The charms of living in an older home can be many: history, style, craftsmanship, quirks. But there’s no denying that living in such a home has its challenges. Maintenance can be tricky and expensive, especially if certain systems and features have been neglected over the years. Here are common situations found in many older homes, so you can educate buyers looking at older homes:
Energy inefficiency may be the No. 1 issue with older homes. Most older homes were constructed with single-pane windows; if these windows are still in place, they likely don’t fit very well. Replacement windows can be very expensive, but will contribute immensely to reduced energy use and lower heating and cooling costs. Most replacement windows are available in several styles and at different price points, so finding ones that suit the look of an older home is easier than ever.
Poor insulation will also waste energy and money, and make living in the home uncomfortable. The most important and easiest area of the home to insulate is the attic, but walls and floors above ventilated crawlspaces should be insulated as well, if possible. The attic may already have insulation, but it may be inadequate by current standards.
Old water pipes should be checked to identify the material and determine if they need to be replaced. Some older materials such as galvanized steel, iron and even lead are still in use today even though new construction doesn’t allow them. Replacement options include copper and CPVC piping.
Outdated electrical systems can still sometimes be found in older homes and may not only be dangerous, they can make the house uninsurable in some situations. Even if no danger is present, we use much more electricity in our homes today and the capacity of older systems may be inadequate to meet modern demand. Only a qualified electrician should attempt any repairs or updates to a home’s electrical system.
With careful maintenance and a nod to history, older homes can be comfortable, stylish and energy-efficient in the right hands.
This article was provided by Pillar To Post Home Inspectors. For more information, go to pillartopost.com.