With our New England client base, the majority of the homes we work with are older and carry a long history of materials and additions. These homes generally have a lot more surprises and obstacles that pop up during a remodel than any new build would need to consider.
It is important for all clients to understand that the age of their home will play a large role in the total expenses of their desired construction. Like even the nicest cars, with age homes also need tune-ups and improvements to keep them as safe and attractive as the newer models.
One common obstacle is the horsehair plaster walls that are often found in local homes. This material can lead to additional trouble and mess during your contractor’s demolition process. These walls also create an added expense for homeowners, as they require new insulation to be installed. Tom Curren Companies recommends that while foam insulation is more expensive up front, this type will end up being cost-saving down the road with the current or future owner’s cooling and heating bills.Another issue that plagues the owners of older homes is the plumbing that is frequently found not to be up to code for modern standards. For example, one violation that could be due to a lack of requirements in the past is when there isn’t venting for the sink pipes. Or there is always the possibility that a previous owner tried to repair or replace a part on their own who did not abide by proper procedures. When these or similar circumstances arise, the plumbers on the job then need to determine the best solution for this existing work- even if the plumbing was not part of the expected expenses before the work started. We as a company, as well as home inspectors, cannot move forward with a project until we bring everything in the home up to code that we come across for the safety of both current and future homeowners.
Unfortunately, neither homeowners nor their contractors can ever know what they will discover until they have actually opened up the walls themselves. Dangerous materials such as lead pipes or even the finding of lead pipe lines that shouldn’t be there and need to be rerouted cannot be predicted beforehand. However, whether it be an issue with the materials, the structure, or another aspect of the home, our team is always there with the intention both to help with your home’s improvements and to make this process as smooth as possible for each client.