George Carlin called our houses a “place for our stuff.” Our homes are more than that, though. They reflect our personalities, provide us with a place to rest and recharge and offer us a space to truly call our own. Some people want a newer home with all the bells and whistles. Others value the history, uniqueness and beauty found in older homes. For owners of older homes, there are some unique challenges to face.
We’re not talking Pink Floyd, we’re talking the vertical enclosures in your older home. Do you know what they’re made of? Some really old homes have plaster walls with horsehair in them for a binding material. Knowing what your walls’ construction material is will help you narrow down the type of repair professional you may need to hire at some point. You may have to knock holes in the wall to replace the electric lines, the plumbing material or run duct work for heating and air conditioning. Also, most older homes don’t have insulation of any kind. Those homeowners may want to look into spray foam solutions to solve the problem of heat seepage in the winter and helping to keep the home cool in the summer. That will put holes in your walls, too.
Don’t count on being lucky enough to pull up some ugly 70’s shag carpeting and finding pristine hardwood floors underneath. That said, if you do find hardwood floors, you’ll need to know what wood was used to make them. Pine floors need different care than oak floors. Barn boards are different than plank flooring. Pulling up that carpeting is a crap-shoot, even if it needs to be done. In addition to hardwood, you could find tile in a variety of materials or you could even find sub-floor with holes covered by old license plates.
Older homes have charm and cosmetic appeal, but challenges, too.