From ceiling medallions to Rumford fireplaces and even dumbwaiters, old houses have a certain charm and character to them. It’s only natural that you might consider buying one at some point. But before you take the plunge, it’s important to be aware of the issues you might run into. Here we cover the most common problems you’ll find in old houses.
Outworn Layouts and Fittings
Cramped quarters are often the most noticeable issues with old houses. Most of them feature small bedrooms, narrow hallways, and insufficiently sized kitchens. If you are planning to upgrade your kitchen, by visiting RTA Outdoor Living you can get free outdoor kitchen design software.Other common and undesirable features of old houses are outdated fittings and layouts. You may find issues such as rotting cabinets, rusty accessories, and out-of-style paint jobs. A complete remodel, which may include resizing rooms, can easily set you back in excess of $50,000.
Leaks in the Roof and Walls
Finding that the roof and walls of an old house haven’t been properly maintained is very common. Over time, the roof and walls may allow water intrusion, especially since older houses don’t typically have good waterproofing. They can easily collapse and put the lives of the house’s occupants at risk. If the roof is damaged beyond repair, you may need to replace it entirely. The cost of framing and building a wall ranges from $1,000 all the way to $3,000, depending on the complexities.
Faults in the Electrical System
A good number of older houses have outdated electrical systems. Generally speaking, wiring needs to be replaced every 70 years or so. Service panels should be updated every 60 years, while circuit breakers shouldn’t last more than 30 years. Besides, most homes that were built before 1970 aren’t equipped with ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCI). As such, they’re prone to short circuits, ground faults, and power overloads. The best course of action is to get the house thoroughly inspected for common electrical problems. If it needs a full rewiring, then you may have to part with more than $1,000.
Hazardous Materials and Gases
Most houses that were built before 1978 contain asbestos and lead. Similarly, carbon monoxide and radon are commonly found in old houses. Before settling into an old house, you may want to have it professionally inspected for such hazards. The average cost of de-leading a house stands at just under $3,000, but that of removing asbestos is roughly $2,000. Getting rid of toxic gases ranges from $10 to $1,000.
As you may have noticed, most common problems you’ll find in old houses do come with price tags. It’s always wise to know when to walk away.