Restoring Old Villas in Auckland
Many people prefer to buy old homes and renovate them instead of building a new house from scratch. There are multiple reasons for this. Often times it is easier to find an old house for sale rather than a plot of land where you can build a new one. Old homes have character, they have style, they can speak volumes about the homeowner and about the people living in them. So if you are of those people who prefer restoring old villas and homes, this article will be for you.
The problem when buying an old home is that you need to make the best renovation decisions in terms of money, effort and results. This article addresses such problems and offers a few tips you are welcome to use in your
1. Structure of the Building
When buying an old home, you need to make sure its structure is solid and without problems. If it is not, you need to fix that. One of the most delicate parts is the foundation. Even if the house looks in good shape, the foundation may have cracks which pose a big risk of water or even gas infiltrations. Building methods have changed over the last 50 years, so houses built a long time ago may not have had foundation sealer applied on the outside.
The first thing to do is check the foundation thoroughly, and then decide whether sealing the basement floor would suffice or you need to consider a new foundation and floor. There’s a big difference in costs, therefore you shouldn’t go for a replacement if it isn’t really necessary.
If house is built on concrete pilings, you should have those checked too. Concrete does degrade over time and having them replaced can be very expensive.
2. The Lead Problem
Lead is very dangerous for humans, but this was an unknown fact 80 years ago. An old house may have plumbing pipes made from lead. Even if the house was built after 1940, when lead was forbidden, the copper pipes were joined together with solder that also contained this poisonous metal.
There are two restoration options you can choose from. The first one is to replace the old pipes with new ones. This option is expensive therefore many homeowners opt for another solution instead. They install a filtration system to remove lead from the water. If you only do this for the kitchen you may pay as little as $500, while for the whole house it may cost around $2,000. Either way, it is much cheaper than replacing the pipes.
Another potential source of lead in old homes is the paint. Old paints were based on lead therefore an old house with its original paint still on will probably have this problem. There are two options of fixing this issue: to encapsulate the old paint in latex or to completely change the siding of the house. It is not a good idea to sandblast the old siding because the lead may penetrate the soil and affect all vegetables you may want to cultivate in your garden.
Old houses are built in conform to the old standards of the day, if indeed there were any building codes. We have heard how building codes have become more stringent in recent years and many homes did not need to have planning connect or any type of building approval. Therefore you may expect them not to have grounded electrical outlets. This is something you definitely need to check and fix, because older systems were not built to run all our modern home appliances. Rewiring the whole house may cost you around $10,000, while rewiring only the kitchen may cost only $1,000 – $2,000.
4. Other renovation projects
There are also other problems such as refurbishing or replacing the windows, installing a new cesspool or septic tank and getting rid of buried oil tanks on your property. All these require money and time. Therefore you need to think long and hard well before deciding upon all options you have when restoring an old home.
5. Extensive restoration of a villa
Since you will need to be hiring professional trades people, an alternative to piecemeal restoration or repair projects is to think about a major restoration of your villa. Undoubtedly replacing wiring or plumbing is going to require ripping away the walls. So as there is going to be a lot of mess, for a little extra thought, you could remove unnecessary internal walling, replace the kitchen or bathroom, add a new bedroom or a whole array of different restoration ideas.
If you try to handle all of these different tasks and contractors yourself, it will drive you crazy. It will be a massive job which will tax your patience and family relationships. So by far, the best option is to hire an Auckland villa renovations company. Take a look at Repair and Restore as a possible renovations company. Their website http://repairandrestore.co.nz/ has some good video comments from very happy customers. Plus they operate all over the Auckland area.