Monday, October 10, 2016

Planning To Renovate A Century Farmhouse?

In the past decade a fair number of people have approached us with ideas of buying and renovating a century farmhouse that they have found in the country.

Most people want to blend the old house with a more modern feel, updating the house along the way.

What a lot of people don't realize is the extent that a century farmhouse usually requires in terms of renovations.

Most farmhouse renovations require either a complete gut of the interior or start as a small renovation and then suffer from "creep". Creep is a term we use in the renovation industry, it basically means that a renovation started in one part of the house but because of problems that are found during the renovation repairs start to spread out throughout the entire home. The more repairs that you do throughout the house the more the house ends up needing to be made over or finished.

For example: Renovating a bathroom in the house you discover that there is no insulation in the walls of the home. The home is old and is lath and plaster, after checking other parts of the house it is discovered that there is no real insulation in the walls. At this point a decision most be made to spend the money to insulate the home. There are several ways to do that but they all involve adding insulation either inside the walls of the home or outside the walls of the home. So a simple bathroom renovation has lead to an entire house insulation job. To insulate the walls also causes damage to the exterior walls that require fixing and also painting. Now the bathroom renovation is not just adding insulation throughout the home, it also requires wall repairs or drywall replacement and the entire house requires repainting. A bathroom renovation that was 10,000 has now grown to 20 to 30,000.

When you start to plan out an old farmhouse renovation you should assume that you will be renovating most or all of the house. Because of this you should set your budget accordingly. The worst thing that you can do is to have a small budget built on cutting corners to get the job finished quickly and cheaply, what this usually does is it ends up with you calling your contractor back every year to renovate another part as you realize more problems that you didn't want to fix all at once. This type of renovating does spread the cost over many years but it actually in the end costs more money. As you tie one renovation into another there is an overlap of what has already been renovated and also there is a cost for set up and clean up from your contractor.
So after 4 years and 4 separate renovations you have paid your contractor 4 times the start up and 4 times the clean up, this amount of money can actually add up when you add in the renovation overlap that occurs.

Setting your budget to fix everything that needs to be fixed and having the contractor do everything that is required in one year will actually save you money in the long run. Besides who really wants to live through 4 renovations when you really only need to live through one long one.

With old farmhouses that have good bones you will basically have to redo most of the interior, all the bathrooms and the kitchen, budget for it know and then you can live the rest of your live in a renovated home that has lots of character.

Rob Abbott
Village Builders Inc.

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