If you live in an older home, you know its has plenty of features that can give it character such as solid wood floors, plaster walls instead of wallboard and architectural windows. When it’s time to remodel, though, older homes can present costly challenges that aren’t so charming. Here are some of the most common kitchen renovation, bathroom and basement remodeling issues you could encounter.

image of a kitchen in an older home

Outdated Plumbing and Electrical

Electrical wiring and plumbing problems are common in older homes. Old electrical wiring can be a safety hazard and will need to be brought up to code. If you’re opening walls, be prepared for that possibility, even if your home is only 30 years old. Updating ground-fault circuit interrupter  (GFCI) outlets, the ones that keep you safe around water, is commonly needed in bathroom remodels.

Old wiring is also just an inconvenience. If you’ve ever lost power when running the microwave and the coffeemaker at the same time, it usually means you need to upgrade. Depending on your needs and the appliance you have, you may need to upgrade newer electrical systems to support computers, entertainment systems and other modern necessities.

If you have a house that was built before 1960, you may still have galvanized pipes. Even some houses from the early 60s have them. Galvanized pipes can get easily clogged or corrode over time. During a renovation that involves plumbing, it’s a good idea to replace them with PVC or copper pipes. Replacing pipes during a kitchen renovation is less expensive than doing the replacement as a separate project because the pipes are already exposed.

Unsafe Materials like Lead and Asbestos

Again, the older your home is, the better the chance that there’s lead in the pain and asbestos in the flooring, ductwork, popcorn ceilings, roofing and even in the HVC system. Left undisturbed, these substances aren’t harmful, but if your renovation project calls for scraping or cutting these materials, the resulting dust is hazardous. You can test for lead paint on your own, but for everything else, you’ll need a professional to detect and abate these materials if they are indeed in your home.

Asbestos removal ranges from $200 to $700 an hour. The cost for lead removal is between $970 and $2,250. In addition, older homes must be inspected for lead-based paint before renovation.

Materials and Layouts are Different

Older homes were not only constructed to different building standards, they often had completely different materials. Bathrooms were much smaller, doors were often narrower and hallways were common. Open layouts were uncommon until about 40 years ago. If you want an open layout, you often have to knock down walls, which can expose all kinds of problems, including less than desirable renovation work performed by previous contractors. This means your renovation can end up costing more than you originally thought.

Renovating your older home isn’t impossible it just needs more care and attention to detail. That’s what we do best at Rosseland Remodeling. Contact Chris at 847-791-5886 to see how we can help with your project.