Table of Contents
The main percent of affordable secondary housing in the private sector is the old houses which are in operation more than 40 years. All perfectly understand that it is necessary to be engaged closely in construction jobs, prolonging life to the house. But it is rather inexpensive way to get the housing. If the house is built correctly, then the term of its operation can be about 100 years, but practically all old constructions are built by own forces of their owners. Let’s try to look at future purchase by eyes of the builder that investments did not become vain and also we will consider versions of the solution of some problems with the house.
What to begin the choice with
Originally be defined what buildings are necessary to you on the site. Examining the house, you should estimate possibility of new constructions at once. For this purpose in advance study the last norms and state standard specifications, distances to adjoining properties and buildings play important role. Assurances of the seller, it seems: “yes we have agreed with neighbors, they build near us, and we near them”, etc., have no value. Neighbors have the right to demand to remove the construction built not according to standards. Therefore the site sizes, to be exact its front part, are very important. Knowledge of laws will save from problems in the future.
Be surely convinced that all constructions existing on the site are entered in the plan. The unregistered constructions can bring a lot of excess trouble and troubles in the future. Generally it belongs to capital constructions. All future constructions need to be coordinated in architectural department.
Try to specify the hydrogeological structure of the area around acquisition of the house. Close lying to surface underground waters will create array of problems at construction. At impossibility to obtain this information, it is possible to try to define it on site. The lack of cellar or other deep constructions can be the guarding factor. Excellent information will be provided by well depth with wooden felling. The it is less, the groundwater are closer. Pay special attention to distance to water mirror in well. If, at deep water of well, the mirror is at small distance from the level of the soil, then waters are under pressure and there is possibility of their exit in construction pit. Availability of seasonal flooding by rain and melt waters can be determined by condition of walls of cellar. It is the best of all to evaluate the site at adverse conditions. At intensive thawing of snow or incessant pouring rains. Despite unpleasant weather, it is possible to get rid of array of problems in the future in advance.
Assessment of condition of the house
1. Living space and options of its increase
Financial opportunities not always give the chance to buy at once the big house. Therefore it is necessary to be realistic about possibility of extension of additional living space. It is possible to estimate at once where there will be windows where it is necessary to cut through doors, changes of gas input, etc. To attach additional living space treats major repair and reconstruction of the existing house. Expansion of the house in one level is more preferable than building on of the second floor. At approximately identical expenses, gain of living space it will be notable above.
Practically all old houses exclude possibility of construction of the full-fledged second floor. Even thick brick walls do not guarantee reliability of the base. But modern materials allow to complete inhabited penthouse of rather small weight. For reliable support enough brick walls about 40 cm thick or felling from bar with a section 150 at 150 mm. Anyway it is necessary to replace overlapping completely. Perhaps, with construction of additional load bearing wall indoors. The scheme of overlapping was very often applied by “cross”. Four beams kept within one end on walls, and to others on rod post in the center of the house. They were overlapping basis. Around column there was furnace with the crosswise heater, and the hog with pipe was located in the center of “cross”. The heater partially played abutment role. Such overlapping should be replaced. New beams will serve as the additional tie interfering discrepancy of walls that is very probable in the old house.
2. Condition of the base
Assessment of condition of the base requires its availability. It is not joke and not typo. Very often, wishing to save or for other reasons, houses were built without the base. At best, the fertile layer was removed, and on bulk sandy pillow the brickwork became. The quantity of rows depended on availability of brick. Sometimes the basic laying was built directly on the earth. Depth of the base cannot be determined without digging under it, but if the porch consists of one step, and furthermore without it, then here and does not smell of the real base. It is possible to fill in the new base only if the log house. And from long bar. For this purpose it should be lifted entirely. Most likely, the regime of economy worked further and walls are put from what has got. Such house cannot almost be recovered.
The base should not have cracks and distortions on one corner or the party. The statement that “then all so built”, does not make any sense. The plumb, hydrolevel and cord existed always. From this it is also necessary to proceed at assessment of condition of any elements of the house. The distortion demonstrates availability under the base of the friable soil or close water. But if in the first case situation can be saved construction of additional curbstone with the big area bearing or replacement of soft soil by crushed stone and sand (it is difficult, but it is quite real), then in the second case options are absent. Close water, fortunately — quite exceptional case. Most often, the septic tank which is too close located to the house is the reason of sag. Waste waters impregnate soil and cause its draft. Sometimes the distortion is caused by the fact that to the base have not allowed to be stood, and have begun to build the house at once. It is easy to determine it by condition of window openings. If they rather equal are also located at one level, then the sag of the base is caused by haste of builders.
3. Condition of box of the house
Walls of the house should not have cracks and whether obviously expressed deflections outside inside. More often outside. Small cracks in brickwork can arise because of seasonal raising and lowerings of the base with its depth less than frost depth. Big cracks and waste of walls from each other in corners indicate serious problems with the base or defects at construction. In most cases it is not removable. Often walls depart because of the wrong extension of additional rooms. The extension contacts the main house, and the base is executed with violations. Then the difference of fluctuations of the bases also causes cracks.
It is easy to determine degree of safety of wooden felling by apertures. If windows and doors have no big distortions and are located approximately in level, then the felling is in rather good condition. But it can be observed also at uniform destruction of sole wreaths. It is easy to determine it by house covering. The deformed covering of the lower part of walls says about it. It is easily reparable, it is not obligatory even to lift the house entirely. If the house has not sunk completely, then the decayed wreaths were condensed and hold it rather well.
Replacement of bar is begun in parts with corners. In corner the damaged pieces are cut and replaced with new. The ends of new parts become that the following pieces blocked joints. After corners pass to the middle of walls, then to the middle of gleams between new inserts, etc. The new bar has to come densely into the cut aperture, sometimes using heavy sledge hammer. Inserts are sewed among themselves by nails or pieces of armature. It is not necessary to worry that the wall can disperse very much. The felling was stood long ago, and bars have very densely settled among themselves. Happens very hard to take the cut pieces, to have to resort to the help of scrap and sledge hammer. Pro-saws in wall become chain saw. It is required to be extremely accurate and careful. When sawing by the end of the tire the saw rebound is possible that it can lead to injury. The electric saw is preferable to this work. It is more convenient, has continuous adjustment of turns and is completely switched off after release of the button.
Mud houses are not subject to repair and it is almost impossible to recover walls. It represents number of thick vertical poles which ends are inserted into bars with grooves. Further on pole furring jammed, and the plaster coat from clay with straw snatched. It is easy to define mud house, having tried to hammer nail into wall. Practically everywhere it will not encounter resistance. The ends of logs of wreaths can assume only on speakers if they are only in the bottom of and at the top of house corner.
4. Condition of roof
The roof is the only element which can always be repaired. Only repair volume is different. It is possible to estimate only wear percent. Having risen by the attic, it is easy to define condition of roof frames, furrings and roofs. Here everything depends on financial side of question. There are no particular problems at repair of roof.