4 Important Considerations for an Old House Restoration in Australia

An old house restoration is what you need for fixing the issues in your old property while still preserving its character, sentimental, and historical value.


Buying and living in an old house, especially in a historical one, provides many benefits. You might have purchased it at a low price and paid lower taxes. Moreover, your property has an exciting story to tell, an excellent conversation starter for your visitors.


Along with these benefits, there are downsides too. It can be the old wirings and plumbings or crumbling foundations, walls, and ceilings. It can be sad to leave a place where you have created a lot of memories.

The good news is you do not have to leave your old house if you are not willing to forgo it. You deserve to live there as long as you want, no matter how old it may be.

 

Make sure to hire builders with tonnes of experience in old house restorations. With the right services, you can revert your house to its former glory without having to leave all the memories and stories behind.


Is Restoring an Old House Worth It


To determine if restoring an old home is worth it, identify the pros and cons and weigh out the most important to you.

When it comes to the drawback, the main disadvantage of old house restoration is the cost. You cannot argue about the price because restoring an old house needs a lot of work.


It includes outdated wirings and plumbings. Upgrading them ensures that the utilities in the old house become functional and safe. Besides that, many areas in the home may need replacements, such as the crumbling walls, termite-infested furniture, and other issues. 

Additional services, such as root and mould removal, will also cost you money.


On the bright side, it is all worth it. If a time comes when you have to sell the house, you will earn a lot more. An old house restored to its former glory provides a livable space and character, charm, and story that help increase its value in the market. 


How Much Does It Cost to Restore an Old House


The cost for an old house restoration is not cheap. You need a large amount of money to ensure that you live in a livable, safe space. 

It depends on the severity of the issues in the home and the upgrades you have to do in it. For the rough estimate, you must have a budget of around $100,000. But keep in mind, the price can go higher or lower than this. 


These services include:


Adherence to the Council’s Regulation of Restoring a Heritage Listed Property

 

If you happen to purchase a heritage-listed property, consider the Council’s guidelines on its restoration. Generally, they want to preserve the style of the house.


Because of this, when you ask your builders to make some replacements, they might need to look for the same kind of materials used in some parts of this home. For example, it may include waxes, copper guttering, and oils. Coming up with these materials can be costly nowadays.


Sometimes, homeowners choose repairs rather than replacements as it is a cheaper option. The price for this service depends on the type of materials and services needed.


Asbestos Removal


You will never see asbestos as a construction component in modern houses. However, as the dangers of asbestos were only discovered in 1987, older homes built around the 1920s to 1990s may still contain the material.


It was only until 2003 that a total ban for the use of asbestos was released. For this reason, your old house’s roof, cladding, tiles, and wood heater insulation probably have asbestos components in them, especially if the house was established before the 1990s.


The service fee for removing asbestos in an old house is expensive and varies depending on your location. Obtaining a government license to remove asbestos alone ranges from $500 to $1000.

If you refuse to ask for asbestos removal services to save some money, you will put your health at risk.


Asbestos, when damaged through drilling or cutting, releases its fibres into the air. Once you get yourself exposed to these airborne fibres, you will have a high chance of developing mesothelioma, a kind of cancer that affects the lining of the heart, lungs, and abdomen.


Electrical Wiring and Plumbing Upgrades


Having electrical wiring and plumbing upgrades can be the cheapest on this list. Still, it does not mean it does not cost a serious amount of money. The average cost is around $5000.


Because your house was built when there were fewer appliances, the electrical wirings in your home will only be able to support a small number of appliances or devices. If you insist on using high voltages, you are risking your safety and your budget.


Therefore, it is best to upgrade your electrical wirings and plumbings to ensure that the house can keep up with your modern lifestyle. 


Addressing Structural Issues


Whether you like it or not, houses deteriorate over time, no matter how high-quality the materials are. By the time you have purchased an old home, you probably have already noticed the evidence by looking at the rotting timber, holes in the roof, and flimsy walls.


You do not want to live in a house that might crumble at any moment. That is why you need to hire expert builders who can address the structural issues of your old home. The services vary depending on the severity of the problems.


The cost for foundation repairs ranges from $3000 to $100,000 plus the pre-purchase inspection if you are about to buy an old house. 

If the old home is infested with termites, you need to hire pest control. Their services range from $200 to $500. You might also need to buy a termite barrier to ensure that the termites will never come back and damage your home again. This can cost from $2000 to $5000.


Considerations in Planning an Old House Restoration


Because old house restoration is expensive, thorough planning is a must before taking an action that you might regret in the future. Planning can help you trim down some costs and get the best services, saving you from regretting your restoration in the future.

Here are some things to consider when planning an old house restoration.


Make Sure the House Is Worth the Investment


Because you will be splurging for the restoration, make sure that the property will have value once you sell it in the market. You need to research the house’s history and architecture to determine the selling points of the house.


Besides that, knowing the house’s history and architecture can help you know the materials used in building this house and how it has evolved over the years, making your builders’ work easier.


Hire an Experienced Contractor


You do not want to put the property into the hands of inexperienced contractors, do you? You should hire not just the ones with experience but also experts in old house restoration.


Old house restoration requires a lot of intricate work. Safety concerns can also be an issue because it involves asbestos removal, making this service expensive. For this reason, you should only hire the ones who have done similar projects in the past.


Preserve the Old House’s Character


What makes an old house an excellent investment is the story behind it and the character it has. You do not want to get rid of its value by doing tonnes of repairs. Make sure to keep the parts that give its character. By doing it, you can cut out some costs by limiting the repairs only to the essential ones.


For example, one of the best features that set the old houses apart from the modern ones is the windows. 

If the windows look awful because of the number of years they have gone through, do not replace them. Instead, ask your builders to restore them, which they can do by painting and repairing any damage. 

If the windows are crooked but not causing you problems on safety, do not bother to straighten them. The crooked appearance of the window will only add to the authenticity that the house has withstood the test of time.


Seek for Regular Maintenance


Old house restoration is only about changing or repairing some parts of the house. It does not involve demolishing and rebuilding it from scratch. Because of this, it needs regular maintenance to keep the old details from rotting away.


Conclusion


You will need a massive budget for an old house restoration, but it is all worth it.

Buying an old house provides you with the opportunity to possess something more valuable than what you can imagine. By restoring an old house to its former glory, you will have a lot to gain.

You can sell it at a hefty price in the market. But most of all, it will have a value that no money can ever buy.


If you own an old house that has a lot of stories to tell, talk with us. We would be more than happy to embark on the journey of restoring your home to its former glory. 

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