5 Repairs to Plan for When Purchasing an Older Home

One of the nice things about buying into new construction is that it’s fairly unlikely you’ll have to do any major repairs or renovations upon moving in. On the other hand, newer homes tend to lack the charm, character, and embellishment that dominate older structures, thanks to the prevalence of cost-saving tactics that lead to tracts full of cookie-cutter homes. And often, new construction projects are a lot more expensive, all things being equal. So there are definitely some advantages to purchasing a home that is a little longer in the tooth. Plus, when you understand some of the challenges associated with a fixer-upper, you can go into the process well prepared for the repairs you might have to face in order to get your home in ship shape, not to mention the related costs. Here are just a few projects that are common to older homes.

  1. Hazardous materials. Depending on when your home was built, you might have to deal with a variety of potentially harmful building materials, especially if you’re opening up walls to do renovations. And in some cases you’ll have to hire a hazmat crew to remove them. The most common hazardous materials you could uncover are asbestos products, which were often used for their fire retardant properties, as well as lead paint. Generally, these items aren’t considered harmful until you start tearing your house apart, but lead paint could poison children or pets that touch or lick walls, especially if the paint is chipping.
  2. Moisture problems. You could face a few different issues where moisture is concerned when you buy an older home. For one thing, parcels of land that aren’t properly graded could lead water towards the house instead of away from it, causing flooding in the basement or damage around the foundations of the home. And as a house settles and ages, faulty gutters or down spouts could lead to the exact same issues. Then, of course, there is the roof to consider. If it is outdated and in poor repair you could definitely experience leaks, mold, rot, or other moisture issues during damp weather conditions. So you’ll want to ascertain if any of these issues are at play during the purchase process as there will definitely be some expense associated with fixing such problems.
  3. Plumbing issues. Depending on the age of your structure you might have subpar materials where the plumbing is concerned. This is because standards for plumbing have changed significantly over the years, and some older forms simply weren’t made with materials as resilient and dependable as the piping we use today to bring water in and out of our homes. As a result, you might face repairs and/or upgrades in this area.
  4. Electrical wiring. It was only about a century ago that electricity in homes became possible, then popular, then commonplace. But like plumbing, standards for electrical systems have improved. In addition, our demand for electricity has increased by an incredible margin over the past hundred (or even the past twenty) years. So electrical upgrades may be necessary even if the system has been updated previously.
  5. Drafts. As houses settle it’s not unusual for air to seep in around cracks, crevices, and seams. This is not only annoying, but it can also have an impact on your energy efficiency. So when it comes to repair and maintenance tips for older homes, this is an occurrence you should definitely be aware of. Luckily, all you really need is a home energy audit to uncover these issues so that you can correct them.

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  4. Do-it-yourself Home Developing – Typical Plumbing Concerns
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