Cottages have an old-world charm. They possess great character with beautiful architecture that is absent in modern condos. And, that is why cottages are a favorite among homeowners because it gives them a break from the mundane mechanical life of the cities. It is great to own a cottage away from the bustle of the city life.
Renovating the Cottage: Go back to the Basics
But, when it is time to renovate, cottages pose a challenge. As they are far from the city, the cost of renovation increases. Also, because of the age, a cottage renovation project may involve a complete makeover. If you are considering renovating your cottage, you must cover the basic aspects. It will ensure that your cottage remains a safe paradise for your family.
• Presence of Harmful Construction Materials
If your cottage is several years old, chances are that there are traces of lead and asbestos in your paradise. Many homes before 196os had lead-based paints. Even cottages built before 1980s may still possess low levels of lead paint. When you buy an old cottage, it is best to check for the existence of lead because it is a toxic substance that can cause damage to vital organs.
Another harmful carcinogen is asbestos. Its usage is bannedin constructing homes. But, cottages built before 1980 may have asbestos in the form of roof tiles, ceiling, roof shingles, siding, window caulking, paint and more. For tackling lead and asbestos, you will have to talk to an experienced renovation expert. He will remove the hazardous materials from your cottage with proper care.
• The Problem of Outdated Plumbing
Before 1960s, plumbers used galvanized steel pipes. Even though they were a great choice at the time, they pose problems because the pipes get clogged easily. The pipes even face corrosion issues. If the cottage is old, check for the hot-water lines. A low water pressure suggests that the galvanized pipes are choked up.
Another problem can be the pipe lines running from the street to the cottage. If you find cast-iron pipes, they are susceptible to damage from roots. And, over a period of time, roots, dirt, corrosion, etc. are prominent factors that damage the plumbing system of any home. So, whenever you set out to renovate your cottage, check for the signs of outdated plumbing.
• The Possibility of Ancient Electrical Wiring
The needs of older homes were less than the current modern ones. Cottages before 1920’s did not have major electrical requirements. Homeowners at that time did not possess a horde of phones, tabs, cameras, hair dryers, straighteners and more. A large possession of electrical devices has generated a need forupgrading the electrical service as well as the electrical panel.
And, if the electrician detects the old knob-and-tube-wiring in the cottage, you will have to replace it. It is because the old wiring may break over a period of time and lead to exposed wires. By upgrading the electrical system of your home, you will obtain protection against electrical fires.
Essential Cottage Renovation Tip: A Contingency Budget
Once you take care of the basic aspects of the cottage, you can think of improving its aesthetic appeal. Talk to the cottage renovation contractor about changing the layout, painting the rooms and improving the overall look of the cottage. Remember a cottage is your second home. And, a well-maintained cottage will outlast its renovation cost. So, do not cut corners while renovating it and keep aside a 10% contingency budget to take care of unexpected problems.
Plan a cottage renovation project with the help of an expert. It will ensure that the cottage renovation contractor solves the problems accurately and delivers you a beautiful, durable home with an old-world charm.