Four Ways To Keep Your Older Home In Top Shape

Four Ways To Keep Your Older Home In Top Shape

Here in our nation’s capital, every nook and cranny is rife with history, and the homes are no exception. Residences across the district embrace a range of architectural styles – from Georgian and Neoclassical to American Craftsman and Mid-Century Modern. However, I think it’s our iconic, historic row homes that really stand out. Often, buyers agree!

Buying an older home is certainly romantic – you will enjoy unmatched craftsmanship, charm, and character, all of which are nearly impossible to come by in a new home today.  There are also a number of practical incentives to buying an older home, including potential tax breaks, a higher appreciation rate, and a mature, established neighborhood. However, you are investing in something that’s been around for some time, which means it will likely require a little extra time and money to maintain. Here are some of the common complications you will run into that, luckily enough, are quite easy to fix.

  • Doors: Most older homes have wood doors that jam when that faithful DC humidity rises. To combat this, paint or varnish the top and bottom of the door, the most absorptive point of the wood, to reduce the swelling and eliminate sticking doors.
  • Outlets: Who would have thought we’d come to a time when upwards of six outlets in a room is barely enough? Certainly not home builders back in the early 20th century! It’s a quick fix to wire a new outlet and there are tons of YouTube videos out there that can walk you through it. Rather be on the safe side? An electrician can do this in a snap.
  • Faucets: If you have decided to keep the home’s classic faucets, be prepared for some leaks resulting from worn out rubber washers. Most older faucet washer brands are readily found and relatively simple to replace. Learning to do this yourself will save you money and allow you to continue to enjoy your vintage fixture.
  • Plaster Walls: Prior to World War II, most homes were built with plaster walls, which is great! They are much harder, stronger, and more soundproof. Unfortunately, plaster cracks as the structure shifts and settles which requires patching and painting. Learning to DIY this one is a bit more difficult, but totally worth it, especially to maintain the historical authenticity and resale value of your home.
Of course, it is ultimately up to you to decide whether a historic home is worth the effort. However, I would venture to guess that when you find a one-of-a-kind home to call your own, all of these minor maintenance efforts will quickly become labors of love.

Stephanie Shum Anderson (Agent) Headshot
Phone: 301-466-5656
Dated: December 12th 2014
Views: 2,444
About Stephanie: She's a licensed agent in Virginia/Maryland and CRC Premier Properties' very own marketing maven. M...

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