Day: November 23, 2020

How to Renovate an Old House (Part 2)

This post is a continuation of Part 1 on How to Renovate an Old House. Lately, we have gone through Facade work, Work on the walls, and the facade’s Materials.

This post will now cover:

    • Renovation of the roof of an old house
    • Renovation of the openings of an old house
    • The interior work

Renovation of the roof of an old house

The renovation of an old roof depends on the materials it is made of and its condition. From simple cleaning to the pure and simple replacement of its covering, the operation requires a professional roofer’s services. Firstly, the roof is a structural element of the house that requires the most outstanding care and because roofing work is dangerous and requires specific know-how and equipment.

Tiles

It is the most used coating on roofs in the USA. But the incomparable durability of the material means that some parts that are more than a hundred years old will sometimes be challenging to replace identically.

Suppose cleaning, defoaming, and treatments are not enough, and too many worn parts need to be replaced. In that case, one should consider completely redoing the roof and choosing tiles that respect the building’s original architecture.

Slates

Widespread in the North and West of the USA, slates also make up a very durable roof covering. Therefore, as with tiles, replacing the most worn parts with the same size models is challenging.

For maintenance, lightly leached water and an anti-foam treatment are sufficient.

Thatched roof

A thatched roof is very authentic and very insulating but less durable. It requires regular maintenance and must be completely redone every 40 years. It implies specific know-how that only a thatcher will be able to accomplish.

Gutters

Fundamental to the durability of roofs, the proper evacuation of rainwater must be the subject of particular care. Once the gutters have been cleaned and unclogged, they must be checked for water tightness, the slightest leak must be traced, and the most damaged segments must be replaced when necessary.

Note: Complete roof renovation is an opportunity to insulate it from the outside and check the roof structure’s general condition. By exposing the surface, you can access these usually inaccessible parts of the building. In an old house, it will be necessary to make sure that the structure is not damaged and improve the insulation to get closer to today’s thermal standards.

Renovating openings in an old house

This is a delicate point in the renovation of old houses. Unless you have a large budget, it is impossible to preserve old joinery without sacrificing the house’s thermal comfort.

In other words, you will have to choose between keeping your old doors and windows that are not very resistant to outside temperatures and noise or replacing them with current models that are more insulating.

Good to know: when the trees on the property are indicated on the house’s cadastral plan, their felling must be reported to the town hall, which may sometimes order them to be replanted.

The interior work

Unless your home is a heritage property, what you do with the interior is your business. It’s up to you to choose the level of comfort you hope to obtain, taking care to secure the building.

Structure of the building

 

The load-bearing walls, bracing beams, floors, stairs, and chimneys must be thoroughly inspected. Renovating an old house is often an opportunity to update its structural elements. Therefore, it is essential to take advantage of this opportunity to clean and treat them (insecticides and fungicides for wooden beams, anti-rust for metal beams) and to replace them if necessary.

Electricity

It is essential to consider the electrical network in the renovation of an old house. For example, the internal structure of cables, plugs, and switches must be brought up to current standards for obvious safety reasons.

Therefore, it is imperative to entrust this work to a professional electrician to remove the old circuit and install the new one. His intervention will also allow you to prove to your insurance company that the house is adequately secured.

Insulation

In an old house, insulation is sometimes non-existent or provided by obsolete means. To guarantee a correct comfort level without exploding your heating bill, you will have to act by reinforcing it.

If the facade is beautiful, it is from the inside that you will have to proceed by fixing insulation against the walls before partitioning them. If, on the other hand, the facade requires an exterior lining, then it will be possible to preserve the interior walls.

Heating

An old house also means old-fashioned heating. Between the chimneys open to the 4 winds and the boilers of another age, an old house’s renovation also involves replacing such equipment.

Fireplaces can be closed by inserts or even replaced by stoves for more efficient heating.

So, that’s it for the renovation of an old house. Should you have more tips and ideas, please remember to comment below and share this post with your friends.


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