Our house is a large mid-terraced, built in the 1930’s. We’ve made it into a lovely home and (even if I do say so myself) it is nicely decorated.
I like to use some of our monthly household budget to buy fresh flowers (when I can’t pick them out of the garden) and I adore a good smelly candle or two.
That said – if we had invested as much money in upgrading and polishing our home as we have spent fixing things: when we came to move on we’d be quids in. But as it stands, this is the one thing that is putting us off moving AND staying. We need a new boiler, front door and garden fencing. If we stay we’ll need to spend another pot of gold on repairs rather than improvements, and if we move we’ll have to reduce the price tag of our home according. And so for now we stay and make the most of our house as it is by styling it.
But if I had any advice for anyone thinking of buying an old terraced house, it would be to really think about it…
6 Things I Wish I’d Known Before Buying An Old Terraced House
1. It’s Cold… Downstairs
The boiler in our house is at least fifteen years old. If not older. As are the radiators. It’s a good job we have a gas fire in the lounge or the whole of the downstairs would be impossible to heat with central heating alone. Want hot water and heating simultaneously?… not on Vista Street.
Once the fire is going it can, however, heat the entire house. A worthy investment.
2. It’s Hot… Upstairs
Heat rises. And we made a worthy investment in insulation… and now once the house is warm the heat doesn’t escape through the roof. Wonderful.
But maybe not during the summer months when our glorious south facing home is a sun trap and we bake whilst we sleep.
There is no pleasing some people.
Old houses are full of tiny little nooks and crannies and pencil sized holes. This spells ‘Luxury Mouse Hotel’. *Shudders*.
I can cope with spiders. I can cope with the odd woodlouse. I cannot cope with mice and their tails! Thank the lord for Steve.
4. Sound Proofing
Me in my kitchen: “Achoo”
The man next door 20 feet away in his bathroom: “Bless you”…
Some of the walls in our house have been re-plastered and offer a little more soundproofing than the existing ones. But make no mistake – if next door are having a party you’re going: weather you are invited or not!
Like the rest of the house – the plumbing is old. We’ve spent a considerable amount of money re-jigging the upstairs bathroom plumbing and re-decorating the dining room ceiling.
Almost everything in your home will need to be replaced. Plumbing, electrics, gas pipes. If you don’t replace them, then your home fixtures, fittings and appliances will break. A lot.
We just don’t seem to be able to hang on to toasters…
6. Beware The Cowboys
We bought our house off a ‘nice’ property developer. He did a really good job of painting a pretty picture, but in reality he did things like:
- Put the electricity box and skirting boards OVER the carpet…
- And very kindly glued the underlay with industrial strength ACME comedy glue to the concrete floor. This was a lot of fun when we had our entire downstairs flooring done last year.
- It took us weeks to find our water stopcock as it was hidden behind the fitted kitchen cupboards… and when we moved in we discovered that all of the tap connectors to the water mains had been removed. On. Every. Single. Tap!
It’s not that I’m saying there is anything wrong with old terraced houses. I think my home is beautiful and steeped in its own rich history. But I do consider how cost effective it is in the long run and how many more toys we can store in our two up, two down.
We have managed to style our house up and add funky storage without spending a lot of money – but the none cosmetic aspects of the upkeep of our home have made a bigger dent in our bank account.
Would you live in an old house?
Thanks so much for reading: 6 Things I Wish I’d Known Before Buying An Old Terraced House
**With thanks to House Network for sending us a Home Styling Kit**
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