3 Essential Evaluations to Get When Restoring a Historic Home

3 Essential Evaluations to Get When Restoring a Historic Home
 Buying historic homes and restoring them with modern features and equipment is a growing trend among Americans. In fact, according to real estate publication Inman, the most significant real estate markets in the country — San Francisco, Manhattan, and Boston, among others — are predominantly made up of historic homes.
While modern homes do not compare to the artistic and unique architecture of historic buildings, older homes do take some work before they are livable. What are some of the critical aspects to consider first? Whether you're a historic homeowner or a contractor working on one, you'll want to evaluate these first:

The Foundation and Structure

Most people want to know that they're living in a stable and secure house so maintaining the foundation of your new historic home is vital. Over many years, the structural integrity can slowly diminish due to some issues including deterioration, weather damage, and low-quality materials. While getting a structural engineer in to evaluate the foundation is probably necessary, there are a few things you can look for — doors and windows that do not latch or have drywall cracks can be a clear sign of foundation issues as can hairline cracks and bulges seen from the exterior. Another sign to look out for is water damage in the floors, walls, and ceilings as this can cause severe damage to the structure.

The Plumbing

When buying a historic house, it's important to understand that the way the home was made may be very different from what you're used to. This includes significant aspects of the way the plumbing works. Try and ensure that you get both the kitchen and the bathrooms checked, and invest in renovations if necessary to make sure your plumbing is safe and consistent throughout the house. As there are numerous water functions in a bathroom and there may be numerous bathrooms in a house, it may seem a little costly to get a bathroom checked out and remodeled. However, the average cost to replace a bathroom in 2016 was roughly $11,000 with the plumbing making up only 14 percent of that.

The Electrical Work

Technology and the way electricity works have dramatically changed over time. This often means that historical homes come with outdated wiring and circuits that are not powerful enough to support the many different gadgets, lighting, and electronics we enjoy in our homes. Common signs of outdated electrical wiring include a tangle of visible cords, power strips sprouting from a single outlet, flickering lights or very few power outlets — so keep an eye out for this as an early warning of renovation. Some wiring issues can be inconveniences or pose inefficiencies, and some can be really dangerous and even break current code violations. Therefore, make sure you get a licensed electrician to thoroughly check the house and make any changes appropriately.
Buying a historical house is an exciting and fun process that can result in you having a beautiful home that mixes old-school architecture with modern features. While the initial renovation process may be daunting, try and go through it step by step so you don't forget anything significant and you end up with a home you love.

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