Purchasing and restoring an old house can be one of the most thrilling, rewarding and special life experiences. You’re basically getting the unique opportunity to find a gem and then bring it back to its former glory. It’s not a new construction where everything is turnkey, and it’s also not a renovation of a newer home. You get to blend old and new to create a very different type of dwelling. Not only do these homes often have unique charm and character, they can also be a great investment opportunity.

However, the things that make an old house a great project are also the things that can make it quite cumbersome and expensive. It’s important to keep in mind that older homes often require a bit more attention and care in order to get them back up to a good condition.

It’s really easy to start focusing on surface details like how you want the bathroom to look or the kitchen upgrade, but it’s important to make sure the underlying structures are in working order. Here are some of the first upgrades you should consider making after buying an old house:

Heating and Cooling

An old house may not have a modern heating and cooling system, or the system may be in disrepair. This can be a major issue, because it can affect the quality of life of the residents and the overall value of the home. You’ll have to consider upgrading to a more efficient heating and cooling system to improve the comfort and energy efficiency of your home. According to a heating and air conditioning service in Sacramento California, “the air quality of your home is something you might not see, but it makes a big impact on how comfortable you feel in your space. In an older house, this is even more critical.” Be sure to sit down with heating, ventilation and air conditioning service to find out what your home needs. You can find out more at www.FoxFamilyHVAC.com.

Hazardous Building Materials

Homes of yesteryear weren’t built the way homes are built now, and one area is with the materials used. Back in the day, people used asbestos in building a home, but since it was found to be hazardous, a home that contains it will never be up to code. If you’re buying an old home, anticipate that there’s going to be asbestos and that you’ll have to pay for abatement. You won’t be able to go forward with the remodel if this isn’t done.

Electrical System

If the electrical system in your old house is outdated or in disrepair, it’s important to address this issue as soon as possible. Electrical issues can be a serious safety hazard, and they can also cause problems with appliances and other systems in your home. Consider hiring a professional electrician to assess the condition of your home’s electrical system and make any necessary upgrades.

Plumbing

Like the electrical system, the plumbing in an old house may need to be updated or repaired. Leaky pipes and other plumbing issues can cause serious water damage and can be costly to fix. Consider hiring a professional plumber to assess the condition of your home’s plumbing and make any necessary repairs or upgrades.

Insulation

If your old house has poor insulation, it can be difficult to keep the temperature inside the house comfortable, and it can also be costly to heat and cool. Consider upgrading the insulation in your home to improve energy efficiency and reduce your energy bills.

Windows

Old windows can be a major source of drafts and energy loss. Consider upgrading to more energy-efficient windows to improve the comfort of your home and reduce your energy bills.

Find the Treasures

Not every aspect of assessing an old home is going to be super serious – there are fun aspects too! Old homes are going to have unique and special features that can be incorporated into the new space and give it a lot of the old charm. Things like old fireplaces, archways, chandeliers and window frames can be retrieved and restored to their former glory and give the new house something that will be enjoyed by you as a homeowner. If you’re an investor these unique features will get more people to want to buy. Before you do any large scale demo, walk through the house and spot any of these unique pieces and put them away for safekeeping.

By making these upgrades, you can improve the functionality and energy efficiency of your old house, and also increase its value. Keep in mind that it’s always a good idea to consult with professionals when making major upgrades to your home, as they can help ensure that the work is done safely and correctly. This isn’t the time for DIY.

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