Renovate an Old House?

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U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, 1975 - Architecture, Domestic - 21 pages

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Page 16 - If the main distribution panel has room for circuits, additional circuits can be added to supply power where there is a shortage. Otherwise another distribution panel may be added. Examine electrical wiring wherever possible. Some wiring is usually exposed in the attic or basement. Wiring should also be checked at several wall receptacles or fixtures. If any armored cable or conduit is badly rusted, or if wiring or cable insulation is deteriorated, damaged, brittle or crumbly, the house wiring has...
Page 16 - The drainage system consists of the sewer lateral, the underfloor drains, the drainage pipes above the floor, and the vents. Pipes may have become clogged or broken or they may be of inadequate size. Venting in particular may be inadequate and far below code requirements. Flush fixtures to see if drains are sluggish. If so, check the following: Old laterals are commonly of vitreous bell tile.
Page 11 - If the door frame is out of square due to foundation settlement or other racking of the house frame, the opening will probably have to be reframed. The lower parts of exterior doors and storm doors are particularly susceptible to decay and should be carefully checked. Also observe the condition of the threshold, which may be worn, weathered, or decayed, and require replacement.
Page 9 - This is easily done by a visual observation. If the ridge line is not straight or the roof is wavy, some repair may be necessary. The ridge will sag due to improper support, inadequate ties at the plate level, or even from sagging of the rafters. Rafters will sag due to inadequate stiffness or because they were not well seasoned. If the sheathing sags, it may indicate the rafters are too far apart, strip sheathing is too thin, or plywood is too thin or has del animated.
Page 11 - ... cold climates, windows should be double-glazed or have storm windows to prevent condensation and reduce heat loss. If the windows are not a standard size, storm windows will probably be expensive because they will have to be custom made. Check the window dimensions when planning to replace windows. If the window is not a standard size or if a different size is desired, the opening will have to be reframed or a new sash made, both of which are expensive.
Page 3 - ... States since the 17th century. Today houses of various ages exist across the country. Some older dwellings have been well maintained and remodeled to keep pace with contemporary living requirements. On the other hand, many older houses lack modern conveniences and comforts; some, through neglect, are in a deteriorating or dilapidated condition. A well-built house that is properly maintained does not wear out quickly. It may become outdated and lack certain conveniences and comforts, but it does...
Page 6 - Possible causes of the dampness are clogged drain tile, clogged or broken downspouts, cracks in walls, lack of slope of the finished grade away from the house foundation, or a high water table. Check for dampness by examining the basement a few hours after a heavy rain. The most common source of dampness is surface water, Such as from downspouts discharging directly at the foundation wall or from surface drainage flowing directly against the foundation wall.
Page 16 - Furthermore, during summer months when the hot air heating is not needed, a separate system is required to provide hot water. A gas water heater should have at least a 30—gallon capacity and preferably more. An electric water heater should have a capacity of 50 gallons or more.
Page 18 - Now the many modern appliances that commonly go into a kitchen, as well as the inclusion of a breakfast area, require much more space. If the kitchen is too small, a major addition or alteration will be necessary. A coat closet near the kitchen entrance and some facility for washing up near the work area are desirable. However, in the small house neither may be feasible. Private area. — The bedroom and bathroom area should be separated as much as possible, both visually and acoustically from the...
Page 8 - Check floors around the opening for levelness. \Yhere floors are sagging, the framing should be carefully leveled and reinforced. Wall framing. — The usual stud wall normally has much more than adequate strength. It may be distorted, however, for reasons covered in preceding sections. Check openings for squareness by operating doors and windows to make sure they do not bind, but fit correctly. Some adjustments are possible but large distortions will require new framing. Also check for sag in headers...

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