Many homebuyers aren’t looking for brand-new homes in suburban housing developments. Instead, you may be eager to buy an older home and renovate it to meet your family’s needs. Restoring a home that was built in a bygone era can exercise your creativity and give you a timeless home that can stand the test of time. However, before tackling the decorative aspects of making over a much older house, take note of these four key areas to ensure your home’s safety, comfort, and convenience.

Electric

Check the electric box to make sure the structure’s electricity is up to code. Examine the wiring throughout the home for signs of wear or fraying, which can pose a fire or shock hazard. Have ground wiring installed if it is not already being used or if it is out of date. Try each outlet to see if it works and watch for sparks when plugging in an appliance. Ensuring the safety of your home’s electrical system is an important first step. Because electrical work can be so complicated and so dangerous, if you notice any work that needs to be done, you’ll want to leave it to the professionals.

HVAC

To keep your home at a comfortable temperature for you and your family, the HVAC system needs to be in good working order. However, if it’s a little bit older, it might be suffering or struggling to keep up. When you move in, have a HVAC professional check out the air conditioning and the furnace. They might simply need a tuneup, or they might need to be replaced entirely.

If the furnace is outdated, it’s a good idea to have it replaced. In addition to simply working better, new furnace installation can help reduce wasting energy. Newer models are more energy efficient, so you’ll help the planet while saving money on your utilities.

Plumbing

Older plumbing can cause various problems. An older septic system could back up and flood the basement. The hot water tank might be rusted out and at risk of imminent failure. Leaks from dripping pipes or a toilet base that has loosened are other sources of potential water damage. Check these areas and make any needed repairs to prevent future problems.

Roof

A well-built roof can last about twenty-five to thirty years in some cases. If the home’s current roof is older than that, have it checked for signs of shingle damage or gutters that may not be catching all the rainwater they should. Make sure the roof is solid and have any necessary repairs made before the weather turns bad. If there is a fireplace, have it inspected and cleaned before using it to avoid the risk of a house fire.

Updating an older home can be interesting and enjoyable. You get to combine timeless charm with modern amenities. However, make sure to check these major areas to catch problems early so you can avoid major costs and inconvenience later.

By Anita Ginsburg

Anita is a freelance writer from Denver, CO. She studied at Colorado State University, and now writes articles about health, business, family and finance. A mother of two, she enjoys traveling with her family whenever she isn't writing.

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