You’ll find that many homeowners are reluctant to remodel their old homes as they have better craftsmanship and solid plaster walls and hold precious memories. Giving your old home a new look is something many wish for as it prolongs its lifespan and gives it a better one. However, it comes with a multitude of costly challenges.

And like everything else, your old home goes through wear and tear as it accumulates dust, pest and mold infestation, and weakens due to various weather challenges. And these factors affect the stability and outward appearance, which can only be improved through remodeling. Therefore, before renovating your old home, consider the following factors.

Inspection

Before starting any work on your old build, you must thoroughly inspect the internal structure and foundation. This ensures that you know all the work needed to fortify your house against future calamities, such as storms and floods, while giving it a new look. You can hire a surveyor and building inspectors to provide a detailed report. This is especially essential if you bought the house from a previous owner, meaning you were not involved in the original build.

While doing the inspection, it would also be great if you contracted an electrical engineer to evaluate the electrical wiring status of the house. It’s a given that you would have to replace the wiring system to accommodate your new design and that most of the old builds have an outdated knob and tube wiring system.

You also need to hire plumbing experts to inspect your plumbing system and check if there were any leaks, as this could have led to mold and mildew, which are detrimental to your house structure and the residents’ health.

After going through the inspection report, you can map a realistic and detailed renovation plan.

Toxic walls

It’s also important to note that most old homes, particularly those built in the 1980s, contain toxic substances when exposed to the air during demolitions. These include asbestos in steam pipes, floor tiles, and spray-on insulation. These toxic materials can cause lung damage; thus, you are advised to take the necessary precautions to protect the contractors.

Your team

The most crucial part about renovating an old building is working with a team of people who understand what you want, like Boh Bros. Construction. Therefore, you need to hire contractors who are specialized in renovations, as they’ve seen all that comes with an old building.

In your quest for the best, interview at least three contractors and check reviews on their websites. And if possible, visit their offices, and request to see all the necessary documentation to prove they are licensed, insured, and have enough workforce.

Make a plan

After all the inspections are done, next you need to make a plan. Unlike a new build with a black canvas, with a remodel, you need to consider whether you need to knock down some walls for better space, the kind of roofing you need, and all the intricate details required in each room, from the kitchen, bathroom, and bedrooms.

This involves creating a board of inspiration you’ve gathered on Pinterest or building magazines and narrowing it down to what you need.

Design

Consult with an architect to create a design of the changes you want. You can have them visit your house and tour it while explaining the necessary changes. They will also give you valuable advice on what to add and avoid.

The design comes in handy when setting the budget, as you already know all that is needed, making it easy on the builder.

Budget

Once you are done with writing a detailed plan, it’s time to create your budget to avoid spending on unnecessary items. Therefore, when making your renovation budget, you’d better research a cabinet or kitchen design, take a trip to the hardware store or design centers, and get an estimate of your project cost. Window shopping will help you compare material prices and evaluate whether it’s worth investing in.

If you don’t have the time, you can get quotes from several suppliers and architects. After setting the budget, you must also set aside a contingency fund because with remodeling, you must always expect the unexpected, such as burst pipes or fuses, which will require money to replace.

Project Timeline

After a detailed consultation with your contractor, you must have a schedule of when the work will be completed. Home renovations require much work and time, so you should set a reasonable timeline if you want quality work. This is because it is tiring to renovate, and if you hurry them up, they might also be hurried in their work resulting in shoddy work.

Therefore, before setting the timeline, consider the weather, material deliveries, and other factors that could affect the renovations, such as the sickness of the builders. Therefore, as much as you need your home ready within a few weeks, you need to be realistic and work with your contractor.

Sign a contract

After hiring a contractor and setting a reasonable timeline, you must put all your agreement in writing as a contract. This will protect you in case they default on their part. The contract needs to be detailed and specific on the following items:

  • The set timeline
  • Payment schedule
  • Penalties if the contractor fails to adhere to the timeline
  • The expected house design

Do you need any permits

Although it’s not a new build, you’ll still need government approval before commencing certain upgrades. You’ll find that before you buy any new property, you have to check if it meets all the building codes and regulations. Therefore, even if your plan is not to sell, you still have to ensure you meet all the rules. Otherwise, you’ll face challenges if you ever need to sell.

Work with your contractor to determine the permits you need to apply for.

Final Thoughts

House renovations improve your outward look but also enhances its functionality and lifespan. Therefore, if you’ve had your house for several decades, it is long due for remodeling to upgrade its plumbing, electrical, foundation, and structure. You must acknowledge that house renovation takes hard work and capital, so ensure you’ve made all the considerations before starting.

Author

Rethinking The Future (RTF) is a Global Platform for Architecture and Design. RTF through more than 100 countries around the world provides an interactive platform of highest standard acknowledging the projects among creative and influential industry professionals.

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