There was a TV show called ‘This old House’ about renovators who worked on older homes. Old houses have special challenges because house technology changes over the years, and house owners usually don’t keep up with every change. They leave it to the new owners to update the technology.
This same concept can be seen today on many renovation shows like on the HGTV channel where remodelers tackle old, and new home repairs and renovations.
Old technology in homes includes the electrical wiring, phone lines, heating and A/C systems, insulation, framing techniques, water and sewer pipes, and waste disposal systems, roof materials, windows, and foundations.
I have owned old homes, new homes, and remodeled homes. Most of the times there are surprises in the walls or under the floors. It is hard to keep Mother Nature out of a home or from slowly taking over your home. Rain will seep into cracks, roots from trees will crack sewer lines, old windows let cold or hot air in, and building materials can cause cancer. It is a constant battle.
Yet, old homes have charm. They have character. They have withstood the test of time, at least on the structural side. Then again, new appliances or kitchen islands can stress old foundations and floors and new supports need to be put in to place.
There are some homes where remodelers tear out the inside walls and rearrange the rooms, if the load bearing walls allow it.
In some communities, new home owners tear the whole house down and start rebuilding from the bare earth.
Either choice depends on time, money, tastes, and values.
As people’s taste in interiors change, the interiors of houses have to change. I have searched the web and have seen houses that look bad on the outside but are beautiful on the inside. I have also seen ugly houses with great interiors. Color tastes change. Once there were many small rooms, now homes are open concept. I lived in a 100-year-old home that needed insulation, wood floors sanded, walls papered or painted, and a new roof, and of course landscaping. I sold that old home and the new owner painted, replaced the old electrical wires, and updated the plumbing.
There is always something to do in a house because house tastes change, and the environments never stops living. Rooms need painting, roofs wear out, and building materials keep improving. Yet, there is charm in those old homes.