Owning an old house may be cheap when it comes to the mortgage. But compared to newer homes, it costs quite a bit more for upkeep. If your house is really old, you may be looking at monthly utility and maintenance costs that is twice or three times as much as a newer house. That is why it is extremely important to renovate pressing problems in old houses. Here are 6 of the most common problems with an old house that needs your attention.
1) Insulation: Insulation is one of the most important renovations you can make to an old house. Proper insulation can literally save you thousands a year in heating costs. Many of the houses before the 1970s had absolutely zero insulation and therefore let a lot of heat escape the house. By installing insulation, your house will keep you warm with a lot less heat output as well as make your walls, ceilings, and floors warmer during the winter months and cooler during the warmer months. The most common type of insulation is fiberglass as it is both cheap and effective.
2) Windows: Many old houses used single-pane windows. They are horrible at conserving heat and keeping you warm. If your house is using single-pane windows, consider replacing them with double-pane energy efficient windows. This renovation can also save you thousands of dollars a year so it should not be ignored.
3) Dangerous Materials: Old houses often used materials that often contained lead and Asbestos. Lead was commonly used in paint and plumbing pipes. Asbestos was used in floor and ceiling coverings as well as home siding. Removing lead and asbestos from the home is very expensive so make sure that there is a need to remove them in the first place. For instance, asbestos would need to be “friable” in order to make it necessary to be removed. Do not worry though, if you recently bought the house, this shouldn’t be a problem as the inspector should have identified this issue if it was a major health threat.
4) Improper Electrical Wiring: Home builders years ago did not have a set standard in which they were required to wire homes. Now they do. That is why some older homes do not have a ground fault interrupter, which is required by today’s wiring standards. This mechanism shuts off electricity immediately if your appliances come in contact with water. If your electricity is not up to current standards, it will not pass an inspection if you ever want to sell it.
5) Improper Drainage: This is by far the most common problem found by housing inspectors. Many old houses did not have the necessary mechanisms to drain water once it reaches spaces such as in the basement or crawlspace. To fix this problem, you may need to re-grade the area around your house or installing a downspout system.
6) Roof Damage: Roofs are commonly made out asphalt shingles. The problem is that asphalt shingles will only last up to 20 years. Leakage through the roof is a common problem once the shingles become too old. You can repair this fairly easily if the problem isn’t serious or widespread. However, it is sometimes cheaper to replace the roofing if the problem is widespread.
These are 6 most common problems with an old house that needs your attention when consider to buying one. Here is a related article about the 10 important features to consider when buying a house to help you look for things that really matter.