Are you looking for a new home to buy? If you’re considering a home that is older, one of the things that you should know is that it could have a lot of hidden problems. Below are 15 of the most common problems that older houses have that will involve renovations.
Issues with the Foundation
Some of the foundation issues are going to be obvious. You might see something like a warp in your floor. But there are other types of signs that there are problems that aren’t as clear. If you are thinking about buying a home that’s older, here a few things that you should look for:
- Windows and doors not latching properly
- The drywall is cracked, particularly over windows and doors
- Flicking and chipping on windows and doors
If you’re noticing anything listed above, you should have your foundation inspected professionally.
Leaks in the Roof
Water coming into the house is going to be its biggest enemy, and that’s why having a roof that is solid is very important. Looking for any signs of water coming into the home is among the first checks that you should do when you’re considering a home that is older. Make sure you’re looking for signs of water such as spots upon the home’s ceiling and window leak and plumbing leak stains.
Plumbing That Is Out of Date
When you are combining minimal maintenance and many years of use, the charming old home that you’re considering buying might have serious issues with the plumbing. Leaks and lower water pressure may not seem like a big problem, but these types of annoyances will often lead to a lot of bigger problems in the future. Even though an old plumbing system doesn’t have to scare you completely away from purchasing a dream home, it’s something that you should consider since the new plumbing system is going to cost a lot of money.
Before the 70s, asbestos as used commonly for fire retardant and insulation. Even though people loved how strong, insulating and heat resistant it was, asbestos is very toxic and can cause cancer. It’s also costly to have it removed, though the price can vary greatly. The average price for removal of asbestos s $1700, so you should consider this amount when you are considering purchasing a home that is older.
Windows that are older don’t just add to the amount that you pay for cooling and heating your home. They also can let moisture in any home, but especially older homes. When moisture leaks in, it can cause mold and dry rot problems. If those windows in the home have leaked for a long time, there also might be damage to your floors and windows that you can’t see. So you want to make sure you’re you remember this if you’re buying a home that is older. The average amount that you will spend replacing your windows is $4800, so you should keep this in mind.
Out of Date Wiring
Even though the majority of old wiring won’t pose a severe threat, if your installations are crumbling or if your wire is tube and knot, you have to keep in mind what this could mean. Tube and knot were one of the wiring’s initial standardized designs. Even though it had an effective design as the wiring aged, its insulators broke down quickly. This design meant that the exposed wires were left, which could easily cause electrocution or fire. Some of the older homes still have this type of wiring so you should consider inspecting perspectives homes’ wiring and make sure it’s replaced if you’re buying a home that is older and that has this kind of wiring.
Out of Date Heating and Cooling
If the home that you’re buying hasn’t had any renovations done to it for years, there’s a good chance that its HVAC system isn’t going to be the best. Some of the older rooms haven’t been constructed using ductwork which means there are left to rely on alternative methods for heating and cooling such as window units. Make sure you’re considering this when you’re purchasing a home that is older.
If you’re looking to buy a 1978 house, it has to be checked for lead paint in it before a contractor can do any repair, painting or renovation. The paint that’s undisturbed isn’t hazardous. The problems happen when it peels, chips or breaks down. Remodeling often generates large amounts of dust. This dust could also mean that the paint is breaking down. That’s why it’s important to have the house tested to see whether or not there is lead paint in it before renovations are done.
This invisible, odorless gas can cause someone to have lung cancer. It can get into a home through the walls, pipes and foundation cracks. It’s essential that you test for radon periodically, particularly if the house’s found someplace where there are common radon problems and make sure that you’re testing before you purchase a home.
House Was Built Before the Current Building Codes
The building codes govern a lot of construction aspects, which range from energy efficiency to structural design. When an older home is being worked on, it’s essential to know about code compliance so that you and your family are protected as well as your investment.
A lot of older homes have plaster walls, which caused a lot of problems. Many people consider replacing them. But if you own a home that’s historic, plaster was every important element in how the home was built, and it very well may be worth the repair costs. If the home that you’re thinking of purchasing is on a list for historic preservation, the repairs you do might be covered by something called zoning ordinances. This will require that you preserve the distinctive features, materials, construction techniques, craftsmanship and other materials that are characterizing your property. There are a variety of benefits to plaster. It’s durable and strong and gives older homes sound insulation and fire resistant.
Houses that are older sometimes have orders that are musty, which can signify a possible problem with mold. Mold often occurs in the places where there’s been a leak coming through basement walls, leaky pipe or roof. It’s a good idea to look for some stains that could indicate where the source is. There are also times when the mold isn’t detected easily, and you might have to talk to a specialist for the problem to be solved.
Older houses often will have dry rot. Dry rot is caused by a type of fungus feeding on the wood and causing it to weaken. Wood will become brittle and cracked and eventually will break down. Dry rot often is a problem in homes that are older because it’s possible the wood wasn’t treated for preventing rot damage.
When you’re purchasing a home that is at least 50 years old, chances are it’s time for repointing the masonry for the chimney and exterior walls. So you want to make sure that you are checking out the masonry and seeing that’s safe.
Depending on the age of the home and who owned the home before you purchase it, the chances are that it was poorly maintained as the years went by. Fixing the issues as they happen and maintaining older homes will be important for preserving the investment of the home and structure. Having regular maintenance done can reduce renovation and repair costs down the line.
These are the 15 problems that an older home might have. If you are planning to buy or you are inheriting an older home, you want to make sure that you know the problems that you might run into and work them into your budget. Otherwise you might have a rude awakening after you buy your home.