Many Florida would-be homeowners think that buying an older home may save them money. A fixer-upper home can at times be a worthwhile investment. The right house can be affordable even after your planned upgrades. But some homes can have significant problems that may cost a considerable amount of money to repair. You should be aware of some common problems found in older homes during Hillsborough County Home Inspections.
Any home repairs will cost money – but some important problems may push your repair budget beyond what you want or need to spend. Beryl’s Certified Master Home Inspector can point out any significant problems and outline solutions on your home inspection report. This will allow you to determine approximate repair costs and if the project is worth taking on, or if you should pass it up.
Older homes will often not have wiring that is up to modern electrical codes. Older-type wiring, only one or two two-prong outlets per room and an old electrical panel with round fuses are some warning signs that the electrical system in the home will need a complete overhaul. Think about how many electrical devices you currently depend on in your home. How many outlets are required in each room?
Modern Florida electrical codes specify how many outlets are required per room or square footage and that they accept three-pronged plugs. Ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlets are required in kitchens, bathrooms, outdoors and anywhere near a water source. All electrical junctions are to be encased within a sealed junction box. An older house with visible wiring junctions and copper wiring is inadequate to meet modern demands and unsafe.
HVAC or Furnaces
Many older homes do not have modern HVAC systems. They instead rely on oil or gas furnaces for heat and window air conditioning units, or no A/C at all. Dated furnaces may require significant maintenance or repairs just to keep them operating. Older piping can have multiple leaks throughout, especially if any of the joints show visible rust or corrosion. Any oil or gas furnace should be fully inspected and tested by an HVAC professional to determine its usability and safety.
Replacing older heating and cooling systems with modern HVAC can present problems also. Many older homes were not designed or built with extra space required for ductwork and vents needed for newer HVAC systems. You may have to tolerate having visible ductwork throughout the home in order to install an up-to-date HVAC system.
Roofs are some of the most common areas for problems in Hillsborough County home inspections. This is particularly true in older homes. Weather and stress can cause leaks and weakened structural components over time. Prolonged water intrusion may have caused incredible damage to wooden framing components that will require significant repairs at a great cost.
Many older homes have been roofed with traditional shingles two or three times over their lifetimes. The new roof material is often applied over the old to avoid too much repair work or expense. Replacing a roof like this can be costly and will often reveal even more damage underneath the layers of paper and shingles.
A common problem with older homes is the foundation. Take note if you see cracks in interior walls and joints or in any brick façade outside. Uneven floors and windows or doors that will not close are another possible indicator that the home has foundation problems. These issues are often quite expensive to remedy if they can be completely repaired at all. Poor drainage around the home can also allow water to seep in and damage the foundation and underlying substrate.
Hillsborough County Home Inspections Can Prevent Buying the Wrong Home
The purpose of Hillsborough County home inspections is to reveal any defects or problems with a prospective home investment. You can make wise decisions about investing in an older fixer-upper home when you are armed with an accurate assessment of its condition. Beryl home inspectors use the latest technology to detect hidden problems and provide pictures or thermal images to illustrate the problems listed on your inspection report.
Call Beryl Project Engineering when you are considering investing in an older home. Our Hillsborough County home inspections can prepare you to make the best decisions about your possible investment.