The UK is home to countless ancient homes and buildings. According to research, a little over 9 million houses were built before World War 2, and 38% of buildings were erected in 1919. Indeed, many other properties continue to stand which were constructed in the 18th century. A great amount of time, cost, and effort go into modernising these older properties. So if you’re considering purchasing or upgrading your old home, take a look at this list of challenges you probably didn’t know about.
- Cracks within the foundation
One of the first things you will notice when renovating an older house is the presence of cracks. These openings are visible enough to cause significant structural problems if left unattended. According to building experts, houses older than sixty years are common culprits of this development. Crack formation in the foundation occurs as a result of excessive moisture. And decades of water retention in the foundation causes structural weakness that cannot be overlooked.
At this stage, you can seek the services of a structural engineer to identify all these cracks. After which, the engineer can fix the foundation problem before the property modernisation commences. If you fail to do this, you risk compromising the safety of all occupants in the house.
- Outdated plumbing lines
According to data, UK buildings erected five decades and more ago contain outmoded galvanised plumbing pipes. These materials rust easily due to the absence of anti-corrosive coating elements. PVC pipes make better plumbing lines than galvanised pipes in this modern age. Sometimes, you may not notice the effects of rusted plumbing lines until your workers start to dig into the floor or break down walls.
One of the more visible signs of internal corrosion is a discolouration in the water flowing from your taps. It usually takes on a reddish-brown appearance or the presence of dark-coloured particles in the water. It helps to bear in mind that just one corroded pipeline could mean your entire plumbing system is compromised. It would be better to replace everything than risk using an outmoded plumbing network in a modernised old home. Moreover, it is cost-effective to replace an old plumbing system now rather than later.
- Compromised electrical wiring and high energy consumption
Apart from the obvious safety hazard compromised electrical wiring poses, it takes a toll on the energy efficiency of an old house. Therefore, instead of wracking your brain to resolve your home’s constantly high electric bills, you may want to get a licensed electrician to inspect the property’s wiring system. While at it, this can be an opportune moment to consider renewable sources of energy to power your home.
Fortunately, in modernising an older house, you can find professional services like the All Seasons Group to reorganise your home’s renewable power needs. The last thing you want to do is ignore a compromised electrical system, hoping that it can sustain your appliances and gadgets. In assessing your home’s energy needs, it helps to seek advice on the switchboard and whether there is a need to change that.
- Outmoded layout
Since the beginning of the 21st-century, modern homes have emphasised layouts. The primary reason is to make efficient use of space. Already, UK homes are known for their small sizes. And compared to similar properties in the European region, UK houses struggle for space. For decades, this has been the style and trend. However, the preference for bigger spaces is taking over, compelling more homeowners to renovate their old houses.
An outmoded layout can be a major turnoff when trying to resell. So, if you’re faced with this, you will be happy to know that there are ways around it. First of all, take a moment to identify unused spaces before you start breaking down walls. It is better to have a mental picture of what you want than to go full-throttle interfering with the structure.
- Presence of asbestos
In 1999, the UK banned all use of asbestos, although, in the mid-1980s, it barred specific forms of this hazardous material. However, UK houses built over a forty-year period, 1940 to 1980, made extensive use of asbestos. Therefore, if your house was built in that era, there may be a high chance of containing asbestos. It could be in your roofing, walls, flooring, and more commonly in paint. Because asbestos was used as a fire retardant, these were the specific areas builders made extensive use of it.
At this stage, you may want to hold on to the upgrade of the house. If you are unsure about asbestos presence, you can call the local building authority to inspect and remove it, where necessary.
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