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8 Top Fixes When Renovating an Old House

You’ve got the keys, and you’re bursting with anticipation for the project ahead. You’re possibly feeling daunted too.

Boiler replacement and certainly boiler service and repair will be high on your agenda when you renovate an old house. However, there are usually a common bunch of top fixes that work on the boiler is just one part of. So, what’s the best order in which to do a renovation, and what shouldn’t you forget?

Buying a Fixer-Upper

When you buy an old house with intentions of renovation, your mind likely wanders to period features and modernisation. You’ll have your eye on the finished product. This will be important when things get tough, as they will. However, there are a huge number of steps to a renovation project and some depend on other actions before them.

For this reason, we recommend the following order:

1. Set a schedule and a plan

Before you crack on with jobs, you need to sit down and write out everything that needs doing. The list will get amended as the project progresses, but it’s an important starting point.

Once you’ve got a list, it is then vital to work out a list of priorities. Safety should be the first consideration, so you will likely be considering things like boiler service and repair or electrical rewiring.

Then you need to consider which tasks impact on others. For example, you don’t really want to get new flooring laid or walls decorated if you need a boiler replacement or a new central heating system put in.

By doing things in a set and sensible order, you’ll save money, time and effort.

2. Ensure the budget includes the basics

Old houses are generally woefully outdated in terms of two main services:

1. Central heating 2. Electrics

While they may not be the most appealing jobs, the success of the entire renovation hinges on getting these two up to modern specifications.

Therefore, when you’re working out the budget for an old house renovation, make sure you include a new central heating system and boiler replacement. If there is a boiler in existence, but it’s old, make sure you have a boiler service and repair.

When you first look around your ‘new’ property check for a central heating system and what state it is in. It’s best not to have any nasty surprises.

3. Inspect the cracks

Old houses and cracks are best buddies, along with walls that clearly never saw a set square in their construction. However, cracks don’t necessarily mean disaster.

What you need to ascertain is which cracks are cosmetic and which indicate a larger structural problem such as subsidence. Investigate larger cracks and fix any structural problems first, before you get to work on the interior.

4. Check for damp

Another main contender for problems in old houses is damp. Any damp issues which are evident are far easier to fix before you start making things look good. In some cases you may need a damp-proof course put in which will involve a great deal of upheaval and re-plastering.

While hunting down any damp, also check for rot, particularly on beams and floorboards.

5. Take a look at the roof, windows and walls

If you’re doing expensive work on the interior then you want to be sure the elements are staying out.

In old houses, you want to investigate the state of the roof. Does it have any problems and is it felted? Make sure you budget to do big jobs like the roof and windows quite early on in your renovation.

You will also need to pay some attention to the brickwork. Take a look to see where cement has eroded between bricks. This is a problem for moisture getting into the walls. See if you need some repointing work done.

6. Consider the environmental impact

Old houses aren’t known for their minimal impact on the environment. In fact, many old houses leak heat rapidly and have a disproportionally large carbon footprint compared to modern homes.

Many of the steps above, including boiler replacement, will help to make your ‘new’ home more efficient. This has the benefit of reducing your running costs too.

7. Restore original features

Once the basic structural things are done, it’s time to think about the bigger picture and what you would like the ultimate look to be. Now is the time to restore and renew period features such as fireplaces, floors and mouldings.

8. The final touches

Only when you’ve completed all of the steps above is it time to think of the details such as decorating and choosing curtains. To spend effort on these early on will likely be wasted effort as they get damaged in the process of other tasks.

If you’re planning on renovating an old house in the South West then find out more about our boiler replacement service as well as boiler service and repair. We’ll work with you to get the basics of your renovation right from the start.

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