Featured Image Caption: Home in Outer Banks
Just because a home is outdated doesn’t mean it has no future. With a bit of work, even an older home can be modernized to some degree. Knowing some tips to help you remodel an outdated home makes the process easier to grasp and break down into specific steps.
Start with the Electrical System
The electrical system is the first thing you want to look into in any older home remodel. Old wiring isn’t necessarily an issue, but there are two things to look out for. The first is knob-and-tube wiring because it’s a fire hazard. You also want to look for breaker boxes made by Federal Pacific Electric, otherwise known as FPE. This company has been gone for decades, and these boxes are notorious for having issues.
Watch for Wood Rot
Many older homes were made using lots of wood, and they might not have had anything else involved in their construction. Wood rot, whether it’s termites, lack of care, or weather damage over time, can be a warning sign of substantial structural issues that threaten the entire home. It is highly recommended to have a general contractor inspect the areas of concern before moving forward with any repairs like these, especially if they are load-bearing walls in the home.
Upgrade Your Heating and AC
If there isn’t any, you need to install something. A home without HVAC is unlikely to sell or be a comfortable place to live. Even if there is a system in place, do all you can to modernize it. The leaps in HVAC technology in just the last decade can make pretty much any system relatively out of date. Take the time to call your local residential HVAC company, they will likely give you a free inspection and quote for any repairs or replacements needed.
Test for Lead Paint
Paints today are required to meet much stricter standards than ever before. Many paints are even made and advertised as biodegradable. Lead paints could be present in windows, trim, and doors, or even on the outside of your home. Children under the age of 6 are particularly susceptible to health hazards from the lead as their immune system is still developing. It is wise to have things tested throughout your home and remove them as soon as possible. It can be a larger expense, but it will be well worth it.
Inspect the Original Windows
If the windows are original, buyers might love them. You might, too. However, they might need updating and reinforcement. You can preserve their character and charm while also modernizing the home. Keep in mind that they likely don’t offer the same energy efficiency and savings and new double-pane or triple-pane windows do. There are companies who offer similar designs as the older style windows, so that you don’t lose the look, but are upgraded to help meet industry standards people look for today.
Don’t Forget to Check the Plumbing
Older pipes might be cast iron, copper, or even galvanized steel. They might last 80 or even 100 years, but you need to figure out how much time they have left. Any leaks indicate corrosion that should be dealt with immediately. You do not want to deal with water damage in your home. It is easier to get the plumbing fixed and upgraded before you’re all moved in than it is while you’re living there.
Even if a home gets outdated, it might have benefits even without remodeling. Older homes are usually located further inside cities, so they’re closer to transit connections, culture, and entertainment. They also usually have structural character absent modern mass-produced neighborhoods.
By Rachelle Wilber
who is a freelance writer and residing in San Diego, California area. Rachelle finds an interest in all topics and have Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Media Studies.