10 Common Problems in Old Homes (and how to fix them)

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I am the proud owner of a 1930’s house. It’s beautiful, with stained glass windows and high ceilings, but old houses often come with their own set of problems as well. We’ve had our fair share for sure. When we moved in we were only the second ever owners since it was built, as the previous owners were in their 90s and had died.

What, no washing machine?

We discovered that they hadn’t owned a washing machine so there was no plumbing for one at all – we had to take our washing home to Mum and Dad for a couple of weeks until we got it sorted. We have a separate large garage but the roof was leaking – not a cheap repair at all by any means. There was an old gas fire which was a health hazard and needed capping off. When I look back now over the past 7 years that we have lived here I’ve almost forgotten the amount of work we’ve done already because there is still so much to do.


There was no loft insulation or cavity wall insulation. Luckily enough we qualified for the government scheme to insulate, so we had the cavity walls filled with those little grey balls, and loft insulation put down. The roof is OK, but there are some loose tiles that need replacing. I’m just praying it holds out for now because that is a big job we can’t afford.

Boiler Inefficiency

When we moved in there was an ancient boiler, circa 1980, but it worked. Terribly inefficiently, but it worked. We saved up and eventually last year we were able to finally replace it, we got rid of the water tanks in the loft which can pave the way for a possible extension at one point. We also renovated the bathroom, knocking through the separate toilet.


All of the ceilings in the house were covered in polystyrene tiles, in fact there are two bedrooms that still have them. We had to have tests done for asbestos, and there’s a chance that one of the lino floors underneath the dining room carpet contains asbestos. If you’re going to remove anything with asbestos, you need specialist removal and disposal.

Dodgy Electrics

We’ve had to replace a lot of the sockets, the problem we have is that the electrics were added as an afterthought, so we have a lot of sockets in the skirting board and in odd locations. It’s still a work in progress. Get an electrician in to take a look at your electrics. We replaced the fuse board which has a failsafe so we can’t overload the system.

Do you have an older house? They are never problem free, but they give so much back in character and space that they’re worth it to me, I’ve always lived in period properties so I guess it’s just what I’m used to. For more common problems in old homes and ideas on how to fix them, check out the infographic below from Certas Energy.

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June 11, 2019
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  • Reply Madison Lane

    Building your dream house, or rebuilding rather; is not an easy task. That’s why i really admire what you’re doing here. You’ll reach the finish line too I know it. Keep it up!

    June 18, 2019 at 3:25 am
  • Reply Mayumi Sugai

    Our house is quite old, and we’re experiencing the same problems! But thanks for the tips on how to fix them!
    Mayumi Sugai recently posted…Why Restaurants Should Use Polyurethane FlooringMy Profile

    June 22, 2019 at 6:50 am
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