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abottleofsand

What to look out for in buying an old house

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Hi, I am looking to buy a 25 year old corner terrace and would like to seek some advice on a few areas listed below 

  1. areas to look out for for major red flags; 
  2. Do I need to consider replacing the roofs and repainting the exterior? 
  3. How often would we have to repaint the exterior of a house? 
  4. How do I assess whether there are issues with pests? Terribly frightened of rats! 

 

Also, in terms of reno, I am thinking of the 2 options below. May I know if a contractor is enough or I would require a builder, or an architect or any other experts I might have missed? Any high level indication of approx costs on the below options based on 3000sqft built up?

 

Option A - 

simple reno necessities (wet works, electrical wiring, painting, carpentry, flooring) and also widening the existing windows to the floor-to-ceiling type. 

 

Option B - 

Option A + modifying the layout of one floor; expanding a staircase opening, breaking down some walls; partitioning part of the kitchen space to build a helpers room 

 

Is option B considered a major reno or an A&A? 

 

Thanks  

 

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1. look for visible cracks or plaster/patching marks especially on the columns and beams.

2. if have the budget, might as well do it now especially if there's nothing done to the roof since the house was built. just paint the house to give it a fresh coat of paint. move into a "new" house must look new. :P

3. exterior painting is subjective. some houses I see have never been painted in ages so you see peeling paint, etc. the paint is there to provide a layer of water proofing to the house as plaster/bricks/concrete is porous. but exterior painting is a big cost for landed house since need to erect scaffoldings. I would say about 10 years once or when see peeling paint happening whichever comes first

4. can't escape pests. they can come over from your neighbour's house unless your house is surrounded by a moat. just try to keep your house clean so they won't stay and have parties.

contractor/builder are same actually.

for option A, a contractor/builder can do everything under his contract. some works could be subcontracted out by him eg: electrical, carpentry and fabrication of windows. your floor to ceiling window most likely need a PE to be involved due to safety issues.

for option B, you need to engage a PE as you are touching the stairs which is a structural element. unless you meant hacking down the walls next to the stairs then may not need if it's just brick walls and not columns or RC wall

both options are considered A&A just that B is a major A&A since there's more work to be done

 
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Thanks Snoozee, 

May I know what are the risks if we don’t do up the roof now, is it only a matter of time when it’s required to be done?

also, would we have to check water tanks etc? Totally noob about this. 
 

finally on both options a and b; would I need an architect? 
 

 

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1 minute ago, abottleofsand said:

Thanks Snoozee, 

May I know what are the risks if we don’t do up the roof now, is it only a matter of time when it’s required to be done?

also, would we have to check water tanks etc? Totally noob about this. 
 

finally on both options a and b; would I need an architect? 
 

It’s the inconvenience of doing renovations when you are staying in the house If you need to redo the roof later. Over time, the roof tiles may have cracked and/or shifted which will result in leaks. 
 

Usually landed houses don’t have water tanks unless the house is located on a very high ground as the water pressure may not be enough. So in this case a water tank and/or booster pump is needed

a&a works don’t need an architect

 

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25 years isn't that old.

The roof can last much longer, just check it. Your builder will be able to check for you.

A&A without adding floors / changing the stairs should cost under 300k but costs may have gone up due to the Covid manpower issues. 

Yes as a minimum do paint inside and out. You can also paint or add a waterproofing paint to the roof. It's worth it especially if you don't need to change it.

Work with your builder, they will have a proper checklist for you.

 

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