Redoing an old home may seem easy on TV, but once you actually start doing, you’ll see there are various things you should be careful of. Old homes can have hidden flaws that can cause injuries and sometimes even environmental dangers, therefore it’s important not to jump into it, instead, try to go slowly, so you’ll be able to avoid getting hurt. If you’ve found a charming home that needs to be redone or your home is too old and in need of restoration, here are some things that you should know before you start.
Words: Amelia Atkins
1. Make a plan
Dealing with an old house can be tricky, especially if it already looks run down from the outside. Hence, it’s crucial to make a plan first, preferably by hiring a consultant who’ll determine the degree of damage and will also be able to tell you what needs to be done next. There are so many hidden issues that can also cost you a lot of money, therefore making a detailed plan can help you know what immediate steps you need to take, and what should be postponed for some other time. Setting priorities is crucial when it comes to renovating old buildings, especially if they’re in bad condition due to the passing of time.
2. Consider changing the plumbing and wiring
Many old houses have old plumbing installed, therefore dealing with galvanized pipes that are corroded and clogged isn’t something uncommon. Yet, plumbing should always be left to experts, so it’s not advisable to remove or change pipes by yourself or someone who seems trustworthy based on what their promises are. If you need to fix the plumbing, it’s best to hire a plumber who has experience in dealing with such matters. Additionally, old electrical wiring can pose a threat to you and your family, so if you need to add a new electrical panel, it’s best to talk to an experienced electrician who’ll know how to do it properly.
3. Stay away from unsafe materials
Back in the day, there were no such materials we used now, so people had to use what was available at the market. A lot of these materials, such as asbestos or lead are dangerous and therefore, often led to serious health issues, and sometimes even death. Even though you probably won’t have problems if you leave them be, it’s much better to remove them altogether, but make sure to hire a professional team who’ll be able to inspect your home and remove dangerous materials safely. Dealing with asbestos by yourself can cause you to get ill, so if you’ve already dealt with dangerous materials or know someone who has, you can always look for asbestos advice.
4. Change the layout
Old homes used to have very different layouts, which isn’t unusual, considering that people had particular needs back them. Old Victorian homes had rooms for live-in staff, which is something most of the people don’t need anymore, even if they’re affluent themselves. Additionally, due to many rooms, people preferred to build long corridors while room remained smaller. Changing the layout can be hard, costly and sometimes even dangerous work, so don’t try to do anything without consulting experts, especially if you’re planning to remove load-bearing walls. So, if you’re thinking about opening up space, always talk to architects and interior designers first.
In case you prefer old homes, feel free to purchase or rent one, but never try doing the renovations all alone, as that can cause you multiple injuries and other health problems. Always consult professionals, and before you start renovating, make sure to create a financial plan so you won’t end up spending more than what you’ve originally intended.