and crannies for storage, reading, or whatever. These are just a few of the wonderful things older homes offer, that new homes just don't - without building a custom (and costly) home.
Growing up in an old Victorian turned Craftsman home, I have always had a heart for these older houses. I can remember spending summers with my Mom painting wooden windows and their sills, taking time to take each window apart, clean them, paint them, and return them to their proper place. I remember taking a putty knife to the front porch to scrape off the old paint, and seal it up with the new. They were chores, but it was vital to keep the home functional. When we moved out of that house, I can remember watching it fall to shambles because the new owners did not understand or care about what it took to keep the house up. Windows broke, crystal chandeliers were sold off and replaced with ugly surface mounts, and the house began to sag where a jack previously used to stabilize an addition put on in the 80's, had been forgotten.
I know painting can be a real chore, but it does protect the walls below it. When paint drys it creates a hard shell over your walls, siding, windows (if you have wooden ones), porches, and ceilings. When people bump and scrape up against them, often times only the paint will be damaged, and can easily be fixed with more paint.
Painting is also a great way to modernize a room without changing the architecture - or incurring a major expense. If your rooms feel out-dated it might just be time to stop into a paint store and check out the latest selections.
It is good to replace the caulking around windows, doors, and other areas of the home to help seal it from the elements. This will help keep not only dirt out, but also bugs and other critters that could squeeze through those small holes.
If water is going to come into your home, it's going to be through the roof. Make sure your shingles are in good condition and that any holes are patched right away!
If Something is Broken, Fix It
If a window breaks, replace it. Don't allow the elements into your home. If the furnace goes out, get it fixed. Homes are made out of wood, and dramatic temperature changes will cause the home to expand and contract. It's good for you and your home to keep it a fairly constant temperature. Broken pieces of a home lead to disaster later on. If it's broken, fix it.
Owning and maintaining an old home can be extremely rewarding. Simple, common sense, steps to keep your home functional means that you have done the work, not only to keep your family in the house, but to keep families in the house for years to come. By giving a little bit of your time, and effort, you have become a part of the home's history, and have helped to ensure it's history endures for the next 100+ years!
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