Once you've decided to preserve your damaged home - as opposed to demolishing it and starting again - there are a range of issues you must consider. First, it is important to realize that you will likely have to deal with a number of structural issues in addition to building out the bedrooms, social areas and other spaces within your home. Such issues could include elevating your home, shoring (to make it level), repairing structural members such as ceiling and floor joists, and more. This time is also an opportunity to update your house with features such as insulation and double glazed windows that improve the energy efficiency of the space.
Other considerations include any additions you may want to make to your existing home. A new room can be added as part of the renovation process, or space within the pre-existing structure can be reconfigured to accommodate new needs.
Older homes have their own special needs that will vary from structure to structure and will need careful consideration and expert attention. Many of these homes were built using methods not commonly in practice today and many have had to endure the forces of nature for many years and may need significant attention. Some of our modern techniques for controlling air and moisture flow can wreak havoc on an older home.
Whatever your situation, remodeling and renovation offer you opportunities to re-evaluate what you need from your house and instigate such changes. It is also an opportunity - while roofing and wall coverings are off - to address difficult to access structural issues while your house is a construction site. Remember that many wall coverings (sheathing, paneling, etc.) provide some degree of structural strength. Be sure you brace the structure when these elements are removed, and replace them with materials that provide similar strength.
Audio clip: When should I replace my old windows?
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