The charms of living in an older home can be many – history, style, craftsmanship, quirks. But there’s no denying that living in such a home has its challenges. Maintenance can be tricky and expensive, especially if certain systems and features have been neglected over the years. Let’s take a look at some common situations found in many older homes:
- Energy inefficiency is probably the number-one issue with older homes. Most older homes were constructed with single-pane windows; if these windows are still there, they likely don’t fit very well. Replacement windows can be very expensive, but will contribute immensely to reduced energy use and heating and cooling costs. Most replacement windows are available in several styles, so finding one that suits the look of your older home is easier than ever.
- Like single-pane windows, poor (or no) insulation will also result in wasted energy and money. The most important and easiest area of the home to insulate is the attic, but walls and floors above ventilated crawlspaces should be insulated as well if possible. The attic may already have insulation but it may be inadequate by current standards.
- If your home has older water pipes, have them checked to identify the material and determine if they need to be replaced. Some older materials such as galvanized steel, iron, and even lead are subject to deterioration and are still in use today even though new construction does not allow them. Replacement options include copper and CPVC piping.
- Outdated electrical systems can still sometimes be found in older homes and may not only be dangerous, they can make the house uninsurable. Even if no danger is present, we use so much more electricity in our homes now that the capacity of your older system may be inadequate. Only a qualified electrician should attempt any repairs or updates to your home’s electrical system.
Reprinted with permission: Doug MacDonald, Registered and Certified Home Inspector
Proudly Serving Red Deer, Airdrie and Surrounding Areas. For more information, please contact your local Pillar To Post home inspector.
Comment by Elke: We often get requests to show homes which were built before 1930. There are most definitely insurance concerns for many of the older homes in inner city Communities or in satellite towns so it’s best to be prepared for the questions you need to ask your insurance company before looking at the cute doll-houses you have seen on the MLS®. Call us for a free consult (403-295-3336), a referral to a local home inspector.