Older Homes!

Renovating older homes!


Many homeowners prefer to purchase and renovate older homes to new for a variety of reasons: Often the older homescraftsmanship is better, the wood trim and floors have the rich patina of age, architectural windows and other detailing give the home character, and the structure may just feel more solid and settled


There are several challenges to renovating an older home:


  1. Water
    Moisture behind wallboard can often lead a renovator on an expensive side trip to replace rotten or termite-infested studs with new ones in order to proceed with the remodel.
  2. Foundation cracks
    The old cinder blocks are not as structurally sound as the newer cement blocks. Cracks can occur where water seeps in. Cracked foundations also are a common source of radon, a naturally occurring radioactive gas that has been identified as the a leading cause of lung cancer.
  3. Lead
    There are two potentially hazardous sources of lead in an older home: plumbing pipes and interior/exterior paint. Galvanized pipes still contained lead until the 1940s, when it was changed over to zinc. Owners of older homes often prefer to install a water filtration system to extract lead from their water systems instead of replacing their pipes. The potential dangers of lead are prominant.
  4. Electricity
    Completing electrical work in accordance with code today requires that you install ground-fault-interrupter, or GFI. The GFI cuts off power immediately should an appliance come in contact with water.
  5. Asbestos
    Special permits are required to handle and dispose of asbestos and can stop your renovatioons until this is completed.
  6. Windows
    Old single-pane windows are now more expensive and harder to find than the double-pane energy-efficient windows approved for new construction.
  7. Tanks, wells and cesspools
    It used to be common to have an oil tank buried in the backyard. Older homes have a well, cesspool or septic tank on site and may not be part of the newer septic systems
    Ssolutions like removing the tank, or draining it and filling it with rocks, or cement occur. You may have to obtain a special environmental permit and take soil samples to assess possible contamination before digging up and disposing of the tank.