Old homes

I am looking at a house in southern new hampshire. It was built in 1870 and has a stone foundation. I can only look at it online but will soon be there. Is there anything I should look for? Are homes over a hundred years old built to last another century? If there are no answers her = where do I go to ask?
Thanks, Bill
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Find a licensed home inspector.
--
Joseph E. Meehan

26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Some things like insulation, windows are tight you can check your self. Other wise I would hire an inspector. He knows what he is looking at and will be able to tell you about the foundation, roof etc...
Chris
--
****************************************
Remove SPAMBLOCK from email address to reply
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
While building codes now days make sure new buildings are built right (or that's the intention). There is no reason an old house can't be sturdy as long as it has been cared for and there are no major problems. Have it looked at by an inspector to get a better idea of the plumbing, electrical, structural and insulation issues. John

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
In my experience (limited as it is) the actual age of a house doesn't have a lot to do with its condition. Original quality and previous owners are the most important. I bought my house circa 1908 last year. Most of it is in great shape. It still has most of the original windows and interior wood trim. From talking to the neighbors what wear and tear there is came mostly from the last batch of owners. Fours years of idiot owners are way more detrimental than 100 years of just plain aging.
wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
rufus wrote:

Go to the library and read a few issues of Old House Journal, to get a feel for what you're getting into. If the house is well-maintained and facilities (e.g. kitchen, electrical) are up to date, you may have a house that's fairly comparable to any ranch house built 30 years ago. If not, you may have to contemplate the purchase price as something like 50-75% of the cost of getting this house livable.
The house itself could easily *last*. The question for you is whether the maintenance issues and possible upgrades will be worth it to you. Do you just like the way old houses look? Do you enjoy "do it yourself" where the parts aren't brand-name and baffle the guy at Home Depot? Restoring an old house is essentially a labor of love, a hobby lasting 5-20 years, and you should be sure that's what you want to get out of it.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I live in a turn of the century house with a stone foundation. There is no way a basement will be as dry as in a new house or as rodent proof. Many old places have had many additions and renovations over there lives. All work done to different quality standards. Also all the modern mechanics (heat/ water/ electric) will have been added over time. They may be added where there is access not in an ideal location. My house has the exterior heat ducts (forced air) come out of the floor about 2' into the room because the stone foundations are so wide (3') that is as far in as the duct could be placed. You must like character, squeaky floors and not perfectly straight walls. You must be handy and imaginative because nothing will be a level or of a standard size. You will be rewarded with a personal one of a kind residence.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Rufus:
R > I am looking at a house in southern new hampshire. It was built in 1870 and R > has a stone foundation. I can only look at it online but will soon be there
R > Is there anything I should look for? Are homes over a hundred years old R > built to last another century? If there are no answers her = where do I go R > to ask?
The house should last - they were built fairly solidly. As someone else suggested, get it professionally inspected. I'd suggest also doing your own inspection with emphasis on general structural integrity as well as your personal needs and desires.
General structural integrity is what the hired inspector will look at but when you look at it you might want to be considering upcoming repairs. The roof you will probably contract out; replacing the bathroom faucet you can probably do.
How's the electrical? There are never enough outlets. Does the "Computer Room" have a grounded outlet (and is it really grounded?). What about a telephone line and/or cable for the modem? Same considerations for whatever rooms will have TVs and sound systems.
Friend of mine is moving into a house under a rent-to-own option. I immediately noticed the switch plate in the entrance hall is partially covered by the molding. Should be able to remove the switchplate by pulling it from under -- this particular switchbox has a failing switch someone will be replacing (not sure if me or the landlord - I'm thinking it should be the landlord). Also the switch in the bathroom was mounted upside down: "on" is down.
- barry.martinATthesafebbs.zeppole.com
* Don't void warranty by removing screws -- open with hacksaw instead.
--
RoseReader 2.52 P003186
The Safe BBS Bettendorf, IA 563-359-1971
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

There's no substitute for knowledge and common sense. Before you pay a few hundred $ for a home inspector (and you still need to know if they are good), you want to eliminate obvious horrors.
When I started looking at a house, I was enchanted by a FSBO. When I heard the low price, I was thrilled. I looked at it outside for a few days and became truly excited. It had such a nice piece of land and beautiful antique features.
Then when the day to view it came, I looked closely actually on the property awaiting the owner. The roof sagged, but looked new. Half of the wood siding was rotted out, the other half with peeling paint and on the way.
When the owner arrived, I saw the interior. The second floor had been recently sheetrocked, but couldn't hide the leaks that has stained the new rock. The back part of the house had a floor so rotted that it barely supported the plywood over it meant to conceal the rot. The cellar was a mess, largely from the asbestos the owner removed by himself "so it won't be a problem" as he guzzled another beer. I lifted a panel in the kitchen ceiling and finally got the ultimate answer I was looking for. I saw main ceiling beams of the roof with rot and mold so bad I was amazed the house was still standing.
This was in addition to the fact the home had 150 year old dimensions, with rooms so small the house would have absolutely no resale value if it was restored.
Many old homes are beyond reasonably cost-effective restoration. Taking a good, hard look after a little learning from the library and internet can save you a ton of headaches.
Eventually I bought a home of about 100 that is built to last 100 more at least. Know the basics of homes and the issues will become obvious.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Old homes can be great and I'm a big fan of them. In addition to the obvious items, like insulation, rot, wiring and plumbing, check to see how well the floors are supported.
We had an 1890's "New Englander" that was wonderful (wide pine floors, amazing detail in the siding), but the floors were supported by 2 x 6 joists. While this never cause any structural problems (no one crashed through the floor) they were very bouncy. If you sat on the couch while someone walked through the room it felt a bit like a trampoline.
Good luck,
John
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
They were built when the words 'fiberglas' and 'styrofoam' didn't exist. Everything was made as tight as possible, to keep the cold out, heat in. But now we have plenty of extra heat, and the house needs to have been changed to accomodate those improvements. Any heat that gets into the attic needs to be immediately vented out. Otherwise, the snow gets melted, it drizzles down the roof till it is no longer being kept heated. It then forms an ice dam, the next water has nowhere to go except under the shingles, where it saturates the roofing sheathing, often drips down into the cornice, where it goes through some freeze/thaw cycles, and that wood is destroyed too. So check for signs at the roof, roof edge, gutters, etc. And remember that if there is not a minimum of a square foot of roof ventilation space for every 300 square feet of attic vented space, you probably have no shingles warranty, because it's been voided by the poor ventilation.
Owens-Corning 1-800-ROOFING

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
In addition, the building materials and craftsmanship are such as you are unlikely to see in a modern house, unless perchance you hire Frank Gehry. zemedelec
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
John Gold wrote:

We also have a "New Englander" built in/around 1890. Unfortunately the interior of ours was reovated by an amatuer. The attached barn is the BEST!
Bill You need to check the same things you would with any house you just need to do a better job of it.
If you're doing it your self get some old clothes, a headlamp and screwdriver and crawl into every dark corner especially around the sill and look for soft wood.
Some of these are rural items, it you're hooked up to city/town service water pump and septic don't apply.
KNOW what the septic system is/ where it is/ and how old it is
Check out the water pump and the rest of the plumbing
Heater is another problem area
Roof's age
Chimney's condition
Window condition, do they need reglazing?
Is it Insulated?
If you buy Welcome to NH. I'm in central NH
Kevin
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Also check the Electric Service Panel. A 100 amp service my not be enough
Kevin
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.