Renovating Basics for an Older Home

There is nothing quite like having a brand new custom built house. On the other hand, many newer homes can lack some of the charming details of an older home. If you are set on renovating an fixer upper, here are a few things you are likely to run into.


A working bathroom and kitchen are the heart of the home, so all plumbing should have a thorough inspection and any lead pipes, leaking joints, shut off or supply valves must be replaced. All old, broken or outdated fixtures can be updated to modern working ones. A company such as Fox Valley Plumbing can be an invaluable tool for making those changes.


You may need to add outlets in order to meet today’s code of one every eight feet. Many older homes have only one per wall or even one per room. Check for aluminum wiring, which is a fire hazard. All tube and knob wiring should be replaced completely and light fixtures should be updated.

Ceiling and Wall Surfaces

Popcorn ceilings are a mid-century wonder. (You wonder what they were thinking!) Luckily this is a texture that is easily removed. Wall paper can also come off, but be careful in case of a lathe and plaster base, as soaking the wallpaper can damage the plaster below.

Windows, Doors and Mill Work

In older homes, where settling has occurred, the doors and windows may stick or swing open and not seal properly. Square up your openings and refit them with new energy efficient models. Add new trim work to suit the style of the home. Stairs and railings should be inspected for safety and repaired or replaced.

The roof is another area that has the potential to let weather, pests and insects in through cracks or gaps. It should be checked and repaired or replaced as well. It may take a bit more effort, but an older house can become an inviting and welcoming place to call home.

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