Quarve Contracting
Monday 17 December 2012

Top Five Old House Quirks

Posted by at 9:00 AM

Old homes have the irresistible draws of charm, mystery, and history. Of course, they also have their down-sides, too. When you purchase one, you’re encouraged to hire a home inspector and electrician as well as putting money aside for repairs, but there are a few other quirks to be prepared for, too.

Closets

Most old homes have very small closets, if any at all. People back then generally had fewer things than we do now, and therefore didn’t need as much storage. Although it may be inconvenient at first, it also gives you an excuse to take advantage of beautiful old armoires or antique chests to compensate.

Extension Cords

Be ready to purchase quite a few extension cords. Since electricity wasn’t as prevalent when the homes were built as it was today, there aren’t as many outlets available. This highlights why an electrician is needed. Running too many devices on one fuse will blow it out, so an update may be in order.

Slanted Floors

The floors in most old homes slant all over the place. With age, they eventually warp as well, creating odd humps here and there.

Object Migration

Since the floors do slant so unpredictably, furniture and things that are set on tables are more likely to move slowly from the place you’d already put it. Even vibration from footsteps can cause china to vibrate to the edge of shelves or wine bottles from the rack.

Other Issues

In addition to these other areas, be prepared to replace ill-fitting and air-leaking windows and sagging doors as well as deteriorated roofing.  The plumbing may need updating to provide sufficient water pressure.  Old houses probably need additional insulation to make them comfortable as well.

Personality

A home’s character involves far more than the way it looks. Older homes especially have a reputation for being creaky and full of bumps in the night. Over time, you’ll not only become used to the noises, you’ll be able to identify when something starts to go wrong. A leak sounds different from the home settling at night, after all. Despite their quirks, old homes have a charm that newly-constructed houses just can't match.  If you buy one, though, be prepared for the work needed to make it truly a comfortable dwelling.