Friday, August 23, 2013

Renovating a 20 year old home

Renovating a 20 year old home

In North America that is an abundance of homes that were built in the late 1980’s into the early 1990’s, those houses were the last great building boom. Those 20 plus year old homes are the predominant home that is now coming up for re-sale in the real estate market today.

Search through the real estate websites at all the homes no matter what the price and what you will find is that more than half and sometimes almost all of the homes listed today are from that time period.

There are a lot of factors that are going into the reason that all of these era homes are for sale. The homes have served their purpose for the people (they raised families in them), the home is too small for them, the home is too big for them and the most common one is that the home is 20 years old and requires a lot of updating. A lot of people don’t have the money, time or the energy to do it.

When you are looking at buying one of these homes there are certain things that you are going to have to realize. The home will need to be renovated, it will need to be renovated even if it has been renovated in the past already. There are many factors that go into having to renovate these homes from outdated heating systems, more modern efficient technology to homeowner abuse and down to just plain wear and tear for two decades.

The major things that usually need to be fixed in 20 year homes are as follows, they are also the big mess big ticket items that you have to do right away or they will end up costing  you a lot of money and headache down the road;

Heating system. Depending when your home was built and who built it the home might still be on baseboard heat. You will need to install a furnace, if the home has a furnace you will probably want to look into installing a newer more energy efficient one.

The roofing. Most houses of that vintage have the same shingled roofs that were installed originally on them. This will need to be replaced or you could end up with major water and mold problems in the future.

Foundation waterproofing. All of the houses built 20 years ago had tarred foundations. This is not considered waterproofing at all. It is considered damp proofing. Tar sprayed foundations over the years dry out, while they dry they let more and more moisture seep into the foundation. Your basement will end up damp and possibly flooded. You will need to dig around the entire house and waterproof it. This is a lot of work and a big expense. Some houses that are built well out of the ground in dryer locations don’t require re-waterproofing, but if you plan to stay in the house for 10 years every year the odds of needing it go up.

Windows. A lot of the windows installed in that era where make of wood. Homes routinely didn’t have air conditioning and if they did it wasn’t used all the time, this had people leaving their windows open all summer. The wood over the decades absorbs water and slowly rots the windows. Window replacement is not that expensive but is a big job and can be intrusive.

Other things that will need to be updated are the complete renovating of bathrooms and the kitchen. These are more cosmetic fixes and a lot of the houses can be found with these renovations already completed.

When inspecting a 20 year home if the major fixes have not been accomplished then you should be adding those costs into your budget for the home.

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc.  

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