So you have an old and tired looking home and you just decided to remodel? First of all, congratulations on your bravery. You are likely to have plenty of surprises coming your way. Old homes are full of surprises, and there is simply no way you can avoid them. The more structural changes you are planning on making, the more likely you will be to come across unusual problems and items. Below you can read more about some of the most unusual things people generally come across when renovating an old home.
Original Builder Notes on the Wall
When you decide to remove old wallpaper or covering, you might see the original state of the wall, and this takes you back to the time when the house was built. You can see the original measurements of the wall written by the builder themselves, or even notes on materials, the date of construction, or the name of the company. In some cases, you will see the logo of a company that no longer exists on the bricks. Make sure you capture the notes before you knock the wall down.
Notes from Previous Owners to You
People decades ago had a habit of leaving their mark everywhere. Underneath your wallpaper, you might find the names and ages of people left there for you to find. It is like a message in a bottle, and you might want to look up land registry records to find out more about the people who left you a note on the wall. If you strip your plastic based paint or remove wall coverings, you could also see the growth charts of kids who used to live in the house before you were born. Pretty fascinating find indeed.
Old Coins Between Floorboards
If you love a treasure hunt, make sure you check for coins between the floorboards when you change your floor. It is likely that you will find some. Bear in mind that some people used to hide their money under the carpet and forgot about it, so look carefully once you have stripped the floor. Old coins have also been found under the floorboards, inside the walls, an under floor tiles. Keep your eyes open, in case you find something that is rare and valuable.
Not a pleasant find, but it is better if you know about it than not. You might come across ants’ nests when you remove your skirting boards or floor. If you find cracks in the wall and check out the basement, you should always look out for signs of pests. In case you suspect that there are uninvited guests in your house or on your attic, you need to get in touch with Natura Pest exterminator to address the issue before you carry on with your remodeling project. Ask the professionals about ways of insulating your home after it is renovated to keep pests out.
You could find some old photos between the floorboards, or in the loft. If you are lucky, you might come across one that shows how your house used to look like before you moved in. Decades ago, people had a habit of writing the names of people and the date on the photos, so you could find out more about if you visit the library and check the local archives.
Newspaper Under the Carpet
Instead of using an underlay, people used to put down newspaper to separate the carpet from the floorboard. You will be able to determine the exact date when the house was last renovated, and step back in time reading the news from decades ago. While you might only get the headlines, chances are some important events are featured in the newspapers you can relate to.
When building an extension, you might come across even more surprises. Once you have the building company on the case of creating your survey, they might tell you that there is a war shelter at the bottom of the garden. People have been fearing the end of the world for centuries, and if the person who built your current home was one of the survivalists, or felt threatened by the Russians during the Cold War, they might have created a place to hide from potential danger.
In extremely old homes, you might find a well covered up later in time, when you carry out structural work. If you are a creative person, you might excavate the well, cover it up with safety glass, and make it a central feature of your home. You need to talk to your builders carrying out the work to find the right way to find, preserve, and excavate the well without having to risk your family’s safety.
Some people get lucky enough to find old magazines or comic books that are collectible today. You need to check the hidden spaces in your loft for these items. Depending on the condition of the items, you can cover some of your home renovation costs if you sell these to the right person. Look out for first edition books and postcards that look old, and check them out on the internet. If they are rare and similar to items that fetch good money, you might want to put them in an online auction and see if you can afford that extra room after they are sold.
When you plan your home remodeling, you are likely to come across items that take you back to old times. Sometimes they will simply be curiosities, while in other cases you can find out more about the people who lived there, or find something rare you can sell to upgrade the design of your house. Look carefully and be prepared for surprises. From old coins fetching a lot of money to comic series, books, and photos, you can find unusual things that will either make you smile or think. Make sure that when you finish your renovation you leave something for future occupants to think about, too.