Older Homes: Remodeling considerations

Do you own an older home, that requires repairs? Maybe you are anticipating finally fixing up that kitchen that has needed a remodel for the past ten years. Or, maybe you are deciding to replace your roof since your shingles have become stained and need repaired.

There are many different reasons why we might remodel our homes. For some, remodeling is a necessity and is required for the safety of you, and your family. For others, we simply remodel to add to the value of our home, and replace things that have gone out of style. For whatever reason you remodel, there are a few things that you should consider before starting that weekend project you have been wanting to tackle

Older Homes

Homes that were built prior to the 1970’s would be considered on the older side of the spectrum. This is the most common age for homes that are undergoing remodeling in the 2000’s. What was once fashionable, and seemed appropriate during that time period may now seem old, outdated, and not practical for today’s living.

Before you jump into ripping older shingles off of your home, or repairing leaky plumbing in the basement, you should fully prepare yourself for some unforeseen obstacles. First, all home repairs generally take much longer than we anticipate, so patience is a must for tackling these projects. Secondly, you should consider the difference in modern day materials that make up newer homes. Homes built prior to the 1970’s generally were constructed using materials that contain asbestos.

Asbestos is commonly found in wallpaper coverings, plumbing fixtures, shingles, and even popcorn ceilings. It’s not something that individuals owning newer homes have to worry about, as most of the materials nowadays contain safer products. When disrupted, asbestos containing materials can pollute the air with asbestos fibers that, if not properly maintained, can be breathed in by the individuals living in the home. The material is not only limited to homes, but can be found in older buildings throughout many cities.

It’s important to take precautionary steps to ensure your home does not contain asbestos materials, by hiring a professional to take samples of materials in your home for testing.

If you believe your home may have a threat for asbestos exposure, its recommended to hire a licensed general contractor to ensure proper steps are taken to contain asbestos fibers that can become airborne. Asbestos exposure can cause serious, long term complications to your health, such as malignant mesothelioma. Some of these health threats may not become visible until years down the road- so take the proper steps now.

Before you start your next weekend project, it’s important to consider some of the consequences that could result without proper handling of materials in older homes. Though it may be fun to buy older homes, there are things that we should consider prior to working on them.