[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text][/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]“I want a home with history. A home with character.” In response to popular shows like Fixer Upper and Flip Or Flop, many new homebuyers are determined to throw down roots in old, character homes. And with nearly 38% of all homes in the U.S. built pre-1970, they aren’t hard to find.
However, have you wondered why so many of these homes are available? Abundance shouldn’t fuel the appetite, it should question it. We work with more and more clients each year who simply became fed up with the enormous list of ailments and issues possessed by these homes.
Let’s explore the most common issues with older homes and the costs they dump on you.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”5088″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]
Nature likes winning. Unfortunately for homeowners, it’s really good at it. Over time, foundations become extremely prone to settling, heaving, and cracking.
In our area, the most common causes of these foundation issues are:
- Clay. Clay-abundant soil has an affinity for absorbing water. As this soil becomes oversaturated, it expands and applies excess pressure to a home’s foundation.
- This pressure leads to heaving, floor cracks, wall cracks, and other issues.
- Settling. Over time, the layers of soil underneath and around your foundation slowly weaken. As these layers weaken, they lose the ability to support the weight of your home, and the foundation begins to settle. Because not all areas weaken at the same rate, not all areas of the home settle at the same rate.
- This settling leads to floor cracks, stair-step cracks in walls, cracks in interior drywall, and windows and doors that are difficult to open and close.
- Frost. Our soil is no stranger to frost and freezing. When freezing temperatures penetrate the ground, water trapped in voids in the soil forms ice crystals along the frost front. As it solidifies, this water expands by about 9%, heaves the soil, and applies pressure to the foundation. Along with this expansion, ice lenses can form. When theses lenses thaw in the spring, the soil around them is weakened.
- Frost issues have the ability to cause nearly all major foundation issues.
Cost. Depending on the severity of the issues, foundation fixes can run anywhere from $5,000 to $30,000. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”5086″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]
Wiring & Electrical
Of all the issues one faces with older homes, wiring and electrical issues may be the most common.
Firstly, most older homes can’t keep up with the amount of electricity we demand today. With too few outlets and outdated wiring, the excess use of extension cords and power supplies leads to a significant increase in the chance of fire.
Secondly, the lifespan of wiring depends on the lifespan of the insulation encapsulating it. As this insulation begins to deteriorate over time, the wires become exposed and the risk of shocks, fires, and power failures increases.
Lastly, old installation methods, particularly knob-and-tube wiring and old panels, no longer meet building codes.
Cost. When it comes to electrical work, it is important to be aware of the extreme danger surrounding it. This is not DIY work. Hiring an electrician to make any necessary fixes will run you around $100/hr plus cost of product. For a full rewire, expect to pay close to $10,000. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”5087″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]
Water intrusion is the most damaging and costly issue in older homes. Leading to foundation issues, rotting wood, and mold, water damage is catastrophic. It’s because of this reality that having a proper roof is so important.
The typical life expectancy of asphalt shingles (the most common type of shingle in our area) is 20 years. As these shingles age, they begin to cup, blister, and deteriorate. As the matrix of the shingles become exposed, water is free to flow.
Along with water, pests and other creatures are provided an open gateway into your home. Typical warning signs of a bad roof include brown spots on the ceiling, musty smell, sagging gutters, excess attic moisture, critters and bugs, water damage on the floors, and obvious damage to the shingles themselves.
Cost. After inspection and replacement, you can look to spend upwards of $10,000+ to have your roof replaced.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”5085″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]
As we mentioned above, water damage is your worst enemy. And with older homes comes an increased likeliness of faulty plumbing. Vulnerable to potential failure, a major plumbing issue has the potential to render your home uninhabitable, costs you tens of thousands of dollars to replace, and destroy your belongings.
Along with the natural deteriorating of whatever plumbing material the home possesses, root damage is also a major concern. If your home, and neighborhood, is heavily vegetated and host to large trees, your home’s drainage pipes are vulnerable to infiltration of these trees’ root systems. These roots are powerful and have the potential to wreak havoc on not only your drainage system, but your foundation as well.
Cost. A full pipe replacement will run you anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000. However, if your drainage system is also in need of replacement, expect to pay an addition $5,000 to $15,000, depending on extent of damage and excavation requirements. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]While these 4 issues are typically the most common and destructive, other common issues found in older homes include:
- Hazardous materials
- Insufficient windows
- Outdated HVAC system
- Grading issues
Although these homes have their stories and character, they also have their major flaws. After everything is said and done, you could be left with huge bills, a huge headache, and a home that has undergone so many changes that it is no longer the character home you so desired. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][/vc_column]