Buying a home is an investment. But properties are not stocks. You cannot simply buy a home and then sit on that property for years until it increases in value. Your home is going to need repairs, upgrades, and improvements to help it not only maintain its value, but also provide you with benefits such as greater energy efficiency.
Cities that have a lot of older homes are especially prone to requiring property upgrades. These can be fairly sizable expenses, and most people will delay those expenses until the very last minute. However, for many properties, the value in making the upgrade far outweighs the initial cost. The following are some of the most common property upgrades that older homes need to make in order to maintain their value and function properly.
Where to Upgrade Your Older Home
The difference in technology between homes today and homes just a few decades ago is stark. Now, more than ever, there are dramatic improvements in the quality and capabilities of different upgrades that are available to you if you’re ready to make them. Older homes – homes prior to 1980 – frequently find that these upgrades can completely change their comfort and the value of their property.
- Insulated Siding – Many older homes have, quite literally, zero added insulation in their exterior walls. That means that your older property may be frequently transferring heat to and from the outdoors. In New York City, for example, where many homes are nearing 100 years old, the walls can be so thin that you can hear someone talking outside. That is going to badly affect your energy bills. But you don’t necessarily need insulation alone. A siding company in Staten Island can install siding that has built-in insulation, or they can install insulation when you redo your siding.
- Double Pane Windows – Prior to 1970, most windows were single pane with an aluminum frame. Single pane windows practically bleed energy. Touch them on a cold day, and your hand will feel frigid. On a hot day, heat is pouring into your property even as your AC tries its best to cool it down. The Greater Sacramento area often has this problem, as most of the older homes still have the original windows in Sacramento. Since it can be as hot as 100 degrees, that means an extremely hot home. New double pane windows can reduce your energy bills by as much as 30%, in addition to having more beautiful frames and being safer than the older windows. For many properties, this is a much needed upgrade.
- New HVAC – Speaking of ACs, many older homes have HVAC systems that can be as much as 30 or 40 years old. Even if they are still very effective at cooling your property, they were built before energy efficiency was that important. Your heating and air conditioning system are the appliances that will cost you the most money on your energy bills. Modern HVACs use a fraction of the energy and are far more effective at heating and cooling your home.
- Roofing – One of the problems with most roofs is that you can’t see them, and problems aren’t always apparent right away. But if anything happens to your roof, the results can be disastrous, as a small hole can lead to leaks that cause substantial property damage. It’s a good idea to have a roofing company take a look at your property to see if you need roof repair or roof replacement every few years.
- Paint – Not all home upgrades need to be as expensive as siding and windows. But most old homes do have old paint – paint that is not only probably in disrepair, but also a style that is no longer fashionable in today’s more modern world.
Unlike kitchens and bathrooms, which tend to go through full remodels within a few years of someone moving into the property, most people will delay the above property upgrades for as long as possible. But waiting last minute is not without its drawbacks. An old HVAC may cost you a fortune in AC repair. Old windows may be costing you potentially hundreds of dollars a month on your energy bills. These are all a few of many examples of property upgrades that cost more the longer you wait.
If you have an older home, it is always advantageous to have an expert contractor take inventory of every part pf your property, and make sure that nothing is in disrepair. Sometimes, the most costly or problematic issue may be one that you don’t see until it’s too late, but a contractor with experience in that industry can often find and spot the problem early, and let you know when it’s time to make an upgrade.