Expert tips for the restoration of old houses
Old homes may have charm and a beautiful historic look that is desired by many. However, serious deterioration may necessitate heavy remodelling and restoration to make it habitable. Home restoration is a serious undertaking that should never be taken lightly as some projects have been known to last for very long. The houses may have many surprises that will cripple your progress if you are totally unprepared. If you want to undertake the restoration of an old house as a DIY project, here are some helpful tips.
Consult a structural engineer
Old houses may have various structural issues that may present serious safety risks as restoration is being done. Before you begin, ask a structural engineer to inspect the building carefully for any weak spots. Determine if the roof is sound and if it can handle the stresses you place on the house in general. The foundation is also another issue to contend with. If the building's foundation was poorly constructed, it should not be trusted to withstand the test of time. Find out whether there's anything you can do and if not, simply abandon the project. After all, better safe than sorry. Structural engineers will also come in handy if your restoration involves a demolition phase of knocking down walls. Determining which walls are structurally significant is crucial before deciding the ones that are safe to demolish.
Keep an eye on hazardous material
Many houses built a while back may pose very serious health risks. Regulations that restrict the use of hazardous material may not have been in place decades ago when the house was built. Builders at the time may not even have known about their potential risk. In fact, asbestos was recognised as the ideal material for insulation and fireproofing in the 1800s and 1900s. Consequently, hazards such as asbestos and lead-containing paints may be in abundance. Use personal protection equipment such as face masks to protect yourself as you work. In the case of lead paint opt for professional lead paint abatement to take care of it.
Begin with the roof, masonry and windows
Practical considerations must have the priority before you begin to deal with aesthetics. Doing this will help prevent future damage from happening. To address structural weaknesses and get the house watertight, fix the windows, masonry, and the roof. It would be disappointing to have the roof collapse when you have finally installed the luxurious flooring you wanted, so keep your priorities right.