It goes without saying that everyone’s tastes are different. But when it comes to the place you want to call home, people who prefer an older dwelling over a shiny new one are normally of a particular nature: romantic, nostalgic, true individuals – and probably already full of renovation ideas for old homes.
But beyond the character and charm of an older home, there are practical reasons to love them, too. They’re strong and sturdy, they’re commonly perfectly located and that established feeling makes them easy to live in comfortably. In most cases fixing up an old house is easier and more rewarding than relocating.
It’s likely that a house dating back to the 60s or earlier will trigger that word in your mind – renovation – and also fire up your imagination and research about renovation ideas for old homes.
But that’s where the questions really start to flow in: should you keep all the old historic features or just some? Where do you draw the line between character and modern functionality? Should you contrast the old with something modern and new? And what about the practical implications of repairs and major structural work?
Today, we’re going to look at some of the basics of a 1960s house renovation in particular, so that you can start to tick all the boxes and then really put your renovation ideas for old homes into a higher gear.
1. Character vs Comfort
If you love that older-home character, then it’s obvious that you don’t just want to renovate in order to recreate all of the looks and workings of a modern house. But there’s a fine line between character and functionality, and a key element of older-home renovating is to bring the property up to at least close to today’s comfort and efficiency standards.
You may want to keep the steep pitched roof, and recessed porch to preserve the 60’s character. Homes from this period however often have small internal rooms and narrow hallways. So moving or removing internal walls can make for a more comfortable modern living space.
Although it’s true that older homes are generally ‘safe as houses’, there may be unavoidable structural repairs due to age, wear and tear. You might find undersized framing or unsafe chimneys that can add to extension & renovation costs.
It is also true that ventilation for example is much better in newer homes, so upgrading to these standards may not take away any of the character but remove common older home issues like damp.
Homes built between the 1940s and 1960s were generally not insulated, but the good news is that the older construction is naturally efficient when it comes to heating and cooling. Although you are not obligated to insulate the existing home, doing so can help reduce draughts which are often present in old homes. Any new renovations or extensions will need to meet the current insulation standards.
4. Pipes & roofing
Those old copper pipes are probably safe and sound, but plastic piping – probably from earlier renovations – may need refreshing or at least repairing. Renovation is also a great time to think about that old hot water system, the wiring, and look at the roof for repairs or total replacement.
Unfortunately, older homes commonly contain construction materials that feature asbestos, which when being removed becomes a health risk. This alone justifies the need for careful collaboration with experienced renovation builders, because hazards can be difficult to identify, there are rules about treatment and disposal, and achieving a beautiful home is not worth becoming sick over.
Be wary of lead paint, which was used in homes through this period for internal and external paintwork. Take proper precautions to avoid inhaling airborne dust particles!
Of course, there’s also plenty more to consider before getting really stuck into those renovation ideas for old homes, and RFT Solutions can help with old home renovation in Melbourne, from the earliest planning through to turning the key. Get in touch today to find out more.