4 Ways to Save Money When Maintaining an Older Home

Monday, March 31, 2014, 1:00 AM | Leave Comment

Maintaining an older home can be expensive. With everything in the house being older, it may not be as efficient as a newer home and it might need more frequent repairs due to its age. But living in and maintaining an older house doesn’t need to be a money pit; there are plenty of ways to save money and avoid resentment towards the home.

4 Ways to Save Money When Maintaining an Older Home

  1. Insulate

    Depending on the age of the house, it may need more efficient insulation. If the house was built in the 20th century, chances are it is pretty efficient as retaining heat and may only need minor maintenance.

    However, houses built in the 1950s, for example, may be drafty and require some newer insulation. Home experts suggest starting in the attic where most of the cold escapes and if that doesn’t improve heating bills, then replacing the insulation in the walls can cut heating costs. Although this can cost you money up front, you will save money on energy bills in the long run.

  2. Have an Energy Audit

    If the house is racking up thousands of dollars in heating or cooling bills, then chances are there are one or two places in the house that could do with some maintenance.

    Experts advise having an energy audit done to detect the most problematic places instead of playing the guessing game and replacing or repairing things that aren’t the problem. Draft detection can pinpoint the leakiest areas of the house and make recommendations on what can be done to fix the leak.

    Those conducting the audit check things like insulation for soot marks, which indicate drafts of air are constantly pounding against it. Because leaks are often behind walls, for the cost of about $400, home owners can save money by fixing the immediate cause instead of playing a guessing game.

  3. Save Money on Supplies

    Owning an older home can be a full time task what with repairing various issues that are inevitable but also in retaining the historical beauty of the house. Paying less for home remodel supplies can be a wise investment.

    For historical homes that have unique details, contacting a contractor who specializes in restoring historic buildings is a good option.

    Find places that carry antique details like doors and molding, which are often cheaper than buying new if the home owner is willing to put in a little elbow grease and refinish it themselves.

  4. Learn the Difference: Repair or Replace

    Even if it’s old, it doesn’t necessarily mean it needs replacing if it’s still safe and functional. New studies have shown that owners get a better financial return when they forego higher end cosmetic upgrades.

    For example, old leaky windows may seem better to replace, but it’s actually been shown that a fix as simple as repairing sash damage, insulating the weight pockets, and adding new weatherstripping is enough to make double-hung windows from even the late 1800s as energy efficient as brand new windows.

    However, when it comes to leaking pipes, a replacement may be necessary. Old pipes can burst if left unattended which can lead to expensive water damage.

    If you aren’t handy with tools, it’s best to contact a plumber in Orem or wherever you live to get the job done right.

Keeping things like this in a mind is a great way to save money on home maintenance, leaving more money down the road for more expensive repairs or adding cosmetic upgrades to a sturdy home. It’s been around for a hundred or more years, so it’s critical to remember that almost everything holding the house up is of great quality and a little TLC can be better than replacing it.

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