How to Fix Up an Old Family Home

How to Fix Up an Old Family Home

According to the Statista Research Department, around 10.5 million residential houses in the U.S. were between 20 and 32 years old as of November 2021. Most of the homes in America fit into this bracket, and the ‘newer’ ones are headed there. There’s no escaping an old house. Therefore, having the correct information for when it’s time to refresh your old family home is important.

An old family home often has a unique charm and character. When fixing it, you should retain some of it. So, depending on your assessment of what’s needed, you can instruct your renovating contractors to update the fixtures while being mindful of maintaining the vintage effect. If your home is over the 35-year mark, it may require extensive restoration and maintenance to meet modern standards. A house built with high-quality materials can last well over 50 years with good, consistent care, but a poorly built home can begin to break down by the 20-year mark. In any case, most home installations and fixtures are meant to last two decades before needing replacement.

Let’s look at the usual issues older homes face due to aging and provide insights into essential repairs, remodeling ideas, and the benefits of various hardscaping and landscaping projects. These apply if you’re planning to fix up the house you already own or purchase an old family home in the near future.

Leaky Roofs

One of the most common issues old homes face is leaky roofs. According to a housing report by the USA News, roof lifespans contrast based on their kind and what material is used to make them. For example, roofs made of slate, copper, or tiles are more expensive and are created to have lifespans of 50-plus years before showing signs of damage. On the other hand, roofs made of fiber cement and asphalt can only serve you for up to 20 years. In any case, if your home is located in a place with extreme weather conditions, your roof’s life span will be affected adversely despite assurances from the manufacturer.

Your old family home needs assessment by a home roof repair company to help you develop a roof renovation plan that extends the usability of your current roof or, if things are too far gone, guide you in the roof replacement process. Some of the issues the roof repair company may find include missing or cracked shingles, sagging or water stains on the ceilings, discolored sidings, worn flashing, failing granules, damaged gutters, rodent nests, termite infestation, rotting wood, and tile cracking.

The roof forms one of your home’s most prominent exterior and interior parts. It is a form of protection for you and your family and the properties inside your house. The roof also contributes significantly to your home’s curb appeal. Hiring a professional to assess and upgrade your roof is one of the best ways to fix an old family home. You’ll have handled one of the most crucial puzzle pieces of the old house’s renovation plan.

Sorting Out Plumbing Problems

Plumbing done professionally can last as long as 70 years; therefore, it’s doubtful you’ll have to replace all the plumbing in your old family home. Your home might be facing some damage here and there, which is quite expected in an aged house.

If you notice anything that’s amiss with the plumbing, immediately call a plumber. Your post-assessment report may indicate the presence of leaks in certain areas due to pipe corrosion over time, low water pressure due to sedimentation, and cracked faucets. The plumber can recommend solutions that will work for your space. Minor plumbing issues are typically affordable to fix and very straightforward. Part of your fixing and upgrading could include replacing the more visible parts of the plumbing system, such as modern sinks, faucets, and showerheads.

Updating to modern fixtures and fixing damage enhances the functionality of your plumbing system and prolongs its lifespan. It also prevents potential water damage. This is an excellent opportunity to adopt more sustainable, energy-efficient, water-saving fixtures.

Enhancing Air Quality

Did you know that a central air conditioning system usually serves a home for a decade and a half? Fifteen years is no mean feat! Window air conditioning only lasts a maximum of seven years before needing replacement. Regardless of your HVAC, it’s vital to have it serviced regularly by a professional. You must keep your filters clean, clear any clogs in the drains, change your thermostat’s batteries, and inspect the ducts for dust and mold. If you notice a malfunction, do the air conditioning repair immediately.

If your old family home is over two or more decades old, chances are you’re on your second or third HVAC. If you’re about to move on to your third or fourth one, choose an environmentally friendly option that saves energy. Doing so lets you keep your electricity bill in check and contribute to the planet’s sustainability goals. You can have your local HVAC guy take you through all the available options in the market. To save money, check if the utility provider you want to settle on offers rebates or incentives on some of the units.

Old Kitchen? No Problem

There are many ways to update your old family home, including kitchen remodeling. It doesn’t have to be expensive if you don’t have the budget. You can consider options like painting the walls and the cabinetry, adding, or removing certain fixtures and accessories. Sometimes, you only need a slight modern touch to fix the look.

Depending on exactly how far back your kitchen design goes, modernizing it could be a job for a home remodeling company. Old homes have tiny kitchens with tiny windows, non-built-in appliances, and not much of a pantry. Such a kitchen calls for a renovation project by professionals.

A renovation will let you add space, remove unnecessary walls to adopt the modern open kitchen layout, expand windows, redo electricals, update plumbing, add some large glass French doors for more light, add in-built appliances, replace the storage cabinets, and even remodel the flooring.

Because there are countless kitchen appliances, flooring, paint, cabinetry, and lighting options, research extensively, shop around, read magazines, and talk to an interior designer. Kitchen renovation is expensive, so make the process worth every penny.

Once you’re settled on the look and feel, choose energy-efficient, timeless, and aesthetically pleasing appliances; go for hardware that’s easy to clean and colors that stay vibrant and fresh for years, such as white, hues of blue, and grays. Feel free to preserve some vintage pieces or designs. Renovating your old family home doesn’t mean you need to lose all the sentimental values.

Aged Electricals

Old wiring can be a real challenge in your old family home. Usually, old wiring is insufficient to meet the needs of modern appliances if your home’s wiring was done over 50 years ago when people didn’t have tonnes of devices running simultaneously.

Suppose you’ve been experiencing frequent circuit breaker trips, dimming or flickering lights, electricity outlets that are warm to the touch after use, and burning odors when running certain appliances. This is a clear indication that your old family home needs electrical repairs.

Hire a licensed electrician to assess the wiring, outlets, and electrical panels, replacing or upgrading them as necessary. The fix-up may involve rewiring sections of the home, updating electrical panels to meet current code requirements, installing additional outlets, and ensuring proper grounding and safety measures. You can also opt for switches and plugs with a modern aesthetic.

Upgrading your wiring and doing necessary electrical repairs enhances your home’s value, protects you and your family from electrical hazards, and modernizes a key aspect of your old home, extending its lifespan and making it feel new.

Fixing-Up Old Pavements

The wear and tear of your pavement is natural. Over time, the materials that make up your old family home’s pavement, whether asphalt, brick, or concrete, will break down and suffer the effects of being exposed to elements such as sunshine, rainwater, snow, and chemical substances that come into contact with the pavement’s surface.

According to Pavement Interactive, you can tell you need to call a paving contractor when you notice alligator cracks, standing water, potholes, fading, reduced traction, skidding marks, and disintegration with chipping. These signs are inevitable if your pavement is between 15 and 20 years old. You may have gotten used to it and don’t consider the pavement a real extension of the house, but it directly impacts your curb appeal and speaks to people’s perception of the house itself. So it isn’t a good idea to ignore issues with your pavement.

Once you give your old family home brand new pavement, you’ll notice the exterior of your home feels revitalized. It will motivate you to do more, like fixing up the porch, adding live plants, working on some landscaping, painting the doors, and putting up a modern fence. Utilize long-lasting, aesthetically appealing materials like interlocking pavers or natural stone to add beauty and functionality to outdoor pavements and walkways. For added appeal and functionality, consider hardscaping elements like built-in seating areas.

Insullation Issues

One of the common issues you may face in your old family home is the need for proper insulation, leading to energy inefficiency and discomfort. Fixing this issue is a straightforward job. An installation expert can use foam insulation to seal any gaps, improving your home’s HVAC thermal performance.

Spray foam insulation installation is popular as it’s inexpensive and convenient. It expands and fills cavities, providing an airtight seal that reduces heat loss in winter and heat gain in the summer. Old homes lack insulation on walls in low-traffic rooms like attics, basements, and pantries. Regularly check and take care of your insulation project.

Landscaping and Lawn Issues

Aging happens both in your home’s interior and exterior. It’s equally essential to work on the outside as well. Pavements are not the only things around your old family home that deserve TLC. Take time to assess everything else; the trees, grass, live fence, and other specific features that make up your landscape. When you step outside your home, you might face a bleak outlook; patchy grass, a broken swing, a dry fountain, a faded or broken fence, etc. Don’t be discouraged. There’s always something you can do.

You can enhance and modernize your home’s curb appeal by investing in landscaping services from a local company near you. Simple efforts like planting trees, shrubs, and colorful flowers can transform the appearance of your old family home. Consider engaging the services of tree contractors for proper tree maintenance, trimming, and removal if necessary. For a green luscious lawn, consider installing functional irrigation systems to make your plants drought-tolerant.

If you have special or unique features like fountains, swings, or a pool, you may need to find creative ways to update them, give them a modern feel, and improve their functionality. Consult an expert for complex jobs affecting the home’s structural integrity. There are countless resources online and in magazines that can give you great ideas on how to enhance the look of your landscape. Have fun looking through them without giving yourself undue pressure to create something perfect. It’s an exciting thought, isn’t it?

Window and Door Repairs

Anyone can tell the difference between vintage and modern doors. They each have distinct appearances, and people have different opinions about them. Perhaps you prefer the antique feel of old doors and windows but want to improve their functionality, repair any broken or loose parts and extend their lifespan.

Admittedly, your old family home may have drafty windows and doors, compromising energy efficiency and comfort. They’re making your HVAC work harder than necessary and affecting your utility bills too. A great solution is to have a professional replicate your windows and doors using the modern installation. You get the best of both worlds.

As you replace old windows with energy-efficient models that offer better insulation properties, such as double or triple-pane windows with low-emissivity (low-E) glass, consider removing the old curtain box and replacing it with some modern light window shutters. They’ll improve the look of your space and move them decades forward. Because windows are as much a security feature as they’re for aesthetics, installing new ones makes for a more secure home for you and your family.

Fixing up an old family home is an exciting process. It’s common for homeowners to balance between retaining the aspects of the home they have sentimental attachments to and improving functionality, modernizing, repairing, and enhancing the home’s overall feel. As you work on the inside of the house, remember to work on the outside, too, so that, in the end, you have a charming, fresh living atmosphere. Research extensively and engage professional services to ensure the renovation or remodeling projects have the best possible outcomes.

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