20 Things You Should Know Before Planning an Old House Renovation
Mahadev Desai is the Founder and CEO of gharpedia.com and SDCPL a leading design consultancy firm having strong national presence. He has a degree in Civil Engineering (BE) and Law (LLB) and has rich experience of 45 years. Besides being the Editor in Chief, he also mentors team at GharPedia. He is associated with many professional bodies. He is also co-founder of 1mnt.in the first in Industry software for contractors’ billing. He is a voracious reader, edited 4 books, and pioneer of book reading movement in Gujarat, India.
Many homeowners prefer their older homes to new for the variety of reasons. Due to their craftsmanship is better, architectural windows, solid plaster walls and other detailing gives the character to the home. Breathing a new life into an old home by simply renovating your home can be incredibly rewarding, but when it’s time for any old house renovation, there presents some costly challenges that aren’t so pleasant!
Change is the only immutable law of the nature as nothing stays for permanence. Like everything else, your home is also prone to rust and dust. After years of resisting to massive storms, strong seasons, wear and tear, there comes a time when nothing but a total renovation is what is needed to bring back the long-lost grace of your house.
Making your old house renovation better and effective, you must remain strongly mindful of certain things. These simple yet significant things will have a long-lasting impact on the general outlook of your residence.
This blog is about some of the most important things that you should keep in mind when you are planning to renovate your home. Continue reading to know more details. Make sure when you are aware of the potential problems, though, you’ll be able to set a more realistic budget and timeline for your old house renovation project.
Also Read: Home Renovation: Important Things to Know!
Old House Renovation
01. Prepare the Ground for Home Renovation
This is a starting step that involves an inspector thoroughly inspecting the internal structure of your home. Instead of right away jumping to install new wallpapers and paintings, get all your plumbing, electricity and HVAC issues resolved. Laying the groundwork will uplift your confidence and put you on the right track.
02. Do not forget about the Building Report
Since you are renovating the old house, it is important for you to have a surveyor checked the building. The building report will enable you in making a right decision. Try to document everything including damages atleast with photographs.
03. Start Working According to a Schedule
If you want the work to go in a proper direction, be sure to prepare a detailed and focused home bound plan of work. A stringent plan will prevent you from being distracted. You should do this before commencing the job.
04. Install New Electricity Light Voltage Systems
Older homes often have outdated electrical systems which become safety-risks if not taken care of! In your old house you might not have adequate amenities for TV, Internet, wifi or services/utilities needed for a smart home. While renovating your home, check for these systems, and where they need re-installment, make a special budget for them.
05. Ensure that Radiators are Functioning
No radiator or an out-of-order radiator means there is no proper central heating system in the building. Checking for the presence or functioning of a radiator is therefore an important part of old house renovation.
06. The Building Should be Damp-Free
We all agree that damps are damaging. Identifying one could be tricky because at times, a damp is ostensibly visible and sometimes, it’s hidden. Be sure to remove damps because they can increase your total costs. Preventive measures to remove damp services are must!
07. Watch out for Rot
This is basically a fungus that attacks the timber and destroys it. Rot usually appears in extraordinarily ventilated conditions. This fungus can be identified from its strong smell rising from a wool-type mass.
08. Cracks are not always Worrying
If you see a crack in the building, don’t worry. It isn’t always a cause of concern. The appearance of a crack doesn’t always mean subsidence or a partial or total collapse. It also doesn’t mean that the building structure is weak. As long as the crack is not following a particular pattern, you are good! Most of the home cracks are not structural. You need to worry, if only they are structural and expanding.
09. Check with the Mortgage lender regarding the building’s habitability
Sometimes, the property is not habitable yet based on its current value, the mortgage lenders will give the house out to the people. Before you step into buying the house, it is advised that you ensure whether or not the house is livable.
10. Keep the Ground Floor Bathrooms
Ground floor bathrooms are common in old houses. If you have one, keep it. There’s no point in removing them. A good old bathroom will allow you to use the facilities while the new one is built.
11. Tile Repairing and Installation
12. Do not underestimate the Importance of Measured Survey
This step is highly important especially if you are planning to conduct exhaustive designing work on the floor. Obviously, you will need measured drawings or to do proper measurement before starting the work. Therefore, do take a measured survey of the entire building as much as possible.
13. Find Alternative Living Shelter
Sometimes, the house is deteriorated so bad that you can’t live in it. So where will you be living till the house is furnished? In case you are unable to move in immediately in a part of the house, make sure to arrange an alternative living shelter. It will be very difficult to live in a home undergoing renovation.
14. Renovation Could be Stressful
You should understand that the renovation process is slow, tiring, and stressful. The plans won’t always go as per your wishes. There could be drastic changes which will impact your mood, leaving you exhausted and even depressed.
15. VAT may be imposed
If you are buying a house that has remained empty for a period of less than 2 years, a VAT may be imposed at the rate of 20%. However, for a home that has been unpopulated for 2 or more years, a reduced tax rate of 5% is applicable.
16. No need to delete Old Windows
If your house has original windows, deleting them would be the worst idea. Try to keep them as far as you can. Even old damaged windows can be repaired that would save you the expense. Further removing and replacing windows may involve damages to existing walls and hence generate additional costs.
17. Get Advice from Structural Engineers
Where the home renovation project involves tasks such as erasing load-bearing walls, widening of windows, or cutting timber off, the best way to get these done is by hiring a structural engineer. Their expertise would help you do the project skillfully. Get an assurance of future life of the house before you invest huge in renovation.
Also Read: Why Should I Hire a Structural Engineer?
18. Be Sure to Inspect the Roof
Most of the times, the tiles on the roof are broken or are too stained. That shouldn’t worry you as there are number of businesses to help you with broken tiles. Hiring a reputable tile repair business in West Jordan UT would help you get a good tile repair deal.
19. Prefer Getting a Warranty
Although this is not necessary but having a warranty is a better thing to go for. This protects your house against unforeseen risks and compensates for any error or omission in design.
20. Be Ready for Unexpected Costs and Charges
You cannot cover your old house renovation costs with 100% accuracy. It’s important for you to know that in advance. As soon as the project begins, there might be certain additional costs that will be incurred. But you must also control your temptation. You will always like to change everything while renovating you home, as your budget will shoot-up. Always keep 3 to 5 % as contingency budget for your old house renovation.
Above discussed tips will not only provide guidance on what needs to be done during different phases of the old house renovation, but they will also help ensure that your project is conducted in the most professional, safe, and neat manner. Anyone seeking for their old house renovation, these 20 points should provide them all the information they need to know before starting the work.
Though some of these tips may not be relevant to some places depending on regulatory laws and weather conditions, yet they should give you a good hint about how to lay the groundwork for your old house renovation project.