundations dry even in the case of a downpour.
We hope these few tips will help you to turn your beautiful old house into a building that’s much more capable to deal with modern climate and the challenges of the 21st century. Try using as many as possible. The older buildings definitely feature a unique charm worth preserving. If we had to choose between preserving that charm and functionality with a couple of smart upgrades or looking for a new, more contemporary house, we would always go with the first option.