Home Health Renovating an Old Home? Consider These Potential Issues!

Renovating an Old Home? Consider These Potential Issues!

by Heather
Photo Credit: Static Pexels

Photo Credit: Static Pexels

There are so many benefits to renovating an old home. You can take it back to the bare bones and start again from scratch, making it look exactly how you want. You get to customize it to your exact tastes, and it’s likely to work out much cheaper than buying a move in ready home. Renovating could boost the value of your home or you could even sell it for a huge profit. The problem is, renovating an old home can throw up potentially devastating issues. So it’s important to go into any project with your eyes open. Here are some of the possible problems you might come across.


Asbestos was widely used in buildings until the 80’s and 90’s. Its ability to add strength to materials without adding much weight, and provide insulation and fire resistance made it extremely popular. The problem came when it was discovered that asbestos causes serious health issues. When asbestos is disturbed, and particles are released into the air, they can be breathed in and wreak havoc on the lungs and body. Therefore, having asbestos removed requires a team of professionals, and it’s not likely to come cheap. When tearing down walls and renovating an older home, chances are you will find asbestos. And so be aware of the removal costs that this will bring along with it.

Photo Credit: Static Pexels

Photo Credit: Static Pexels


When houses have been empty for a while, they can become home to pests. Insects, rodents, even birds can invade, causing all kinds of issues. The treatment methods will depend on the type of pests present, but it’s something to be aware of when you’re fixing up a home. Making sure all critters are properly cleared, and the problem is solved before getting to work inside is important. You may need to address any structural issues caused by pests too. For example, joists could have been weakened by woodworm and bird droppings could have caused corrosion and leaks.

Plumbing and Wiring Issues

Old wiring in homes can be dangerous. Before 1984, many homes weren’t wired with a grounding cable and some used aluminum wire instead of copper. Aluminum wire is fifty-five times more likely to cause a fire than homes wired with copper as it gets much hotter than copper wire. Without a ground connection, you are susceptible to electrocution if there is an overload of power going into your electrical equipment. Old wiring could have also been chewed by mice, be frayed or cracked which can cause electrical fires. Old wiring could have even been installed by a DIYer rather than a professional rendering it unsafe to use. Plumbing issues could also be a problem. Pipes that are not adequately insulated could burst, or slow leaks may have occurred. This could lead to very expensive damage further down the road. When you’re completely renovating and starting from scratch, it’s worth having all new plumbing and electrical fitted anyway. You have peace of mind that it’s done to a good standard, and won’t cause any dangerous or expensive problems when everywhere else is finished.

What are your suggestions or tips of things to look for?

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1 comment

Margot C September 13, 2016 - 8:57 pm

I do have an old house to renovate, the one I live in! I thought of you when we were re-doing some wiring.


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