Remodeling an Old House: The Most Common Risks and How to Avoid Them

No matter if you’ve always dreamed about owning one or it’s the only home available in your price range, buying an old house is a great idea. With enough patience and a bit of creativity, you might just be able to turn it into every homeowner’s dream. The only problem is, starting a remodeling project comes with its risks and being aware of them even before you start is critical. With that in mind, here’s a list of the most common risks associated with old houses and how to avoid them.

Materials not being available

One of the biggest issues with old homes is that they were built to different standards and with completely different materials that we see today. For example, architects would usually design smaller rooms while doors used to be much narrower. Remodeling an old home often means trying to preserve its old character but finding materials that match your home’s style can be extremely difficult. Before you start making any changes to your new place, make sure you can find all the materials you need. If this proves to be an obstacle, try shopping at architectural salvage stores.

Unsafe materials

If the house you’ve bought was built a couple of decades ago, chances are some unsafe materials were used in its construction. For example, there’s probably lead in the paint and asbestos in your flooring and roofing. When left undisturbed, these materials won’t harm you but if your project includes removing or cutting them, the dust that comes out can be extremely hazardous. Since you don’t want this to happen, consider having experts test everything from paint to roofing for these dangerous materials.

Outdated electrical wiring

It’s no secret most people want to go high-tech when designing their new home. Just take a look at Australia where an average home is expected to have about 37 connected devices by 2022. However, there are a number of old homes with outdated electrical wiring out there and every remodeling project has to include installing a new electrical system and testing any appliances you plan to keep. Even if you know your way around wiring, it’s better to have local experts get the job done for you. Luckily, finding a good Sydney electrician you can turn to shouldn’t be tough.


Poor attempts at remodeling

Quite often, homebuyers find out that the previous owner had attempted some remodel projects as well, only with less-than-stellar-results. Such attempts can lead to serious damage to the house and could make your project more difficult and lengthy. When buying an old home, it’s a good idea to have an expert check whether any poor attempts at remodeling were made in the past and what kind of impact they had on the house. For example, a new kitchen without proper foundation could’ve easily resulted in sinking and cracks.

Pests such as termites

They may be small but they can do a lot of damage to old houses. Most often, termites and similar pests eat timber in the walls and the damage is not visible until there’s a real problem. Probably the last thing you want to happen is for you to start investing in your remodeling project only to realize there are pests that could do damage to your new home. To avoid this, look for signs of termite infestation before you start. Signs that they’ve moved in include hollow-sounding timber and muddy tunnels in your walls. If you find out you have a termite problem, calling in experts is a must.

Remodeling a house isn’t easy, especially with all the risks involved. Have the five risks covered in this post in mind and tackle the project carefully if you don’t want them to affect the outcome.