Renovating an old house requires a lot of effort – also financially. In this guide we will show you what you should do to update your home. And of course, with costs included.
Are you thinking to buy an old house? Or you want to update your current home? It’s OK, you’ll find every single detail of updating an old house.
When To Renovate An Old House?
Not all remedial measures have to be carried out immediately. First of all, it is important to eliminate static-constructive defects, i.e. cracks or moisture in the walls or the foundation.
If you would like to change the room layout, you should also have this done before you move into your new home – just like the removal of asbestos or toxic wood preservatives.
The electrics and the water pipes should also be renewed after the purchase. All other renovations can be carried out gradually if you already live in the house. You can save a lot of money if you do the renovation work yourself.
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Whether these so-called personal contributions are worthwhile depends above all on your manual skills. Laypersons can easily do work such as painting, wallpapering or installing floor coverings. However, if it is a matter of larger and complicated measures, such as electrical or insulation work, it is better for experts to take over the direction.
Before we move on to old house updating steps, if you’re thinking to buy an old house, you should definitely read what’s written below. If you’ll update your current home, you may skip to the next section.
What To Look Out For When Buying An Old House?
Before you buy a used house, it is important to look at the land register. The property should be as free as possible from third-party claims, which means that, for example, no permanent residence or right of use has been granted to another person.
Check the land register for any financial burdens, such as an existing mortgage or land charge. You should be careful if there are additions that are not mentioned in the land register.
The liability for this passes to you as the new owner when you buy the house: If it was built illegally, you can also be legally prosecuted.
Before you read the checklist and the costs of renovation in this article, you can watch this complete renovation of an old house by Perkins Builder Brothers :
This means that you either have to obtain a building permit afterwards or even demolish the buildings if they violate the building code. In both cases you will incur additional costs and hassles.
Important Tip: If you are buying and renovating an old house that is listed as a historic monument, you must inquire about any restrictions from the responsible municipality. Because you are often obliged to comply with certain specifications during the renovation. For example, in the case of half-timbered houses, the façade must be kept true to the original – this can sometimes lead to more expensive renovation costs.
What To Check When Updating An Old House?
Defects can appear anywhere in an old house – the roof can be affected as well as the basement or facade.
The problems that arise often also depend on the era in which the house was built. Asbestos was often used in houses built in the 1970s. We give you an overview of the points you should pay particular attention to when you want to renovate an old house:
1- Substance Damage
This includes settlement cracks on the house, rising damp and dry rot. Insect infestation can also cause serious damage, for example, in the roof truss or in the false ceilings.
If superficial traces of mold are found during the inspection, it should be checked to what extent the area in question is infested so that a cost estimate can be made. However, mold is not always immediately visible, but you can often recognize it by its musty smell.
3- Old Heaters
Because of energy saving, old boilers installed before 1984 must be replaced. Heaters from 1985 may run for a maximum of 30 years. The only exception: condensing and low-temperature boilers.
4- Water Pipes
If valves or screw connections show traces of limescale, the entire water pipe is probably also calcified. Then not only does less water flow, but there is also a risk of a water pipe bursting if the pipe is also rusted. Likewise, lead lines need to be replaced if this has not already been done.
5- Outdated Electrical Installations
It should be checked whether enough circuits have been installed and whether an RCD is available.
In old houses, wood preservatives were still used, which are now considered harmful to health. If these cannot be removed, regular, thorough ventilation of the rooms is essential.
What Is The Cost of Renovating An Old Building?
If you want to renovate an old house, you have to reckon with high costs. In order to avoid nasty surprises, it is therefore advisable to calculate the renovation costs generously and add them to the purchase price if you’re buying it.
It is best to check before you buy when the last renovation of an old building was carried out. So you already have a rough overview of the renovation work to be done in the near future.
Here are some example costs for updating an old house :
- Heating : starting from 12,500$
- Electrical System : From 1,500$ to 10.000$
- Water Pipes : From 30$ per meter
- Asbestos Removal : From 1,200$ to 2,950$ (dependent on the material being removed, the size of the contaminated area, and disposal fees.)
- Rising Damp : Your damp proofing cost can vary greatly from as little as $200 per wall to upwards of $2,000 per wall.
- Refurnish Roof : The national average cost to replace a roof is around $8,000, with most people spending in the range of $5,500 to $11,000. (Source : Forbes )
- Facade Insulation : The national average cost for insulating a home is $3,000 to $7,000, with most people paying around $4,500 for a mixture of batts and blown-in insulation in an existing 2,000 sq.ft. home. (Source : Fixr )
- Windows : Window replacement costs between $300 and $2,100 per window with an average cost of $850. Labor alone makes up $100 to $300 of the total.
Bonus Checklist: 6 Tips If You Want To Buy and Renovate An Old House
It often seems cheaper to buy an old house and then renovate it. But the devil is, as is so often the case, in the details: not all defects are always visible at first glance, or they only emerge during the renovation. Our checklist will support you if you decide to renovate an old house:
- Don’t be fooled by the beautiful appearance of the house and grounds.
- Old houses and especially “bargains” should always be checked by a specialist before buying.
- If possible, continue to use the existing material.
- Create a rehabilitation roadmap.
- When calculating, consider not only the purchase price, but also the renovation costs. To be on the safe side, be a little more generous with your financing needs
- Create a maintenance reserve.
Bonus 2: How To Make an Old House Look Modern
1. Start by assessing the condition of your current property. Look at the existing structure, plumbing, electrical and insulation to determine what needs replacing or updating.
2. Consider installing new windows and doors in your home to update its look and performance. Modern windows are energy-efficient and help reduce noise levels while also improving security and privacy.
3. Refresh the interior of your home by replacing old carpets, painting walls and replacing outdated fixtures and fittings. This will make your home look more modern, while also improving the functionality of each room.
4. Update the exterior by adding a new front door or repainting the siding and trim. Adding outdoor lighting can also update the appearance of your property and help you create a beautiful, modern-looking home.
5. Consider upgrading your appliances to energy-efficient models that can save you money on utility bills and update the look of your kitchen and laundry areas.
With these tips for updating an old house in 2023, you can make your property look modern and stylish. With some effort and the right approach, you can update your old home to make it look like a modern and beautiful property. Good luck!
You should also read : How Much Does It Cost To Remodel A Bathroom In 2022?
If you follow these rules, it can be a very nice task to buy an old house and renovate it and thus keep its charm.
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