The skeleton of a home is rarely discussed when it comes to renovation goals. We always think about the exterior of the interior, because we either want to update the decor and make ourselves look fashionable, or we just want a change of surroundings. However, just like human beings, without a healthy skeleton, the body becomes weak, and the skin starts to wither away. The same pretty much applies to property. The inner workings of a home are what makes it a livable space, with functioning water, heat, electricity, and gas. All of these energy sources should move freely throughout the home, without putting anyone inside it at risk of physical harm. It’s logical to live by the term hearing no evil, see no evil. But what lurks beneath the wallpaper, inside the walls, under the floorboards, and in the attic, cannot be assessed openly. You have to go digging, and the home relies on you and your determination to keep a close eye on the quality and health of the structure that keeps it working and standing upright.
Get prepared and focused
To renovate your home is no easy task and cannot be done on the fly whenever you feel like it. You have to feel comfortable with what you’re going to see and know exactly what key aspects of the structure to examine. You should approach the task of renovation, like a project which is all-encompassing. Don’t just stick to one room or one floor, as aforementioned, the home is like a skeleton, and everything is connected. Properties degrade over time, so don’t become complacent and start expecting not to find anything where you perceive the structure is healthy.
Source – kate hiscock
Strike a budget
First and foremost, you need to set yourself a budget. Start planning to save 20 – 10% of your monthly salary to use solely on your renovation project. Work out roughly how much you believe you’ll need to spend, and this is done by accessing your memory bank. Obviously, you have picked up on some things that have been nagging away at you, which you’re aware need attention such as cracks in the walls or ceiling. Save a little extra for any hidden or unforeseen costs when it comes to buying materials or when you realize the situation you’re addressing is actually worse than previously thought.
Perform an exterior checklist
Methodically and precisely, go around your home from the front garden, the exterior walls, and right through to the opposite end of the property. Go through each room, examining the walls for any signs of deterioration, cracks in the layers of brick, or even flaking wallpaper and paint which needs replacing. The floor is just as important as the walls, so place your feet carefully, listening for any groans from the wooden floorboards, which would indicate aged and stressed planks. Go next toward the plug sockets and the skirting boards. Any loose boards will need to be tightened or replaced, and the sockets should be put under the category of a hazard if they prove to be subpar. Any light fixtures or entrances for wires through the ceiling should also be marked in the same manner.
Photo credit – music4life
Perform an interior check
The main operation for checking the interior of walls is to see where the water pipes are and to track their layout. Purchase or rent a domestic water leak detector from a home improvement supply store or perhaps a plumbing specialist store. You can read online about this technology and how to use it, but it’s relatively simple, so ask the clerk or store assistant about it. You’ll be able to find pipes and wires, and the gadget will make a sound or perhaps flash a light when it confirms a positive detection. Mark the location of the wires and pipes you have found, faintly with a pencil or some DIY tape, such as low-tack masking tape.
Conclude and assess
Before taking any action, you need to compile your list of part of the home which requires the most attention and the least. The first stage of any kind of renovation is to perform an assessment of the information you have gathered. Any signs of structural damage which you believe are detrimental to the overall safety of the home should be looked at first. Signs of dampness, where the wall has become covered in mold, and the wallpaper and plaster have become soft to the touch, show there is a leak emanating from within the wall or close by. Cracks in walls and ceilings may be purely aesthetic and skin deep, some others may be more serious where the weight cannot be supported for much longer. Exposed wires should be cordoned off and children, as well as pets, kept away from them.
Photo credit – stevepb
Addressing water leaks
When addressing pipes leaks, use the hunting prowess of the domestic water leak detector, and where the damaged walls are, hover over the immediate and surrounding area. Water on the outside can flow from one part of the pipe to the other, so don’t fool yourself into thinking the pipe leak will be exactly where the mold or damaged wall is. You should call out a water damage restoration service, who can find the leak in no time, and explain everything you need to know to you. What’s more, they can clean up any damage and then restore the property back to how it was original. Don’t try to fix the leak yourself as certified water technicians arrive with a van full of professional equipment that can access the leak without damaging your property.
Replace the floor
Where you can hear squeaks and groans, take out the floorboard that is making these noises. Over time the wood can bend, and due to the cold and warm temperatures of the seasons, the structure can tighten and expand, stretching the molecules that hold it together. A rigid floor is what you should be aiming for, with a very little bend to your weight, hardly any noise perhaps even, an aesthetically pleasing look. Modern hardwood such as aged oak is a great and comprehensively priced purchase option, with the ability to get the wood in a dark brown, and light beige. If you have stone flooring, say for example for your patio, replacing the stone is going to be costly just in labor alone. It’s much better to use a filling agent to cover up the crack and maybe chisel away at the surface concrete or mortar, then replace it, so the stone fits better.
Photo source – Laqfoil Ltd
Cracks in ceilings
This task is the most troubling to manage, but above all else, keep health and safety in mind at all times. First, if you spot a crack in the ceiling, get a ladder and stand on it to examine how deep the crack goes. If the crack is more of a deeper nature, this means that you should treat it as a tear, as in a structural integrity issue. If this proves to be the case, make sure nobody walks underneath the crack or maybe even the room. Equally, do not allow anyone in the household to go into the room in which the ceiling is to, the floor. Call in-ceiling experts that will have the tools and the training to support the entire room’s structure, while repairing the ceiling from the bottom and top. On the other hand, if it’s just a crack that is shallow, it could be due to minor distressing such as old paint and plaster or perhaps man-made damage. Lath and plaster the plasterboard ceiling, which will join and fill the parting.
Exposed wires are a severe health hazard which means before you treat the problem, switch off the electricity in the home from the mainframe. If the damage is minor and all that’s visible is the inner copper strands, electrical tape, neatly and tightly wrapped around will solve the issue. If you know that the copper strands are ripped and flailing out of the wire, you will need to do a section repair. You can’t take the wire out as that would require the house to be ripped apart, but you can cut the damaged section off. With the same type of wire, i.e., earth, live or neutral, cut a little longer strip off your fresh supply. Peel back the casing and expose the copper strands; do the same to the wire being repaired. Intertwine the copper strands together, tightly, at both ends, Once the wire is roughly or perfectly fitting, wrap a decent layer of electrical tape around it. Put the wire back in its place and cover the area up as it should be.
When you renovate your home, you should avoid doing it in spurts and instead treat it as a project. One thing leads to another, and it’s very easy for problems left unchecked to spiral out of control. When you see cracks in ceilings and walls, address them immediately, so you don’t endanger the lives of those in your home with possible catastrophic structural integrity failure. Water leaks shouldn’t be treated as a secondary issue as the mold that grows on your walls leads to respiratory concerns, especially in young children. Insects and parasites can begin feasting on the mold, producing a foul smell in the process. Renovation of the skeleton of your home is just as important as aesthetically pleasing makeovers.