This ‘Ole House – How to Fix Up An Old Property


Old properties can have a certain charm that new ones lack – high ceilings, large rooms, ornate cornicing, wooden floorboards, grand staircases, and exquisite fireplaces. However, with age and neglect, sometimes an old house can look a little worse for wear, but it can be restored to its former glory with some TLC.

If you have bought or inherited an old abode, here are some ways you can give it a makeover and turn it into a valuable ‘des res. 

A Roof Over Your Head

Stand outside and check out the state of the property’s roof. Are there tiles missing? Is it flat and needs resurfacing or the flashing replaced? Are there any chimneys? Look at the guttering and downpipes. Are they blocked with debris and leaves, hanging off, or rusty?

From the inside, you can view the state of the roof. Look for signs of sagging, light entering, water marks, or dark patches. If you can see flashes of light or water stains, this may indicate missing tiles, damaged flashing, or a hole in the roof. Dark patches on the roof may be a result of rot.

Be aware of health and safety and never climb onto the roof without proper safety equipment such as an extending ladder and safety rope and harness. It would make sense to leave roof repair jobs to an expert such as a Utah roof repair company to replace tiles and unblock guttering safely and effectively. They will also give your roof a full inspection and advise you of anything else that needs to be done.

Chimneys can be dangerous if they are in a state of disrepair as they can crumble, fall over and come crashing through the roof. If you plan on using the fireplaces in the home, you must hire a chimney checker to clean the flue, check that the lining is safe and that the structure is solid. A chimney should be cleaned once a year to prevent the build up of creosote which is highly flammable and can cause an uncontrollable 2000 degree fire in the chimney.

An Inviting Threshold

A beautiful front door can add curb appeal and charm to a property. It should also provide security, warmth, and protection to a home.

If the property needs a new front door, look for one that is in keeping with the character of the house. Ensure that it is installed by a professional such as Rocky Mountain Doors and Windows, Utah so that it fits perfectly and does not let in drafts. Choose one with top-notch locks to provide the property with a high level of security. 

Let the Light In

Like a new front door, windows transform the exterior of a property and make it look neat, clean, and well-maintained. 

Windows are available in a number of different materials, such as uPVC, fiberglass, wood, and aluminum, so you can choose a style that brings out the best in your home. Aluminum windows have narrow frames and are available in a choice of colors. They look best on more modern properties, so if your home is ancient, you might be better advised to opt for wooden or uPVC windows. If you live in a conservation area or your property is listed, you may be required by law to replace the original windows, such as sash windows, with a similar product.

A Real Live Wire

Rewiring should be one of the first jobs you do when renovating an old home. If the property dates back decades and hasn’t been refurbished for a long time, chances are it will need new electrical wiring. Rewiring is a big job and can be messy and disruptive as floors need to be lifted, and walls cut into in order to run new wires around the property. You should also plan where you want to position power sockets, light switches, tv aerial points, and telephone points.

Warm and Cozy

Installing heating is another thing that should be top of your to-do list if the current system is an antique.

Under-floor heating is an excellent option if you don’t like lots of radiators around the house. However, it should be installed before you lay new flooring. Perhaps the property has gas central heating. If this is the case and the radiators are in good working order, you could save money by keeping them and just replacing the boiler.

Quality insulation is essential if your home is to be warm in winter and cool summer and your carbon footprint is reduced. Fit thick insulation in the roof, walls, and floors of your home to prevent heat loss and enjoy low energy bills throughout the year.

Fancy Footwork

After you have fixed any flaws on the roof, rewired the property, installed heating, insulation, and a new bathroom and kitchen, you will want to think about what kind of flooring you would like.

If you are lucky, the house might have original wooden floorboards that just need to be sanded and stained or varnished or some beautiful porcelain or ceramic tiles that need shined up with good old-fashioned elbow grease. However, if the property has neither of these, you need to purchase durable and warm flooring.

It makes sense to choose hard floorings such as wood, laminate, or tile for areas where there is heavy traffic, such as hallways, or rooms such as the bathroom and kitchen where the floor may be subjected to water splashes and spills. Lounges and bedrooms can be made cozy and luxurious with the addition of a deep pile carpet or wooden flooring scattered with plush rugs.

The Final Facelift

The decorating process should begin with smooth, clean walls, so remove any old wallpaper with a steamer and fill in cracks and holes. If the walls are in bad condition and beyond a light fill and sandpaper, you should hire a plasterer to give the walls a skim so that you have the perfect, smooth blank canvas on which to decorate. After the major jobs are done, you can take a breather and enjoy putting your stamp on the property.

Often, renovating an old property can be expensive, disruptive, and overwhelming. It is essential to set a budget and stick to it. Do not live in the property while renovations are being undertaken if possible, and do not rush it. Relax and enjoy the transformation.