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How to modernize old buildings?

Aa Old constructions have historic value and incomparable architecture, these points that refer to a history and a time. It is common to find many of these houses abandoned or, yet, demolished, which represents a very big historical loss.

Many are still part of the urban landscape and draw people's attention because of their unique style. exist, including, entire neighborhoods that preserve these buildings, that are already considered historical heritage.

But time has stopped for these buildings, but not for people, and those who want to live in these houses need to adapt them in some ways so that they can serve during the day to day.

We can not, for example, live in a house built in the years 1950 without paying attention to its wiring, plumbing and lining. It's a matter of security, as there may be leaks, shorts and infiltrations.

These problems are a threat to residents, but also to the construction itself, which deteriorates due to lack of basic maintenance.

If living in this type of property is your goal, in this article, let's talk about its advantages and disadvantages, give tips to modernize it and show what are the differences between it and modern properties.

Advantages and disadvantages of old properties

Many people dream of acquiring old properties because of their history, differentiated architecture and because they represent a very different era from ours.

These constructions also have the advantage of lower costs in relation to the value of the square meter. This is not only due to the age of the house, but also because of the large number of offers.

Even if it needs some repairs, such as building painting, it still comes out cheaper. The rooms, usually, are bigger, the windows are large and the materials used are of superior quality.

The location is also good, because the properties follow the extension of the city. For this reason, we usually find them in the city center or in neighborhoods close to it. It is the opportunity to live in the best located regions.

On the other hand, there are disadvantages, as reform needs, mainly with regard to wiring and electrical installations in general.

Because they are old, they are certainly out of the usage patterns, which increases the chances of short, shocks and damage to modern electrical equipment.

These are installations that were not built to support the number of devices in the socket that we have today, therefore, much attention to that detail.

Some properties are not preserved over time, especially those that have been empty for many years. You may need an renovation and construction company to perform more complex procedures.

An example of this is the recovery of ceilings, cracked walls and reinforce sound insulation, which is generally not like modern real estate, due to the lack of resources that fulfilled this role at the time the property was built.

For these reasons, if you are thinking of buying an old house or apartment, in the next topic we will give some tips to modernize it.

Tips for modernizing old properties

When we talk about modernizing old buildings, we are not talking about reforms that erase the style and history of the project.

On the contrary, we talk about care that helps to preserve them, while making them viable for modern life.

Only to achieve this union, it is necessary to pay attention to some precautions before choosing the materials to use, such as lightweight machined concrete. Are they:

Make a detailed assessment

Every reform needs this step, but when we talk about old houses she is even more important. It is essential to check for structural damage to the walls and the foundry of the building.

These data will guide the reform, because it is possible to know the changes that can be supported, like a new roof and more complex installations.

Check electrical installations, and if there is a need for pest control, because it is common to see the breeding of insects and other animals, mainly in houses that were closed for a long time.

Define the type of work

There are three types of work, that are restoration, reform and retrofit. In the restoration, the original style is maintained, making only changes to the proper functioning of the property.

Electrical and hydraulic installations can be modernized, so how can the installation of fire fighting equipment, but always preserving aesthetics.

Reform is more invasive, say so, because it can include:

  • Increased rooms;
  • Inserting new rooms;
  • Facade change;
  • Changes in coatings;
  • Exchanging frames.

People who like to mix modern and old items look for this option, mainly, to make the house more charming and timeless.

O retrofit, on the other hand, is a mixture of the two concepts mentioned, where improvements are made to old installations, correcting problems, updating spaces and making construction safer for residents.

It's a way to completely modernize the house, but preserving its original characteristics. It is a very common option in commercial buildings that have already been listed.

Harness old objects

Many old objects can be reused, like doors, windows and fixtures, this action reduces the costs of reform.

More than that, their presence values ​​the history of the house and makes it much more charming. Who lives in this type of property, should value these items and harmonize them with the environment.

Changing floors

Who has a tight budget should prioritize the interior of the property, because it's the part that really matters.

Most have parquet floors, that can be a good option, as long as they are in good condition. If they are not, must be exchanged or an floor restoration, as they can cause accidents.

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Vinyl and laminate floors are good options, because besides being cheaper, have easy application, are simple to clean and can even imitate wood, preserving the design of the building.

Differences between old and modern buildings

Architecture and construction have evolved a lot over time, which refers to the lifestyle that people adopted at a given time.

For example, nowadays, the concrete interlocking floor on the sidewalk is on the rise, but in the past it was the stone sidewalks that dictated fashion.

Many other things have changed, from the coating to the color of the paint used, including the size of the properties, that in the past were much bigger. Other changes that we can observe are:

Structure of walls and ceilings

The materials used in the walls and ceilings have changed a lot. No colonial period, people used adobe stones and bricks. The settlement was made of sand and clay mortar.

At the end of the 17th century, wood and rammed earth were among the main construction techniques.

Nowadays, we use concrete and ceramic bricks, and for the liner, wood was replaced by concrete, Besides the waterproofing tiles.

Sidewalk retreat

If you take a stroll through the older neighborhoods, you'll notice that the houses were built on the sidewalks.

From the years 1950, cities started to grow and with that came the need to make space for people and vehicles.

This caused city halls to determine a minimum space for sidewalks. So, if you are renovating an old property, check this information, because it varies from one city to another.

Retreat from the wall

Urban growth is making land smaller and smaller, which makes the construction of the property closer and closer to the boundary between them.

In the old days, the houses were built in the middle of the land, which left more space for gardens, tickets, garage and decorative objects.


Since the first constructions, the materials used have been evolving a lot, mainly with regard to coatings, doors, windows, etc.

This allowed creating new possibilities and styles of real estate, in addition to making projects safer and more comfortable for residents.

Even so, a good monitoring of works it is not expendable, and should be done regardless of the type of change that is made.


The old properties are of incomparable beauty and to live in them is to have a historical load in your daily life. For large families, they are the best option, because they are more spacious and offer free areas that modern buildings do not value.

Knowing this, many people prefer to buy them, because although it needs some adjustments, this type of construction is even more advantageous.

If you have the dream of buying an old house, know that you will make a good investment. But don't forget some precautions to make it safe and comfortable. After, just take advantage of this exclusivity.

This text was originally developed by the blog team Investment Guide, where you can find hundreds of informative content on different segments.

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