renovate old houses

The problems of old houses and how to fix them

Most old houses are fascinating. They inspire different eras and maintain certain characteristics of the daily life how it was decades or centuries ago. However, when it comes to remodeling an old house, design implies an ample process through the integration of original elements into the contemporary architectural context, while maintaining a certain charm of that era.

A common problem is that of the interventions made over time and the deterioration of the original elements. Here are some of the most common problems that you’ll face during remodeling and the best solutions to solve them.

Cracked walls and degraded plaster

This is a common problem with old brick houses. The walls were loaded over time with several layers of primer and plaster, so over time the polishing plaster coat and he plaster swelled and created an air gap between the brick and the finishing layers, causing it to fall apart.

The best solution would be to cut the walls until you reach the wall’s structure and re-apply a new layer of plaster and a polishing plaster coat. Disadvantage: much material is lost to straighten the walls.

Another option would be that, after scraping, gypsum boards are applied to the metallic structure, so it will be much easier to straighten the walls. Disadvantage: you can lose some space, as the metallic structure and the drywall will occupy about 7-8 cm.

Cracked and yellowed doors and windows

Time is the greatest enemy of wood. Temperature variations or cavities are just some of the problems that can damage doors or windows.

If you want to keep the original carpentry, it’s highly recommended to rely on a good restorer who will not only restore the doors and windows, but will restore the atmosphere of the old house during the process, especially if there are certain décor elements that you would like to preserve.

If the house is decorated in a modern style, you can paint the carpentry in contrasting colors with the walls or furniture. You will create an atypical, but personalized space.

Creaking floors

Like the wood of the carpentry, hardwood also has to suffer from the damages of time. First of all due to the foundation structure, which leads to uneven floors and even creaking sounds(typical for old houses), but also because of moisture – which can lead to swollen floors.

If the hardwood was (relatively) maintained then it will certainly be easily restores, through scraping and varnishing.

If the structure has been misaligned, then a new self-leveling and leveling floor screed will be poured, on which the restored old hardwood will be re-assembled.

Visible pipes

Just as old homes once had stoves, many owners are using now modern heating systems. What does this mean? A lot of pipes scattered all over the house to fit the radiators. The problem: if the owner has decided not to interfere with the walls (not to bury the entire installation), then the pipes remained in plain sight.

If you are doing a professional home remodeling, then surely the best solution is to bury the pipes in the walls or floor to clear out the space.

But if you don’t intervene on the walls, then another solution would be to mount a larger plinth to cover these pipes.

High ceilings

Perhaps in the past high ceilings were a problem (in winter – you had a larger volume of air that you had to warm up), but today most people actually like them. It helps to visually enlarge the space when the rooms are small and narrow.

Mount decorative profiles, brackets or rosettes on the ceiling. Even if it is more loaded, due to the height you will not feel it “push” down, on the contrary it will make the ceiling look higher. You can even give it a color (not very dark) or use some decorative paint.

Level differences

If the house has been extended over time, it is likely that there are visible differences in floor levels.

Bring the floor to the same level. If this solution is impossible, keep the stairs, but use different types of flooring to accentuate the level difference even more: this way, it will be more aesthetically pleasing.

Small windows

Try to keep the windows as free as possible, without covering them with opaque curtains or other items of furniture or decorations.

Choose curtains as transparent as possible, and tie them with tassels or buttons. Leave the space in front of the windows as airy as possible to let as much natural light as possible inside.

Non-detached and small rooms

Once the houses were thought differently, they had different sizes and streams. That is why today when you are remodeling an old house, you are confronted with this problem: how to create a functional space in small or non-detached room?

Because you can’t intervene in the structure, try to preserve the present circulation flow. Most often, the non-detached room is the living room, which communicates with all the other spaces. Use less voluminous furniture and make it easier to move so you can adapt when you receive guests. Open space rooms are very trendy right now.

If you have more things to store – use vertical space (higher libraries or cabinets). Although difficult to access, at least you can store things with less utility.

And last but not least, opt for light colors for the walls and furniture to create the appearance of more space. Dark colors in narrow rooms diminish space and even create a feeling of discomfort and pressure.

Lastly, here’s one last piece of advice and probably the most important: keep as much as possible from the original house; it’s practically part of history!

These are just some of the tips you should consider for an old house remodeling, but it all comes down to the type of remodeling work you need to get done. If you plan a kitchen remodeling, if you want to remodel your bathroom or you have other home remodeling project in mind, don’t hesitate to contact Good Deal Remodeling, as our goal is to help you create the home of your dreams!