Cracking Bringing The House “Up To Code”: Problems That A House Renovation Can Throw Up

Of all the numerous home improvement projects that we can undertake, sometimes doing this can cause a lot more problems than we originally anticipated. The big issue with renovating any home, especially the older ones, is that we can find ourselves in over our heads. And this isn’t just costly, but these issues can prove to be a big danger.

Lead

Homes built in America prior to 1978 contain lead paint. The important thing to do before you make any major renovation is to test for lead paint. Lead poisoning can be tested by physicians, but if you have children in the home, they are the priority.

Asbestos

Exposure to asbestos in old homes in small amounts is unlikely to harm you, but exposing yourself to it over a long period of time can increase your risk of lung disease and cancer. If you suspect asbestos in your home, especially if the property was built between 1920 and 1978, you should get in contact with a professional to remove it properly.

Pesky Critters

If you are undertaking a renovation that involves ripping up floorboards, and taking walls apart, you may find yourself discovering critters and insects that have been living very nicely underneath the property. Before you progress any further, it’s important to get in contact with a pest control company to minimize the spread of these insects or rodents. And before you go back into the property, you may want to give consideration to fumigating the place, so you can be doubly sure that you can carry on with the renovation safely.

Bad Renovation Work

One of the biggest surprises, especially if the house has had numerous owners over the years, is the likelihood these previous owners have undertaken renovations with disregard to the rest of the property, or even the structural integrity of the place. And this can mean that issues are thrown up that aren’t considered safe, this will give you additional costs. For example, if there were water pipes for a bathroom addition that ran exposed through the rooms, instead of hidden through walls, these problems need to be undone by a handyman or contractor.

Old Electrical And Plumbing Issues

Before the 1960s, galvanized pipes were used in the house as well as for the sewer lines. And these pipes get clogged up easily and can corrode over time. As such, these pipes need to be replaced with copper or PVC. In addition to this, old electrical wiring can be a danger. If you compare the modern home to one from the 1960s or earlier, the modern house requires a lot more electricity to power. And if you have old wiring, this will make for a very frustrating living experience, especially if you need to use a lot of electrical items at the same time, which we all do!

Undertaking a house renovation means a lot of problems being thrown up. Whether you’ve got an old house or a property where the owners didn’t bring it up to code, you have to take it upon yourself to fix these issues.


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22 thoughts

  1. You are so right!! My husband is Carpenter and has been in the home building/remodeling business for years, and, WOW, the horror stories he comes home with! Sometimes I really wonder how some houses are even still standing! We see what used to beautiful homes that people have “re-done” here and there, and the strange myriad of things we have seen would shock you. I NEVER recommend that people do major renovations themselves anymore. I tell them to call an expert, a little free advice from an expert before starting can save $ and headaches! Yes, when we started renovating our own home, we also had issues and surprises to work through, with a house that was very well built in the 1960’s. Not from the original build, (except for updating electrical box) but mostly with what others had done to our cute little ranch. It is a work in progress still!

  2. Some really good points to keep in mind. I hadn’t realised lead paint is used in some homes, I wonder if that applies in the UK too. I know some pipes were lead, and that caused uproar when it was discovered how dangerous to health they can be. We had that problem in our old house. x

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