The hidden costs of living in a 100 year old farmhouse. - Survivalist Forum
Survivalist Forum

Advertise Here

Go Back   Survivalist Forum > >
Articles Classifieds Donations Gallery Groups Links Store Survival Files


Notices

Disaster Preparedness General Discussion Anything Disaster Preparedness or Survival Related

Advertise Here
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 12-03-2019, 02:30 PM
Beerdy Beerdy is offline
Newbie
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 11
Thanks: 14
Thanked 15 Times in 7 Posts
Default The hidden costs of living in a 100 year old farmhouse.



Advertise Here

My family and I are a few months from buying the acreage and home we've been looking forward to for so long. The problem is that in our AO, most property that fits in our budget has a house that's over 100 years old.

We COULD buy the land and build, but the cost to do so is prohibitive here, at least compared to buying a preexisting home.

So my question is, outside of the obvious financial draws like heating, electrical, and plumbing, what are some other issues to expect from a home that old?
Quick reply to this message
Old 12-03-2019, 02:33 PM
Central Scrutinizer's Avatar
Central Scrutinizer Central Scrutinizer is online now
CULT DEPROGRAMMER
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 3,424
Thanks: 3,639
Thanked 3,210 Times in 1,750 Posts
Default

Termites holding hands...

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=wmAPSJsm-lc


Sent from my SM-T350 using Tapatalk
Quick reply to this message
The Following User Says Thank You to Central Scrutinizer For This Useful Post:
Old 12-03-2019, 02:45 PM
Eagle Scout Survivor Eagle Scout Survivor is online now
Survivor
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: WI
Age: 28
Posts: 2,000
Thanks: 933
Thanked 7,244 Times in 1,172 Posts
Default

I have a rental property that is 90 plus years old and one day the tenant called saying there was a hole in the ground outside the house.

No problem its a badger den or something. Nope cistern roof partially fell in and had a 8 plus cubic yard hole in the ground that was against the foundation of my house. Had to buy a dump truck worth of limestone and pay a guy with a bobcat to fill it in. That cost 1700 dollars that I was not expecting to ever have.

Also had to tuck point the foundation since it was made of stones and mortar.

Also those old houses where not built to standard dimensions. Replacing the main entrance door should take an hour to pop in a new door. Nope took 4 hours since I had to resize the opening and the header they had was not correct. Pretty much a simple project can snowball due to weird dimensions or cobbled together by former owners.
Quick reply to this message
The Following 8 Users Say Thank You to Eagle Scout Survivor For This Useful Post:
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 12-03-2019, 02:47 PM
Surveyor Surveyor is offline
Target Shooter
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Florida
Posts: 543
Thanks: 825
Thanked 578 Times in 262 Posts
Default

And bringing the house up to code. =$$$$$$
Quick reply to this message
The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to Surveyor For This Useful Post:
Old 12-03-2019, 03:07 PM
InOmaha InOmaha is online now
Survivor
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 7,237
Thanks: 6,165
Thanked 22,417 Times in 5,834 Posts
Default

It depends entirely on the house itself. I'd rather have a 100 year old farmhouse than a 1970s vintage prefabricated house that was hauled in on a couple trailers and pieced together.

The wood density from old growth wood makes it harder to drive nails in the wall. Some of them, like my old neighbor's 8 bedroom 2 story house were set up for large and/or extended families and may or may not have been designed with indoor plumbing or electricity in mind. The new owners had to add insulation and replace some old windows. The house had a kitchen/bathroom addition put on to have running water and their electricity ran around the baseboards and trim. But it was a seriously cool house. The coal boiler radiant heating was replaced with a gas boiler and furnace/AC for the main floor. Air flow through the house was exceptional and there were porches on 3 sides. Under every carpeted room was exceptional quality hard wood flooring.

So like I said, it depends. I'd rather buy a decent 100 year old farmhouse then live in a double wide or a 20 year old home that was poorly constructed or maintenance was neglected.
Quick reply to this message
The Following 14 Users Say Thank You to InOmaha For This Useful Post:
Old 12-03-2019, 03:08 PM
Central Scrutinizer's Avatar
Central Scrutinizer Central Scrutinizer is online now
CULT DEPROGRAMMER
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 3,424
Thanks: 3,639
Thanked 3,210 Times in 1,750 Posts
Default

If you don't insulate it right away you will be throwing away money to heat and cool until you do. Problem is that you need to take care of the structural, electrical, plumbing and HVAC issues before you insulate the attic and walls.

Sent from my SM-T350 using Tapatalk
Quick reply to this message
The Following 10 Users Say Thank You to Central Scrutinizer For This Useful Post:
Old 12-03-2019, 03:21 PM
Pinhead's Avatar
Pinhead Pinhead is offline
Hunter
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 1,722
Thanks: 16,514
Thanked 2,814 Times in 1,030 Posts
Default

An old place on acreage - will the septic system need to be rebuilt?

Is the foundation solid? Do the gutters - if they exist - drain away from the house?

Is the electrical service adequate? (I had to replace an old 75-amp service on our place).

Is the water supply pressure adequate? If on a water well, does the well dry up during drought years?
Quick reply to this message
The Following 6 Users Say Thank You to Pinhead For This Useful Post:
Old 12-03-2019, 03:38 PM
InOmaha InOmaha is online now
Survivor
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 7,237
Thanks: 6,165
Thanked 22,417 Times in 5,834 Posts
Default

We have 25 year old houses throughout our neighborhood that have been deteriorating due to lack of general maintenance. One was purchased recently and the roof re-shingled, the entire house re-sided, all new windows, and a paint job. Then the dumpsters showed up for the inside remodel work.

Unless it's just a been built, the age of the house won't determine whether it's a money pit or not. The care by the previous owner will. It doesn't take very long for a newer home to fall apart if it's neglected. Especially if it's a poorly constructed by a bad contractor using the cheapest labor and every shortcut and low end product to make a buck. Inspect the crap out of whatever is there.
Quick reply to this message
The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to InOmaha For This Useful Post:
Old 12-03-2019, 03:51 PM
neiowa neiowa is offline
Hunter
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 1,557
Thanks: 620
Thanked 1,756 Times in 837 Posts
Default

Watch most of the "This Old House" projects (PBS for the last 30+ years) and will see most everything.
Quick reply to this message
The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to neiowa For This Useful Post:
Old 12-03-2019, 04:11 PM
~Black.Dog~ ~Black.Dog~ is offline
Survivor
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 2,145
Thanks: 1,834
Thanked 5,559 Times in 1,632 Posts
Default

I love old houses. They have soul.....roots. It must be the old remodeler in me. My house is 150 years old.
Of course there are lots of things to consider with these Old Ladies. Lack of insulation (a big concern for comfort), old wiring and plumbing, etc. I'm fortunate that mine has been well restored between myself and previous owners. Modern wiring, plumbing, insulation and house wrap, central air, etc.
None of it is cheap but the beauty is you can do much of it yourself while living in it. But that is something that only you can know if you are prepared for.
We visit our friends in their plastic McMansions with the grand foyer and all the rest, but nothing beats coming home to be cozily wrapped up in our old home that has sheltered it's people for generations. Nothing quite like it in a modern house.

Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
Quick reply to this message
The Following 12 Users Say Thank You to ~Black.Dog~ For This Useful Post:
Old 12-03-2019, 04:14 PM
dmas dmas is online now
Survivor
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 4,794
Thanks: 1,327
Thanked 4,061 Times in 2,242 Posts
Default

Lath and plaster walls which are nice unless you have to open up to put in concealed wiring plumbing or insulation.
Any brickwork especially fireplaces and chimneys should be checked for condition and loose mortar.
Likely not very square or level. If it has a foundation, usually required for mortgage, likely not bolted down. Roof likely just nailed down, not firmly attached. Or actually they probably have stick built roof, pre truss use.
Balloon framing has stood up over time but just nails supporting second floor make a little nervous. Nobody else seems to mind though the open vertical spaces between studs with no blocking is a recognized fire hazzard.
That's just how they used to build.
Quick reply to this message
The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to dmas For This Useful Post:
Old 12-03-2019, 08:11 PM
Central Scrutinizer's Avatar
Central Scrutinizer Central Scrutinizer is online now
CULT DEPROGRAMMER
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 3,424
Thanks: 3,639
Thanked 3,210 Times in 1,750 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by dmas View Post
Lath and plaster walls which are nice unless you have to open up to put in concealed wiring plumbing or insulation.
Any brickwork especially fireplaces and chimneys should be checked for condition and loose mortar.
Likely not very square or level. If it has a foundation, usually required for mortgage, likely not bolted down. Roof likely just nailed down, not firmly attached. Or actually they probably have stick built roof, pre truss use.
Balloon framing has stood up over time but just nails supporting second floor make a little nervous. Nobody else seems to mind though the open vertical spaces between studs with no blocking is a recognized fire hazzard.
That's just how they used to build.
Houses like you describe may have had knob and tube wiring added at some point. That has to go and modern wiring up to local code installed.

Sent from my SM-T350 using Tapatalk
Quick reply to this message
The Following User Says Thank You to Central Scrutinizer For This Useful Post:
Old 12-03-2019, 08:36 PM
Florida Jean Florida Jean is offline
Hunter
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 1,386
Thanks: 1,881
Thanked 3,267 Times in 1,049 Posts
Default

Knew an old house that the later owners had to put 'jacks' in the basement because the floors were dipping down in the middle. I personally thought it was 'neat' but then I was say 14 at the time.

Really get any flues -- fireplaces/furnace -- checked out double well.

[is it livable until a time that you can build?]
Quick reply to this message
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Florida Jean For This Useful Post:
Old 12-03-2019, 08:40 PM
NW GUY's Avatar
NW GUY NW GUY is offline
Born 120 years too late.
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 2,089
Thanks: 74
Thanked 5,914 Times in 1,564 Posts
Default

WHAT PART of the country?
each geography has its own issues to deal with.
If you are south you have termites and every other creepy crawly trying to make a home in the walls.

If you are north, who knows what they used for insulation, if any?
When was the electrical added to the house.
If a looonnggg time ago, you could be buying into a fire just waiting to happen.

The water pipes could be lead.

There could be an asbestos situation in regards to old furnaces...

IT really might pay to have the house thoroughly inspected by a PROFESSIONAL even if you have already bought it just so you don't move into a health hazard.

OR

you could insure the crap out of it, have it filled with paint and thinners and other flammable fluids, since you ARE remodeling , leave it for the night and have the mice chew a wire, causing a spark to fall into rags that starts the fire that burns it to the ground and start over again with a pocket full of cash.
I mean accidents do happen.
Quick reply to this message
The Following User Says Thank You to NW GUY For This Useful Post:
Old 12-03-2019, 09:11 PM
Justme11's Avatar
Justme11 Justme11 is offline
French Prometheus unbound
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Houston
Posts: 29,009
Thanks: 32,510
Thanked 70,781 Times in 21,412 Posts
Default

I grew up in a 100 yr old house.
Zero insulation. plaster and lathe walls. When the wind blew the toilet paper would wave in the breeze. I think Thomas Edison did the wiring. Glass screw in fuses. And those big copper tube looking fuzes. Wires were solid copper with some sort of woven cloth looking insulation (probably asbestos). Inadequate amp rating on all wiring. 2 prong plugs. No ground wires on anything.

Slate roof, and the roofing nails were so corroded, the slate shingles were constantly sliding off the roof. Then the roofer would come with his magic bucket of tar and fix the roof. No central heat or air conditioning of any kind. Just 2 camp heaters in the floor. Zero heat in the bedrooms, and the roof uninsulated. Freeze your butt off. Feet would stay cold 6 months of the year.
Single pane glass windows. And the glazing failing, so the glass was loose.
Front door only had that little push button lock. Luckily, thieves hadn't been invented yet. The great cultural enrichment had not yet begun.
No garage, because people didn't have cars back when it was built.
The water line to the house was a disaster. The sewer line was always getting clogged, (maybe tree roots?) Never really got fixed. Of course all the plumbing was lead solder.

The mortar was failing between the bricks and hornets would go in little holes and build nests. Luckily poisons were legal that actually killed hornets. Chlordane and a trombone sprayer got a lot of use.

And lightning would hit the kitchen often (the fireplace chimney seemed to attract the bolts), which was always fun to watch the kitchen light bulb explode as you were temporarily deafened by the lighting strike 8 feet from your head while eating dinner.

Quick reply to this message
The Following 7 Users Say Thank You to Justme11 For This Useful Post:
Old 12-03-2019, 09:31 PM
Steve_In_29 Steve_In_29 is online now
Semper Fi
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: St John's, AZ
Posts: 6,024
Thanks: 7,585
Thanked 10,663 Times in 3,847 Posts
Default

You might find that in the long run it would have been cheaper to just tear it down and build new.

A thorough inspection by a professional who is very familiar with the aspects of such an old house could save you from a money pit.
Quick reply to this message
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Steve_In_29 For This Useful Post:
Old 12-03-2019, 10:13 PM
leadcounsel's Avatar
leadcounsel leadcounsel is online now
Comic, not your lawyer!
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 10,692
Thanks: 24,260
Thanked 33,252 Times in 8,007 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beerdy View Post
My family and I are a few months from buying the acreage and home we've been looking forward to for so long. The problem is that in our AO, most property that fits in our budget has a house that's over 100 years old.

We COULD buy the land and build, but the cost to do so is prohibitive here, at least compared to buying a preexisting home.

So my question is, outside of the obvious financial draws like heating, electrical, and plumbing, what are some other issues to expect from a home that old?
Well, wood rots. Foundations settle. Materials and designs radically change. Old houses generally suffer from poor layout and design, bad flow, and not being heating or cooling efficient.

I'd be very cautious. It might, and more likely than not, be a money pit.

"Other than heating, electrical, and plumbing..."....

Well, Mrs. Lincoln, aside from the assassination, how was the play?

Turns out heating, electrical, and plumbing are extremely important and extremely expensive to re-furbish. Old houses used weak wiring, lead pipes, non grounded outlets, poor heating elements, etc. It involves ripping out entire walls, floors, and/or ceilings, lots of digging, replacing furnace(s), improving airflow, and lots of reworking designs. Probably double the cost of the house, as a fair estimate.

And 100 year old materials, wood, cement, mortar, etc. is getting well into mature life span even in the best case scenarios.
Quick reply to this message
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to leadcounsel For This Useful Post:
Old 12-03-2019, 10:50 PM
Justme11's Avatar
Justme11 Justme11 is offline
French Prometheus unbound
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Houston
Posts: 29,009
Thanks: 32,510
Thanked 70,781 Times in 21,412 Posts
Default

Air pollution can take its toll on an old house as well.
Our house was downwind of some heavy duty acid rain emitters.

Dissolves mortar and shingle nails nicely.
Quick reply to this message
The Following User Says Thank You to Justme11 For This Useful Post:
Old 12-03-2019, 11:24 PM
Offrink Offrink is offline
Hunter
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: SW Michigan
Posts: 1,660
Thanks: 11,608
Thanked 2,179 Times in 998 Posts
Default

My first house was built in 1886. Beautiful hardwood everything (including windows, plaster and lathe. Original asbestos roof and siding too. Could heat the house all winter in Michigan (two story 2500+ sq foot) on three cords of wood once the plaster got warm. Very solid and great bones. My current house was built in 1883. Been added onto a few times but still good bones and a 5 bed 3 bath house.

What I would check for: electric, plumbing, bugs/termite, leaking roof/rotting foundation. Most often things that would have occurred have occurred already and have been repaired but maybe not fixed. Look for those repairs.
Quick reply to this message
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Offrink For This Useful Post:
Old 12-03-2019, 11:30 PM
Turtle'sPace Turtle'sPace is offline
Prepared
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 392
Thanks: 2,594
Thanked 1,064 Times in 315 Posts
Default

I'm sitting here nodding my head and laughing. (Home built in 1894) Love the character of old homes but they do have their issues.
Quick reply to this message
Reply

Bookmarks



Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Survivalist Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:
Gender
Insurance
Please select your insurance company (Optional)

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:34 AM.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimisation provided by DragonByte SEO (Lite) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2020 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2020 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Copyright © Kevin Felts 2006 - 2015,
Green theme by http://www.themesbydesign.net