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July 20th, 2016 by MichiganLiving 5 Tips To Restore An Old But Livable Home

Older homes have brilliance and elegance in them that attracts lots of homeowners.  Because of their uniqueness and appeal in terms of style and structure, there are some people who opt to buy old homes rather than building a modern one from the scratch.

But more often than not, older homes come with damage and problems that need repairs. Some may even need an upgrade to keep the whole house livable for few more years. Below are some of the most common old homes problems and how you can deal with them.

Old House

Water damage

Water damage at old structures and buildings is a common thing. This damage attracts termites and pests that can cause further damage if not fixed immediately. Inspecting the whole house thoroughly is a must to identify those damages and eventually fix the source of water leakage.


Water can penetrate and go through cracks at the walls. It’s highly recommended that cracks are immediately sealed and repaired to avoid water and moisture intrusion. Checking the inside and outside wall foundation is a must so no cracks will be left unsealed and unrepaired for a long period.

Wiring upgrade

Wiring issues at old homes is a common thing. Upgrading the whole wiring connection is highly recommended for old structures to avoid any untoward incident. Outlets must be inspected as well and change or upgrade If necessary. The electrical box must be inspected thoroughly too.

Lead and asbestos

Older homes are made from old materials that might contain lead and asbestos. For the safety of all people who will occupy the house, calling a professional to do the inspection and to remove the said toxic contents is highly recommended.

Energy efficiency

One of the biggest downside of old homes is that they are not energy efficient. The windows are usually unglazed. Air leaks can be found almost anywhere. Appliances are old and consume lots of power. These issues must be solved immediately to make the house more energy efficient.

Restoring an old home can be quite stressful and a bit expensive. So better be ready with it if you choose to live in an oldie-but-goodie home around your city.


37 responses to “5 Tips To Restore An Old But Livable Home”

  1. Robin Masshole Mommy says:

    My sister & brother in law just bough a fixer-uper, so they have A LOT of work to do once they close on the house.

  2. These are such great tips! You can save so much money on purchasing an older home and making repairs yourself. We are starting to make repairs on our home 🙂

  3. An older home is like starting over again but it has character that you can’t find in a new home. It’s so much work.

  4. I’m looking to buy a home currently and a lot of the ones I’ve been looking at are pretty old. Berkley has a lot of really nice homes though.

  5. Jelli says:

    Goodness, reading this makes me happy I live in a fairly new rental home. I’m not the paranoid type, but thinking about these harmful substances getting into my child’s system is pretty horrific.

  6. tauyanm says:

    there is so much to be done renovating an old house, love all the list u have above.

  7. Dora Clemons says:

    We are actually in the process of buying our first home and it is definitely a fixer upper. This is now bookmarked and I’m adding quite a few to my must use list! Saving money and finding things that work well can be intimidating. Thank you so much for sharing!!!

  8. These tips are great. We can do a lot with an old house.

  9. Rachel Dean says:

    Sometimes I think I’d enjoy an older home. It love to make it my own. Thanks for the tips!

  10. It’s great to renovate an old place – you get all the character of the house, plus a chance to work on it and really make it your own! 🙂

  11. I love watching HGTV and seeing all these people who buy older homes but then are surprised by the underlying issues. I think older homes are great, they have a lot of character, but you do have to be careful about issues like water damage, lead and asbestos.

  12. Jennifer says:

    This makes me want to watch Fixer Upper and start a project of my own! Great tips–thanks for sharing!

  13. Amy Jones says:

    Great tips! these type of houses have a certain magic aura

  14. I love the character that old homes have. My parents home is over 200 years old and they have done a ton of work on it through the years.

  15. Elizabeth O. says:

    Some houses just really need some serious love so that you can return them to their old, lovely state! These tips are very helpful and you can always try renovating instead of building over it.

  16. Oh boy, the wows that go along with living in a beautiful old home. I grew up in an older home and it always felt like my father had a project going. Something that he was doing to maintain, improve, or provide upkeep. Still, it was beautiful and totally worth it. Great things to keep an eye on!

  17. Now this what I call practicality. I can imagine how most good spots and blocks have already been taken and buying a house structured at that place might sound like a good plan. These tips will surely extend the house’s lifespan for a decade or two.

  18. victoria says:

    These are an awesome tips, I wish I could renovate our house if we have a budget

  19. tp keane says:

    I love older homes, new ones just seem too clinical. Yes there are a lot of problems that come with older homes.

  20. Those are very good tips! Restoring old houses doesn’t have to be difficult. Thanks for the tips, it will be great as reference!

  21. aziel morte says:

    These are great tips for old house. I wish my grandma’s house will renovating.

  22. My husband and I would like to buy and redo homes sooner or later. This is a great list!

  23. Grand Rapids has neighborhoods full of beautiful historic homes, but many of them are fixer uppers. Not only do those homeowners face the challenges of upgrading their homes, but they often have to use materials true to the time frame when their home was originally built. They are just stunning though. Nobody seems to build homes with those wrap-around porches and Victorian styling anymore. Such a shame, but I guess that’s why you’d invest in fixing up an older home.

  24. Taty Pradilla says:

    We are about to purchase a home, and have been looking at fixer uppers. They are cheaper and we can make it exactly what we want.

  25. Kathy says:

    These are all such wonderful tips. My husband and I have been looking for a house, and we may just go with an older one and fix it up a bit. I think these tips will come in handy if we decide that.

  26. Kathy Kenny Ngo says:

    What a greatful tip restoring an old house into its old roots. I would probably try this to my old house.

  27. Karlyn Cruz says:

    I like living in a new house but old houses are somehow cool. It would be so nice to live in an old house.

  28. Kira T says:

    We have an older house and these are really great tips! I personally love older houses and the character they have!

  29. Nicole Escat says:

    I remember living in my grandma’s home. It was old, like 100 years or younger and needs some renovation.

  30. Nikki Wayne says:

    I like living in old houses, especially houses with Spaniards theme. These are great tips.

  31. Nicole Etolen says:

    It would be really cool to have a vacation in our old house back home. I will tell these tips to my parents.

  32. Rosey says:

    I know it’s quaint to restore an old home. I love the outcome/final look, but things like this worry me… I’m not really handy or able to afford to hire too many people at the time, so I think when our time comes to buy we’ll look for new or newer (knock on wood).

  33. Glenda says:

    These are so great tips. When I first purchased my first home it was a lot of work. Every year we did 1 major project. When we purchased our 2nd home we made sure it was new because we got tired of fixing up everything.

  34. Ugg…water damage is the worst. We had an issue in a home we lived in, and if you don’t take care of it quickly, it makes reselling a house really hard. I think the biggest obstacles are when your old home is made with components that don’t pass code anymore.

  35. Mardene Carr says:

    I love old houses! They are so very charming. Sometimes they need a bit of TLC and this list will surely help

  36. When we were looking to buy last yea, my hubby thought about getting an older home. The idea of doing renovations wasn’t too appealing at the time. We ended up buying a home ready to move in. The place we lived in before was old and had terrible insulations. That made our electric bill extremely high in the winter.

  37. CourtneyLynne says:

    It sounds like it would be fun to redo a house but at the same time ughhh. So much work!

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