New house to old(19 Posts)
What I will lose in convenience I hope to gain in character but what will I miss? new houses are certainly set up for convenience. So looking at a few properties what do you think I would miss, my kitchen/diner, my en suite? Or will the pure Beauty of high ceilings and cornicing be enough 😀😀
If you have any work done, you will miss things being logically set out - older properties often have quirks. We have pipework all over the place, two consumer units; one for lighting the other for everything else. A water tank in the loft, which is less and less common these days. Horsehair plaster. A couple of old gas lighting pipes visible in ceilings and walls.
You can have all mod cons in an older house, but it's often not straightforward. If you buy a listed property, then there are restrictions on what you can do to it.
I have an 1835 house with a kitchen/diner, but no en suite. I have an en suite in the current rental abroad, but won't miss it when I go home.
wow I had my range replaced a couple of years ago, which does my ch/hw and cooking, and one guy wanted me to have a combi instead. When asked how he proposed to drill through my very thick stone walls to make it all work, and 'straighten the wall up', which was in fact a chimney breast, he blushed, farted and disappeared.
I retain my water tank in the attic, my very large hot water tank, and I don't get cold in the shower every time someone flushes the loo, as happens with a combi.
Be prepared to fix someone else's bodge it job every time you decorate a room!
Depends how old you're talking.
What will you miss?
Being overlooked and your neighbours knowing everything about you (depending on how close the plots were on your new build estate)
Your weekends - old houses take much more maintenance whether thats doing it yourselves or waiting in for the plasterer/electrician and the job taking far longer than you anticipated
The ability to just put furniture where you expected it would go - when you get the sofa in the lounge or whatever, you're realise that the quirky features (door in an odd position / walls that are never straight) mean it can't go where you thought it would
Your disposable income - jobs take longer / uncover other jobs so everything is so much more expensive that you budget for.
but I wouldn't change it for the world
I don't get cold in the shower every time someone flushes the loo, as happens with a combi.
eh? that's never to happened to us in any house we have been in old or new. if that happens you've been sold a system which isn't adequate for your needs.
The general consensus seems to be they are costly pain in the ass but they are worth it!!
After 5.5 years of living in a large Edwardian Semi I could not wait to move to a different house (albeit 1930s!). The house was bloody freezing and no amount of minton tiles, feature fireplaces and deep skirting boards not forgetting the 30ft kitchen, 4 massive bedroom and 120ft gravel drive could ever ever ever make me want to buy another house like that in my life!
Be careful about things like heating bills, insulation, layout etc. We thought the traditional long corridor type layout would suit us but I was wrong, I hated that the dc would be in the garden and that our lounge was at the front and far away from the garden.
We live in a 1930s house now so not as old but so much brighter and warmer.
Peggy I wasn't sold anything, as I refuse to have a combi in any place I own. We were in Married Quarters near Brussels and now rent privately there, and the shower goes cold when the loo is flushed and has done so in both houses.
It depends on the property and the work that's previously been done. Ours has a combi boiler, yes we had to replace the fuse board and install a new kitchen as the previous owners hadn't touched it for years, we don't have an ensuite but our daughter has, the plaster work is a bit dodge and we had the floors sanded and varnished and beams and doors sandblasted back to original pale oak. The layout is fine. It's about 400 years old and listed. The previous owners did basically nothing for over thirty years. So it wasn't the age of the property as such that caused the work, but it was because previous owners did little to nothing and lived here a long time.
I'd say the biggest issue is often heating older properties if original windows and no wall insulation. New properties are usually easier to heat and maintain and older properties can be very drafty in winter
I love this house, but I also loved our last ultra modern house. For me there is no generalisations, it's all about the individual property.
Lived in houses built in the 1400's, 1850's and early 1900's.
Last of all a modern 2000 built house.
The one that I liked the least was the 2000 one. It was slightly warmer, but poorly constructed with no thought to privacy between neighbours.
Currently staying in a 1400 house whilst our 1905 house is under renovations and it has its quirks but the thick stone walls keep it warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
The 1905 house is full of bodge jobs and we are glad to be totally gutting it to find these out rather than finding out later on if we had already decorated. We are aware it will be more costly to heat, but the rooms are large, bright and airy with high ceilings and big windows compared to the modern house.
The gardens are bigger and we are not overlooked.
I love older houses, I think they have so much more character. They also have so much more dust, uneven floors, wonky walls, cracks, drafts when you have no idea whats causing it! Creaky pipes, the shower goes cold when loo flushed or taps run (I've lived in 4 very old houses and this happened in all of them!). But well worth it all. I find older houses more 'homely' if that makes any sense! Way harder to keep clean though so you'll probably miss that. Be prepared to see dust 10 minutes after you just dusted!
I also found older properties tend to have way less sockets, but if you own it you obviously can add in more (or buy lots of extention cables like we do!)
We've got a Victorian villa, I love it but old houses are not to be taken on lightly! You'll need a cash reserve for when (that's when, not if) something goes wrong, old houses require a lot of general maintainence to keep them in good shape, walls repointing, missing roof tiles etc on top of the 'big jobs' that you know about.
It's freezing, it wouldn't matter if I kept the heating on 24/7, it's too big and lacking in insulation to be able to keep the heat in, so we've installed log burners which are amazing, such a novelty to feel warm!
Double your budget when it comes to pricing up any diy as the first half will be swallowed up undoing the previous occupants bodge jobs before you can even begin doing what you planned.
Walls/skirting boards etc are always 'off' making wallpapering/tiling etc great 'fun'
Basics like buying paint become ruinously expensive because the rooms are so big and the ceilings so high you need bloody gallons of the stuff.
But I wouldn't change it for anything, my idea of hell is a magnolia box on a new build estate where a 12x12 lounge is classed as 'spacious' the neighbours are 3 inches away and everyone spends their weekends mowing the lawn shudders
We've just spent the price of the house again renovating our 1911 house - once we started taking down walls etc it all came out - dodgy electrics, missing beams, no insulation, etc etc. I love our house but it would have been easier to build a new one. Older houses take a lot of money. They are also built for people who had different priorities. Ours had a small kitchen, a back stairs for the servants, an attic with no bathroom for same servants, etc.
I don't get the thing about character either - surely some new builds have character? All these old houses were new builds once.
Be prepared for other owners strange versions of improvements. Ours has up to date electricity, but DH has just found wiring going through an original door jamb are head height.
Buy yourself a pipe and electric wire locator!
scary, not having a cold water tank in the loft doesn't automatically mean having a combi boiler. You can have an unvented hot water cylinder and draw water straight from the mains if there is sufficient water pressure. I wasn't advocating combi boilers either. If you have more than one bathroom likely to get used simultaneously then a standard combi boiler may well be inadequate.
I rather like our floor-standing boiler in it's own little room. And the bespoke original stained glass leaded windows, Voysey inspired bannisters, inglenook fireplace, etc.
>>I don't get the thing about character either - surely some new builds have character? All these old houses were new builds once.<<
Yes of course they do, I think the point is, unless it's architecturally designed most new builds are fairly standard templates internally and the rooms simply square or rectangular boxes, things like beams, fireplaces, cornicing, oak floor boards etc aren't really standard in most new builds. Character is put in with the furnishings. It's not part of the structure internally,
An example being I have a eight foot wide by six foot high mantle piece in one lounge. Everyone walks in and says "wow" it's something you would seldom see in a new build, as are the exposed beams or walnut bur doors. I think that's the sort of thing people call character, the unique features not normally present in more modern housing, and that is a symbol of when it was built. In a hundred years time, a plain wall will still be a plain wall and I doubt classified as having character.
Externally though I agree, in a hundred years time, they will be characteristic of the time they were built.
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