4 Biggest Obstacles to Restoring an Older Property|Billy.com

Whether you’re planning on restoring an old home or turning a former industrial property into a new business, know what you’re getting into. While older properties present wonderful elements like charming architecture and nostalgic ambience, they come with unique problems as well. Some older property improvement fixes are easy, but they’re often difficult and expensive. Here are four of the biggest obstacles in restoring an older property and what you can do about them.

A Strong Foundation

The longer your home has been around, the longer its foundation has propped it up. That can mean decades, if not centuries, of pressure, water, bad soil, vermin, and other things that can weaken the foundation. You might be lucky and only encounter a few cracks here and there, or you might have to re-dig around the home and restore the entire foundation. Either way, expect to add a few more digits to your budget to ensure your new/old home has a firm foundation.

Hidden Asbestos

Asbestos is one of the bigger bogeymen of older properties. Once considered a miracle product, asbestos was common in constructing fireproof materials, strengthening joints, providing insulation, adding soundproofing, and more. Unfortunately, asbestos can be deadly. Asbestos turns up in many old buildings, and removing it without taking precautions can send dust and fragments into the air.

Once inhaled, asbestos can cause several diseases, including mesothelioma and lung cancer. Fortunately, there are experts who know how to handle asbestos, and they may recommend whether you need asbestos removal or remediation. Either way, have the property tested for asbestos before you start swinging that sledgehammer.

Old Building, Old Systems

When you purchase an older building, you’re purchasing a piece of history. History can be charming and quaint and picturesque, but mostly, it just means old. Unless your property has had new plumbing, electrical systems, and the like, get ready to pull out your checkbook to bring it up to code.

Now, some older systems involving cloth wiring and fuse boxes can still handle everyday usage and remain safe if you leave them be. But if you intend to start setting up modern appliances in your home or office, you need to update the whole shebang. Safety is a big concern as well since old, worn-out electrical and plumbing systems can cause fires, burst pipes, and worse.

Modern Problems

The final obstacle to restoring an older property is dealing with modern problems. Older properties sometimes won’t accommodate modern needs without extra work. You may need to install vents and drop ceilings to add an HVAC system and keep it out of site. You’ll likely need to replace windows to prevent drafts.

Quite often, measurements are random, and you may need to have custom-made doors built to fit the space. That, of course, can lead to the issue of when restoration becomes desecration. If your building is a historic structure, you may need to follow certain rules about what you can and can’t change. Be prepared!

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