Sun. Apr 21st, 2024

Older houses can be real show-stoppers. No one can deny that homes constructed nowadays can’t compare to the quality and Attention to detail that went into these monuments. However, older properties aren’t usually the most straightforward to maintain.

All that charm and elegance also comes with a lengthy history and unique maintenance requirements. Without the right level of TLC, historic homes can deteriorate to the point of disrepair. If you decide to invest in an older family home, here are some tips to help you with the maintenance.

1. Schedule Regular Roof Inspections

While roof inspections are still beneficial for new home constructions, they’re even more important for an older family home. The reason for this is the roofs of such homes are almost always nearing the end of their useful life, and this can present a host of issues for the home. Routine inspections from a local roofer will help in several ways.

Peace of mind is one of the most evident advantages. You’ll be aware of the state of your roof, if it has repair needs, and whether it’s time to install new rubber roofing or continue using existing one for a few more years. This is especially crucial for safety reasons. If an older roof has problems such as rot or leaks, they can be deadly for you and your family once they enter the home.

You’ll also get to enjoy significantly lower energy bills. You can save a lot of money over time by keeping your roof in good condition since it will lower the cost of cooling and heating your house. If your roof is damaged or leaking, this can lead to moisture problems within your house, promoting mold growth and poor air quality. Every year or two, having your home’s roof inspected by a qualified roofing firm may help you avoid these problems, which can grow into more costly repairs or replacements in the future.

2. Pay Attention to the Condition of the Counters

In most cases, you’ll need to replace the countertops of an older family home. Kitchens in the past were very different from those we see today, and built-in cabinets with matching counters were uncommon until the 1940s. Before, kitchens were just a collection of furnishings to aid in carrying out essential tasks. Before a built-in kitchen cabinet design became ubiquitous in the mid-century as kitchen technology advancements truly took off, Hoosier cabinets, freestanding sinks, and the like were quite famous.

So when renovating the countertops of your historic home, you need to be intentional about your choices. Soapstone is a great choice. It’s been mined for thousands of years.

This material is often used for fireplace hearths, sinks, cookware, and countertops. Do you recall taking chemistry in high school? Because soapstone is durable and naturally antibacterial, there is a considerable chance that your Bunsen burner rested comfortably on a soapstone surface. For your kitchen counters, you can either have it un-oiled for that dark gray look or oil it for that rich, deep black shade.

3. Refresh the Paint Regularly

An older family home is likelier to have an outdated paint job. You may be tempted to keep it to preserve the rustic charm, but this could end up causing you a lot of other avoidable issues. For example, a deteriorating paint job can let moisture into the home, encouraging mold growth. You don’t want to find yourself in such a situation.

With that out of the way, it’s important to note that while applying paint is one of the most common DIY projects among homeowners, you shouldn’t attempt to take this route for your older family home. Instead, hire professional painting contractors. The reason for this is that the most historic homes often feature surfaces that are rarely present in newer homes. For example, you’ll often find exterior architectural blocks, wood paneling, exposed brick, and plaster walls. Use the appropriate paint and tools on these surfaces and each room to ensure the project’s durability.

For instance, a high gloss paint will highlight flaws in older walls’ surface finish. Or, brick and decorative trim might take longer to paint (and require longer to prepare) if the wrong paint is used. Any exterior or interior painting project needs the proper paint and equipment, but older properties need this even more. Always seek expert advice before painting unusual or non-drywalled surfaces. You’ll ultimately save time and money.

4. Pay Attention To Your Driveway

The driveway is among the first things people will notice about your older family home. This means it’ll contribute to people’s overall impression of your home. If it’s in disrepair, your curb appeal will suffer. Besides making your property look shabby, it can also pose a safety hazard.

Cracks and potholes will cause a trip hazard for those walking on it. For your vehicle, they can be damaging to your tires and alignment. To avoid such issues, work with local concrete contractors to keep your driveway in optimal condition. Sit together to develop a maintenance plan.

5. Partner With a Landscaping or Lawn Professional

You may have noticed that your shrubs or even tiny trees have deteriorated recently because of old age. Plants don’t last forever, and many shrubs have a lifespan of 10 to 15 years on average, according to New Garden. Sections fading off, poor growth, vulnerability to diseases and pests, and general decline indicate that a plant is getting older.

The surroundings that a landscape was put in frequently change as it ages. Perhaps a storm caused your neighbor to lose a tree, turning your once-shady garden into a roasting oven. Or perhaps a quickly expanding shade tree has transformed a once-sunny area into a cold, damp location that calls for other plant selections. The original plants may suffer due to the ‘new’ environment.

If your landscaping exhibits any of these problems, it could be time for an overhaul to prevent your landscape from lowering your home’s value. Depending on how long plants have gone without the attention of local lawn companies and what kind of plants are impacted, solutions might range from corrective trimming to full plant replacement. The good news is any landscape, including that of an older family home, can be restored regardless of how bad it looks.

6. Install Window Treatments

Regardless of how proud you are of your renovated older family home, you don’t want neighbors to easily peep through your windows. Here’s where window treatments come in. Window coverings help safeguard the privacy of your interior areas by obstructing the view from outside. These could be delicate lace panels or interior shutters. These additions can also increase energy efficiency by reducing drafts caused by leaky windows during winter or direct sunlight in the heat of the summer.

As with carpets, cushions, and other soft furnishings, coverings are a seemingly simple feature with a surprisingly significant impact on the decor. Since Ancient Greece, shutters have been the standard window decoration to protect interiors, block sunlight, and provide ventilation, according to Old House Online. There are many other options. Work with window treatment companies for help navigating your options.

7. Work on the Siding

The siding on your older family home takes a beating from the constant exposure to the elements. Considering it’s one of your home’s major exterior aesthetic components, you want to pay attention to its maintenance needs. Besides enhancing visual appeal, siding is also one of the most important protective elements of your home.

If it’s in poor condition, you may encounter issues you can easily avoid. For example, if there are significant cracks, they will lower your home’s insulation capabilities. Water and moisture can also penetrate your home through the cracks.

The best course of action is to have a seasoned siding contractor inspect your current siding. Depending on their findings, they may recommend repairs or replacement. Be sure to heed their advice.

8. Plumbing Inspections

Your pipes and other plumbing fixtures might become damaged from everyday wear and tear. An older family home might have pipes that have developed rust and corrosion over time, which can cause discolored water and odd odors coming from your faucets. Over time, built-up oil, hair, and dirt that coagulate and block the pipes make it impossible for wastewater to properly flow out of the house.

Routine plumbing inspections are a crucial component of your home’s routine maintenance schedule. They could show areas that require repairs or drain cleaning before the issue gets out of hand. For instance, a single leaky faucet may not seem like much. However, it may waste many gallons of water each day, costing you more money than a typical water bill would. Leaks also have the potential to cause expensive damage that is difficult to fix. Frequently, not only the physical structure of the home is harmed, but also personal items like photos and mementos.

Ideally, a plumbing inspection from a local handyman service should be done every two years. However, for an older family home, it’s better to do it annually. A qualified plumber will tell you of potential problems early warning signs. They will also offer you a cost evaluation for all necessary repairs. The low expense of a plumbing examination is far less than the potential cost of repairing and replacing the entire system. Knowing that the plumbing system in your house is secure and functioning properly gives you peace of mind.

9. Updating an Older Home

While you may fall in love with your older family home from the moment you lay your eyes on it, you’ll likely want to make a few updates and repairs. Older homes might be a little challenging. Due to their uniqueness, they have certain layout, storage, and space issues. These are all important considerations for homes in the modern era.

However, they weren’t as important a century ago. When you move into a historic home that hasn’t seen many modifications, you may discover that you have severe closet space issues and the ‘open’ concept doesn’t exist. Luckily, there are ways to modernize your home without sacrificing its beauty or character.

First, learn as much as you can about the history of your house and its components. You may discover that most of the places you don’t like may not be original to the property.

Remember that homes constructed over a century ago probably lacked indoor plumbing. Therefore, the bathroom you detest is probably not original. When you decide to modify it, Knowing this could help you feel a bit more at ease when you decide to make modifications. Remember that the materials used are probably quite hard to come by now. So if you plan to use them, be ready to pay a significant amount for them.

The good thing is you may find miscellaneous material when you scan the property. If lucky, you could stumble upon some amazing wood beams strewn about an outbuilding. These would allow you to preserve the elegance of your home even as you modernize it. If you’re not lucky, you can always conduct a comprehensive search of the materials on the market right now that can complement the design of your house. Using them will enable you to maintain the allure and appearance while also enjoying more contemporary quarters.

Ensure you have adequate insurance for coverage while you complete these repairs. Unfortunately, you probably won’t find any savings here. Insurance firms frequently view older homes as somewhat higher risk than recent construction. However, you don’t want to pursue such a project without coverage.

While most people tend to shy away from an older family home, they’re not necessarily a bad investment so don’t rush to contact a moving service yet; you just need to know how to maintain them. Like with most things in life, if you give your home the care it deserves, it’ll take care of you back. If you don’t know how to approach the maintenance of your historic home, you can always seek the help of a professional. They’ll tell you everything you need to know and suggest any changes that may be beneficial. In the meantime, this guide provides a great start. You’ll be happy that you decided to keep your older family home.

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