Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.
Let’s say that you’ve finally decided to renew your current home, and you are pretty excited. The scary part is that it truly is a daunting task. If you have an old house, the likelihood of numerous remedial works is pretty high. At this point, you should be particularly concerned and be on the lookout for the sake of your health and pocket. Here are five key elements that you should pay attention to when renovating your home.
- Check for rot and damp
Excess moisture within the internal structure of your building, left untreated over a long period leads to dampness and eventually, dry or wet rot. Rot and damp are fungal infections that ultimately weaken the timber, window frames and beams of your home. If ignored, they could cause substantial damage to your home that requires a high cost to repair or treat.
Dampness and rot are not restricted to old houses alone. Even newer homes could suffer the same damage if excess moisture finds its way into the walls. You may be wondering how the extra water came. Rainwater penetration; blocked drains, and lousy plumbing, are the usual culprits. In other instances, inappropriate protective measures such as cement renders and injected damp-proof silicone courses are to blame.
To test for dampness in your home, you could conduct the foil test. First of all, you will have to dry the surface of your wall with a fan heater. After that, firmly tape the damp area with any regular kitchen foil. Now the test results. If after 24hours, the foil surface is wet, you have condensation. However, if the surface of the foil is dry, but the wall underneath it looks humid to you, then you may have rising or penetrating damp. Learn more about dry rot control here.
- Be wary of hazardous materials in your old structure
When renovating your home, some materials you salvage are reusable for other or same purposes. However, it would be best if you were exceptionally mindful of hazardous materials built into your home. They are harmful to the environment, to you and your workers on site. In many regions, hazardous materials involve local laws on how to dispose of them.
Two examples of hazardous materials are Asbestos and Lead. Other examples are mercury, chlorofluorocarbons, and radioactive sources. These can be found in any building, regardless of condition or age. As a layman whose primary interest is in remodelling or renovating your home, you will need the services of experts with certification to perform this crucial role.
- Assess old plumbing works built into your house
You may want to take a huge gamble and assume your plumbing pipes are old as well. Very often, old pipes could mean trouble during renovations. They may not be well-matched with modern parts and tools, and this may render replacement a real tussle. If this is your case, you’re better off carrying out a total home renovation plumbing. Very often, you may pass on the idea of a total change because your old plumbing system worked just fine. However, there are a few ways to help make that decision. If the water that comes out of your pipe or tap has a yellow or brown tint, it is a tell-tale sign of rust within the lines. If your walls are already down and plumbing pipes are exposed, feel with your palms. A galvanised copper pipe that requires replacement or repair would feel rough and grainy to the touch.
- Assess the condition of your roof
Your roof is pretty much the first line of defence against the vagaries of the weather and other external elements. Quite often, there is so much concentration on what you can physically see around the home that the roof may not feature in your remodelling plans. Chipped, broken or missing roof tiles need to be noted and appropriately planned for before your home renovation, as you may well require a roofing expert. The assessment is done by extracting a core sample. It is a precise way to confirm if your roof is dry, wet, requires repairs or a replacement. The cheapest roof replacement in the UK costs about £2,200 on average, but that also depends on the size of the house.
- Find the right contractor by interviewing a handful
Comparing bids from different contractors is a must when you decide to renovate your home. By doing so, you could be setting grounds for a satisfying job that is worth your committed finances. In finding the right contractor and receiving their quotes, remember to include VAT on all suppliers’ quotes regarding an existing home. On the other hand, if the house has been unoccupied or empty for more than 2years, you have the benefit of a 5% reduced rate on all quotes.
Now you are equipped with important information on what to look out for when renovating your home. Indeed it is hard work, but the final result will be well worth your time and money.