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If you have just decided to buy a derelict home and don’t know where to start modernizing and beautifying it, you have your job cut out for the next few months. Whether there is a special charm in the building itself or you fell in love with the surroundings, you will have to make the space (interior and exterior) work for you. From checking the wiring to improving the curb appeal, you will have to pay attention to several details to get your renovation project right. Below you will find a few tips to get started.
While it is common that realtors provide you with a property check and survey before you would buy the house, you will need to look out for risks once you are in the position to claim the real estate. With old buildings come certain hazards, such as pests, especially if the house was left empty for a long time. You will need to get a professional deep cleaning and disinfection company to take care of chemical and bacterial hazards. You have to get the electric and heating system tested for damage and leaks, so you don’t end up with some nasty surprises when starting to work there.
2. Energy Sources
The next thing you need to check out is energy sources. There might be an outdated oil furnace that will have to be replaced. You have to choose your energy sources carefully. If you are far from the main road and other houses, you might not get access to mains natural gas, and have to either get a tank installed, or use renewable energy sources. This might be the right time to get wind turbines and solar panels installed, so you can be self sufficient and have a reliable source of energy without having to pay companies for access.
3. Heating and Air Conditioning
If you moved into a derelict home, you might find that the heating and air conditioning system is either non existent or outdated. You will have to talk to a contractor about your options. Keeping the old AGA going might be tempting, but once you have the first bill, you will find out that it is not the best idea after all. Invest in a modern and efficient heating and air conditioning system. If you bought the real estate in a moderate climate area, you might want to give air pumps a thought.
4. Weather Damage
It is also important that you look out for weather damage and make sure that you don’t have huge cracks in the walls. When winter comes and the house is not heated, loads of structural changes can take place that you need to address if you want to safely enjoy your new home. There might be warped windows and doors that you have to change. You can shop around to find the right Replacement Windows so you can improve the energy efficiency and the look of your home at the same time.
One of the most common problems with derelict homes is leaks in the roof. If you decided to buy old instead of investing your money in a new built, you need to be prepared for this issue. If you need a new roof, you need to treat this as a priority, as you will want to keep the water out of the house. However, leaks on the roof are only a part of the problem. If you have old pipes and gutters that are leaking into your walls, you will have to get them replaced at the same time as your roof. Choose a system that is easy to install and comes with at least 15 years guarantee, so you can rest assured you don’t have to touch the drainpipes and gutter for a long time.
Image via Mari Madriz
Of course, insulation technology has improved a lot in recent years. If you would like to make sure that you don’t have to put up with a cold home in the winter, it is important that you add some secondary insulation to the house. From Polycell rolls to insulating sheets that can be fitted on the wall and decorated later using wallpaper or plasterboards. You shouldn’t forget about floor insulation, either. You lose a lot of heat through the roof and the floor, so pay attention to these problematic areas.
7. Curb Appeal
Image via Rafaela Biazi
Once the house is livable, waterproof, and comfortable, you will have to start focusing on the curb appeal. If you have old and cracked stairs and rails, you will have to fix this. Give your new home a coat of paint. If you have cladding installed, make sure that you use a weatherproof paint that helps you preserve the condition of the wood. In case the house is built of bricks and has exterior paint coating, try a weatherproof and paintable solution, such as Rhinoshield.
Image via Florian van Duyn
Once the house looks like someone owns it, it might be time to take care of the garden. If you have a front yard, you might want to opt for easy maintenance solutions, such as paving stones and slabs. To add colors, you can have a couple of stone planters that you can fill with seasonal flowers. Chances are that you will have a lot of work to complete before you can feel at home in the backyard. Get a contractor to level the ground and lay the turf, fix the fencing, and add a patio. Talk to a landscape designer to get help with designing your rustic garden that will match the style of your new home.
Whether you are interested in creating something beautiful or decided to repurpose an old chapel and turn it into a unique home, you will need to pay attention to the details. Start with the basics, such as waterproofing and insulating the house, and move onto the smaller tasks, such as decorating the front and the back garden or painting the exterior, so you can move in as soon as possible.