Half-Timbered Building in DenmarkBuying or remodeling a home or existing building is always exciting. Dreaming of the possibilities can keep you up at night, but so can the many unknowns. Do your due diligence and this new venture should be much more enjoyable! This article talks about five key areas to check before buying or remodeling; they include: the load-bearing structure; mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems; health concerns; operational costs; and budgeting.

Settled walls in old houseWhen buying a building, it’s especially important to make sure the load-bearing structure is in good condition as structural problems can be quite costly to fix. Always look for cracks in walls, ceilings, basement slabs, and check to see if the floors are fairly level. Also, look at the roofline from afar to check for sagging.

Additionally, be sure to review the mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems to see if they are in good shape or in need of replacement; they can be costly to deal with as well.

Leveling of sloped floor in remodelLikewise, it’s very important to look for signs of mold, mildew and asbestos. Lead-based paint is something to consider as well, especially with the new strict EPA rules that are having a huge impact on specific types of remodeling projects.

Also, don’t forget about proper insulation, windows and doors; they will affect your monthly heating and cooling bills for years to come.

When jumping into a remodeling project there are many things to consider, but the best advice we can give is really to make sure that you include contingency funds in your budget for any unforeseen circumstances. Buildings are complex structures and you can rest assured that there will be surprises hidden behind walls, under floors, or above ceilings. Having extra money set aside to deal with the unknown will make your project a lot less stressful.

The above is by no means meant to be an exhaustive list of things to consider, but it should provide you with a good starting point. Most buildings are unique and so are the fun challenges they present, but isn’t that what makes tinkering with them so exciting?Floor installation with help from young carpenter

If you have any questions, or if you are looking for guidance on what to do and look for when buying or remodeling, please give us a call at 216.496.2455, or post your questions here on our blog and we will get back to you. Have a wonderful day!