There are certain steps that you should take before embarking on the renovation of a severely dilapidated house. Carry on reading to learn what these steps are.
Have a structural engineer examine the building
One of the first things you should do after getting the keys to the dilapidated house is contact one of your local structural engineers and have them examine the entire building. Many properties develop structural problems as they age. Houses which have been neglected by their owners or which have remained vacant for many years are particularly susceptible to structural damage.
For example, if the house you have purchased has had a damp problem for several decades, some sections of its structural framework are likely to have rotted as a result of being exposed to moisture for an extended period of time. This type of damage can affect the ability of the framework to stabilise the walls and stop the roof from caving in and bearing down on the foundation. As such, it may also result in other structural issues, such as a cracked foundation and a partially caved-in roof.
It's vital to understand the extent of the structural damage at the start of your renovation project, as this will help you to draw up an accurate budget and completion date. This is an important point to note, as discovering structural problems halfway through your project could lead to you experiencing financial difficulties (as a result of having to pay for the repair of this damage) and being unable to finish the work by the original completion date.
Check for asbestos
If the house you have purchased was built in the 20th century, it is possible that some of its features may be made from asbestos. This is a natural mineral-based material which researchers now know causes a number of potentially fatal lung diseases. In its undisturbed state, it is not considered to be particularly dangerous. However, the activities that tend to occur when renovating an old house are very likely to disturb any asbestos that may be in that building.
If there happens to be asbestos in the house and you are unaware of this fact, both you and the members of your renovation team could inhale some asbestos fibres. Given this, it is sensible to have a specialist visit the property and check for asbestos before you initiate the renovation process. This will ensure that if there are any features made from this substance within the property, they can be removed in a safe manner before you begin your work.