Renovating is not always easy.
Even the the tasks that look like they could be simple can turn out to me a mission to finish!
Have you ever found a few cracked tiles in the kitchen and thought about replacing them?
It is okay if you have spare matching tiles, but what do you do if those tiles that were available back in the 1980’s are no longer available?
These are often the things that we don’t think of when we are high on the thrill of having bought our first new home.
That original “eighties” home that everybody seemed to want, judging by the numbers attending the open house, now seems to be a great big money pit waiting to be topped up!
Save money you think and do the labour yourself?
Grinding away the existing “well cemented in” tiles and replacing them with newer ones is not as easy at is looks.
10 things to look out for when buying a home
There are a few things to check other than the council records and building permits before deciding on a home. It is customary these days to also pay for a professional building inspection, but there are things that you can look out for as well.
1. Check for broken floor tiles
Take a photo of the floor tile and show it to your tile supplier. If it is still in stock, then no problem; you can replace the broken ones easily. But if it is no longer available then get a quote to replace the floor tiles.
2. Check for water leaks in bathrooms
In homes built with a wooden floor truss system, the sub floor is most likely made of plywood, which is subjected to moisture. If the sub floor is rotting it will feel soft or spongy in places, causing things like the toilet to feel unstable when you sit down on it.
3. Check the water pressure
You might think that if the kitchen and bathroom sinks are all working and have running water, that the plumbing is probably good, right? Think again!
You should test them and make sure that the toilets flush without gurgling, as if they do, then you could have septic tank issues. Taps should emit hot and cold water freely.
Check for water pressure and dripping taps. A lack of water pressure can be a sign of more serious plumbing issues lingering beneath the surface, which could lead to expensive repairs.
4. Check for mould or dampness on walls and floors
Any sort of musty smell could also indicate a long-term leak that needs attention. Warped floors, water damaged walls and ceilings and plumbing repairs can be a renovation nightmare.
5. Crooked or warped walls
When drywall absorbs water, it begins to swell and become soft. Over time, the damaged area starts to crumble, especially around the baseboards. Run your hands across the walls in each of the rooms, feeling for uneven or a crooked surface when you look at it.
6. Check any quaint vintage installation
If you find cracked waste stacks, old brass plumbing, dux quest, or remnants of knob-and-tube electrical, then get it checked out.
If you find ceiling stains from prior water saturation, oil stains from leaking tanks, asbestos pipe-wrap and mortar dust around the perimeter, this is quite common in old homes, and should be checked out.
7. Check for Asbestos or lead paint
Sometimes hazardous elements aren’t so easy to spot. These days removing asbestos in an old building can be expensive. If you are considering a home built before 1978, the presence of lead paint is also an important health issue to consider.
8. Check doors and windows for opening and shutting
As structures shift and settle over time, insulation, caulking and other protective materials slowly lose their protective powers. A house full of warped windows comes with a fairly expensive replacement cost. If a door won’t close then there could be other issues.
9. Are there any suspicious burning smells?
An electrical burning odour could indicate overheated or frayed electrical wiring. Other odours like a gunpowder-like aroma could be from a fried circuit board or motor fan.
Pungent smells from the air conditioning vents generally signal the air conditioner wire insulation is not functioning correctly. It would be prudent to get a qualified electrician to inspect before purchasing the property.
10. Check the outdoor perimeter for roots that have broken through the ground
If the home is situated near large trees, then check for roots that are pushing up any structures.
Sometimes roots can damage storm water or drainage pipes which is an expensive exercise to replace.
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