Caring for Old Homes

Adams Design Construction - Old HomesWe love old homes! Character, warmth, intricate details are nearly impossible to copy in new houses. How often have you heard someone say “They don’t build’em like they used to….”? Aesthetics aside, what if I said that’s good thing? Venerable homes of the past were often built inefficiently, under structured, and sometimes unsafe. Not to worry!! All these problems can be overcome resulting in a happy home that is safe and comfortable without losing its old world charm.

Here are a few things to consider in your senior citadel:

Lead paint: Most homes built before 1978 have some lead paint.   Often it can be encapsulated or sometimes removed. But always hire a lead certified remodeler for any changes to your home.

Insulation: No insulation? No Problem. Walls can be filled with blown in cellulose, the perimeter (ring joist) right above the foundation can be spray foamed.   There are several possibilities for the attic

Electrical: Old outdated wiring like knob and tube are dangerous. Most insurance companies require updating. Almost all older homes don’t have enough plugs. Map each room to decide if you need more plugs or lighting. Does your kitchen have an exhaust fan? What about bathrooms? Then meet with a licensed electrician to plan the job. Also, consider hard wired smoke and Carbon monoxide detectors. Remember to upgrade your electrical work before you insulate the walls- It’ll be easier and you’ll save a couple of bucks.

Plumbing: A leaky toilet can cost you $1,400 in a year. A new low flush toilet and faucets can save you $600. Did I just save you $2,000? My pleasure. Lead water pipes? Get them out! Also look for water staining around the bottom of your toilet from the top and if your floor under is exposed, from under too. Leaky seals can rot your floor in a short time.

Stairs/railings: A chubby guy like me at 200 lbs should be able to lean his full weight on any railing without it breaking. Those railings should be waist high (36”) and spindles (balisters), no more than 4” apart so your toddler can’t fit her head in between.

Doesn’t it make sense to contact Adams Design Construction for your remodeling needs? We can help investigate your home’s foibles, plan your project, and complete the work cheerfully and expertly. You’ll love to have us in your home.

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