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Advice: Improving Older Properties

working on the house home improvements

Investing in an older home means you’re investing in a property with character. However, along with all that character comes many projects. Wear and tear over the years means your new (old) house isn’t going to be in pristine condition like a model home. The good news is that every project you take on is an opportunity for you to infuse a bit of your own style and personality into the environment. Need some help? Here are tips to get you started.

Top it Off

First and foremost, the purpose of your house is to act as a shelter that separates you from the elements. If your home has a leaky or shoddy roof, it’s going to fail. If you are buying the home directly from the previous tenants, take the roof’s condition into consideration when negotiating the price. In fact, a roof replacement is a home project with one of the best returns on investment. However, if you bought the house from a bank or inherited the property, it may be up to you to see to the roof’s repair. By “up to you” we do not mean DIY. Roof repair and installation is a job that should definitely be completely by a professional. Have various contractors give you quotes for their services -- prices vary from town to town. For instance, the cost to install or replace an asphalt shingle roof in Meridian, Idaho runs from $5,145 to $9,717.

Buff ‘n Shine

If your home’s hardwood floors are looking dull, bringing them back to life is a job you can take on yourself -- you don’t even need a buffing machine.

  • Remove surface dust and dirt with a dry cloth. You can also do this with a vacuum as long as your model does not have a beater bar, which can damage hardwood floors.

  • Using a deep cleaner specifically formulated for your wood finish, work in small three-by-three-foot sections from the inside of the room to the outside.

  • After polishing, buff the floor with a soft buffing pad. Use a circular motion and remove all residue left behind by the wood cleaner.

It’s as easy as that!

Rub a Dub Dub

If you’re moving into an older house, chances are the existing bathrooms don’t have all those creature comfort features we know and love. A bathroom renovation is one of those home projects that have the best ROI. However, that investment isn’t going to be small. While there are some projects you may be able to do -- painting, hanging mirrors, adding towel bars -- anything that has to do with plumbing or electricity needs to be handled by a professional.

Adding some modern touches to your bathroom is a great way to utilize juxtaposition in your decor while making the water closet more functional. Touchless taps, chromotherapy showers, and smart mirrors will bring your vintage home into the 21st century. Consider alternative decor details such as black fittings/fixtures, funky wallpaper, and terrazzo tile.

An old house has character -- but in some ways “character” is just code for “flaws.” Luckily, as long as the structure is sound there’s nothing you can’t fix with a little time and investment. Having a working roof is imperative -- it should be the first project you tackle if you notice leaking. Buffing and shining your hardwood floors may be time consuming, but it’s a project you can do yourself. Finally, if you’re going to redo a room, redo the bathroom. The project has a great ROI, and you can add modern features for a little juxtaposition.

Colin Eggleston