Renovations You Can Do to an Older Home


Spending too much money on a renovation can be your biggest fear. Maybe you bought an older New Zealand home that needed some work or maybe you just love older homes. Either way it is likely it will need some repairs or renovation to update it and add value. You can do this slowly over time if the home is comfortable to live in. Should the home need extensive renovations consider living in a mobile home or caravan on site while the messy work is completed.

Weatherproofing the home before tackling the inside should be a priority. Broken windows, leaking roof, missing tiles or damaged guttering should all be looked at fixing first before winter and certainly prior to any internal renovations. If the exterior walls are wood they will need the paint stripping to check for rot, borer or any damage. Once fixed up they can be repainted with two coats of quality exterior paint to last another 10 years at least.

You may wish to keep the existing character windows if present. Carry out any repairs but consider replacing any that are beyond repair. Windows may be purchased second-hand from other renovations. New windows can look good in older homes and you will certainly see the cost benefits with reduced electricity bills due to improved insulation.

An older home will likely need a bathroom makeover. Appliances may be old and need replacing. It can be costly to extend the size of a kitchen so look instead at maximising space within cupboards and using the full height of the room with floor to ceiling storage options. If the house is really old look at having a plumbing survey done to highlight any damaged pipes or metal pipe work that would be safest upgraded to plastic.

Renovations, especially a full gut and start again are great opportunities to re-route any drainage and water supplies for relocating bathrooms or adding in an en-suite for example. Again look at the wiring and for fire safety reasons and consider doing a full re-wire if outdated. You may get lucky and pull up some old carpet to discover the original floorboards just need a sand and stain to return them to their original splendour.

Kitchens and bathrooms are the two most important rooms when renovating as these are the ones new buyers will pay close attention too. Replace old baths, showers, sinks and toilet units especially if not white or age stained. Clean and fresh will go a long way to improving the overall look of your renovation. Personalise with flooring choice and colourful accessories.

Before you buy a house that needs renovating get a property inspection carried out by a qualified and experienced inspector and/or builder to highlight any possible issues and give you an idea of the likely costs of any work that needs doing.

To get an idea of the work that may need doing to an older home you plan to buy contact AB Property Inspections via their website AB Property Inspections are experienced in house inspections in North Shore.

Peter Seton has over 30 years of experience as an Auckland property inspector and conducting pre-purchase house inspection in Auckland. Lighting will be likely outdated and certainly not energy efficient. Use a renovation period to install directional spot lights for maximum work lighting and maybe even add in new power points especially if you are fixing up the walls.

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