I often hear people say, “They don’t build them like they used to”, when referring to older homes. I completely agree with this statement, both good and bad.
What is there not to love about the character of these homes? The brick, natural cedar siding, big windows, and front porch are all so inviting. You can just image how beautiful the home will look decorated during Christmas or the 4th of July. Inside, you see the hardwood floors, beautiful trim work, and large dining room. The though of the family sitting around the table, sharing a Thanksgiving meal, makes you think of a Norman Rockwell painting. Well, those are some of the thoughts going through my head when I am inspecting these homes.
Then comes the more important part of buying or owning an older home. Unless the home has already been updated, there may be multiple items that need to be addressed in the home.
The electrical system is probably the area that I find the most concerns when inspecting. Older wiring techniques and materials are not as safe as what we have today. Also, many years of unprofessional electrical work show up on most every inspection.
Knob and tube wiring is very common in older homes. Through research and experience, by experts, it has been determined that it is best to upgrade this type of wiring if found in the home. Knob and tube wiring often times makes purchasing homeowners insurance more difficult and costly.
Unless the electric meter and socket, electrical entrance cable, and electrical or fuse panels have already been upgraded, oftentimes they are only rated for 60 amps. The electrical demands of today are much greater than when the original electrical system was installed. For safety reasons, it is recommend that these components be upgraded. It is also recommend that all fuse panels be upgraded to a modern day breaker panels. Obtaining home owners insurance when these components are not upgraded may be more difficult or expensive.