Fix it up or give it up? – That is the Question
05/06/2014

Fix it up or give it up? – That is the Question

Posted in Home and Garden

Many people, especially men, get excited when imagining the potential for restoring a dilapidated house to its former glory. The sad fact is, most people are not qualified or trained to confront the range of building and renovation projects required to perform the task at hand. It doesn’t cost anything to dream, but turning those dreams into reality can cost a heck of a lot of hard earned money.

Having a building inspection done by a trained professional prior to purchase will give you a clear picture of exactly where you stand in regards to necessary improvements for the new home. At this point you can easily ascertain whether it will be a wise financial investment to go ahead with the purchase. There are some jobs that can literally break the bank.

Foundation issues

Unwanted water is damaging. It seeps into concrete, settles into rotting woodwork, and even damages foundations, leading to cracking and instability of the house. The cost of repairing foundations is often a good reason to pull out of negotiations. If the issue is not so dramatic at present, at least ensure that water is kept away from foundations by appropriate earthworks that assist rainwater to run away from the house.

Clogged gutters and spouts are also trouble if the rainwater seeps back toward the house. Down-spout extensions that discharge water beyond the trouble spot are an inexpensive strategy in avoiding water issues.

The roof

This is another area that needs monitoring in your defence against water damage. A small spot leak or damaged shingle can be repaired cheaply, but when left for too long can ultimately lead to rotting and additional complications, sometimes resulting in the need for a whole new roof. Regular maintenance checks of your roof will save you big dollars in the long run.

It’s important to pay attention to the flashing around exhaust vents or chimney, and ensure that the seal is watertight. If the flashing is dislodged in bad weather it will require immediate attention.

Siding

For homes that are covered in wood, vinyl or aluminium, there is always the possibility that a weakened section will permit water to enter the building. This will lead to rot or insect infestation. The occasional repair won’t cost much but left untreated a dislodged siding can lead to a lot of internal or structural damage.

Take a walk around your house twice a year and look for holes or cracks that are starting to appear. You can also inspect windows and doors at this time to determine if there is any missing caulking in any of the joins. Ensure that trees and shrubs don’t scrape against the house in a stiff breeze, as they can do a lot of damage.

Water and sewer lines

Home owners are responsible for the maintenance of water and sewer lines within the property boundary. They will eventually deteriorate with age and ultimately require repair or replacement. The cost of repair won’t break the bank, but it is nevertheless a big and messy job that requires time and commitment.

Symptoms of a broken water or sewer line (apart from the smell) are marsh-like puddles seeping up into your lawn. The pipes may be under trees, or even under the driveway, so apart from hiring an excavator to dig up the mess you will also be paying for driveway repairs or replacement. You can check with local utilities companies to find the layout plan of your water and sewerage lines. This is a smart move, especially if you are planning any earthworks that could otherwise result in broken pipes.

The list for potential fixer-upper damage could go on. Consider the state of decks, septic systems, fallen tree damage and more before making your informed decision whether the property will make a wise investment.

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