Special Issues with Older Homes

Patricia Skinner  |  9/11/2007 1:11:08 AM

Older homes can be beautiful works of art. The craftsmanship and quality of materials used are often hard to match in today’s world; however, with their beauty comes high maintenance. The upkeep on an older home is significantly greater than that of a newer home.

Preserving and maintaining the great benefits of having an older home will take time, commitment, and money. First, you will need to evaluate whether renovating the home is a wiser decision than selling the home. This decision may be based on financial concerns, personal attachments and moral convictions.

Before making a final decision, you will then need to evaluate the condition of the home. There are several problems that seem to be consistent with older homes. Some homes are easier to repair then others. For example, brick homes often need tuck pointing. This becomes necessary when the mortar in the brick turns from a hard solid into a sand-like substance. Tuck pointing can be an expensive process; however, depending on the condition of the brick, tuck pointing may be limited to a few bad areas.

Another common area of attention in older homes is the plumbing, which is generally corroded and may need replacement. Also, older homes generally have asbestos and lead paint hazards, and can be less energy efficient. All of these issues should be evaluated, and the cost of addressing them provided by a professional.

The Preservation Resource Center of New Orleans offers an array of preservation-related resources. Information is available on a range of subjects, from buying a historic property to renovating your home, finding and dealing with professionals, and refurbishing a flooded house. In the PRC Resources section you'll find a library of handouts from our workshops, helpful links, and information about the PRC's preservation-minded discussion groups.

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