Renovating an old home can be an extremely rewarding experience. Not only do you end up with the home of your dreams, but it’s something that you put hard work and good planning into. Unfortunately, National Lampoon movies have a better record for smooth sailing than remodels. There are many pros and cons when it comes to remodeling, and you can carefully weigh each element evenly.
The Good News First
Old houses are generally less expensive unless they have some historical value. They often do need quite a bit of work, but you knew that going in. You knew that you might need to set money aside or take out tens of thousands of dollars in loans to renovate the house. Ultimately, that investment is well worth it.
Then there’s the matter of personality and character. Old houses have that special something that new homes just don’t. Intricate details and unique fixtures or hardware are things you can keep around even after you overhaul the rest of the house.
Finally, older homes were really built to last. Yes, you may have to update the electrical work or the plumbing, but the structure and foundation of the home should serve you well for decades!
The Common Challenges
The most common challenges include cost, time, and potential toxins. Renovating houses is expensive. There’s no getting around that. However, when you’re working with a particularly old house, you probably don’t have anything “cookie cutter.” That may mean relying on contractors to estimate where plumbing or electrical lines are and how you might be able to move walls.
There’s also the matter of unexpected surprises. Although you probably won’t find anything worthy of a Netflix series, it’s likely that you’ll keep having unexpected stumbles in the work. You may even come across surprises years after the renovation, such as a hideaway cupboard in the bathroom or pull-out storage from underneath the linen closet.
We can’t move on without discussing health hazards. Old houses likely have asbestos and lead, which means that you can’t cut costs when it comes to handling the demolition. If a contractor suspects your home has toxic materials, they will take the proper steps to ensure the safety of your family and their team.