West Orange Chamber of Commerce Facilitating Opportunity
West Orange Chamber of Commerce Facilitating Opportunity
 
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Tue, August 28, 2018

Living with an older home

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Guest article by David Kub, Pillar To Post Home Inspectors

The charms of living in an older home can be many – history, style, craftsmanship, quirks. But there’s no denying that living in such a home has its challenges. Maintenance can be tricky and expensive, especially if things have been neglected over time. Let’s take a look at some common situations found in many older homes:

Energy inefficiency is probably the number one issue with older homes. Most older homes were constructed with single-pane windows; if still in use, they likely don’t fit very well. Replacement windows can be very expensive, but will contribute immensely to reduced energy use and lower heating/cooling costs. Most replacement windows are available in several styles and price points, so finding one that suits the look of an older home is rather easy.

Like single-pane windows, poor insulation will also waste energy and money – and make living in the home uncomfortable. The most important and easiest area of the home to insulate is the attic, but walls and floors above ventilated crawlspaces should be insulated as well if possible. The attic may already have insulation but it may be inadequate by current standards.

If the home has older water pipes, they should be checked to identify the material and determine if they should be replaced. Older materials such as galvanized steel, iron, and even lead are still in use today. Replacement options include copper and CPVC piping.

Outdated electrical systems can still be found in older homes and may not only be dangerous, they can make the house uninsurable in some situations. Even if no danger is present, we use much more electricity in our homes today and the capacity of older systems may be inadequate.

With careful maintenance, older homes can be comfortable, stylish, and even energy efficient.

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