Better with Age? - Mr. Handyman serving Greater Jacksonville

Old home with good bones

Many things get better with age. Fine wine, art, and the wisdom of our elders. Do homes get better with age? New homes are, well, brand new. If the builder did their job, and the walk-thru identified all issues, then a new home should need nothing in terms of maintenance and repair.

New homes are attractive to many, who want to spend time enjoying the home and not working on it. I certainly understand this perspective but let me share a few things in support of older homes.

While older homes do require more attention than a brand-new home, keep in mind that the ‘new’ tag does not last forever. Soon enough, every home requires attention. What they need will depend on how soundly they were built.

Old homes have “good bones,” and classic styling. They are often more soundly constructed than new homes, as sturdier construction materials were used in the day. These include plaster walls in the interior (depending on age), and brick exteriors. Real wood was used inside the home, often stained to allow the character of the wood to shine through. Heartwood pine and hardwood flooring can be refinished. Cabinets were also made of wood.

New homes today may have fiber cement panels nailed directly to the studs. The exterior of this home is ¼” thick. Inside the trim is finger jointed pine and painted to mask this. Laminate flooring cannot be refinished if stained or damaged, and cabinets are often wood fronts and a particle board box that cannot get wet, or they will swell up and fall apart.

Older homes were built in the suburbs of their day and are typically “closer in” than suburbia of today, with easier access to dining and entertainment options. Older neighborhoods have mature trees and shade is common. Porches were more common on the architectural styles of the past, where you can sit outside and enjoy that shade in all but the hottest months. It may just be me, but I find these neighborhoods to be friendlier than newer neighborhoods where the defining look of the front of the home is a garage door.

Some people purchase an older home with good bones and bring it up to contemporary standards on their own. Others purchase a home that somebody else has upgraded. The net result is a home with desired amenities, that also has strong bones, in a neighborhood with mature trees, and a front porch to sit a spell and meet your neighbors.

Proximity to work, schools, family, places of worship and many other factors play a role in home selection. Age of home is but one of many decision points, but by including both new and old neighborhoods and homes in your search process, you expand the potential list of homes that may meet your need.

If you are looking for a new home, ask your realtor about older homes. You may like what you find. And if that older home needs some attention, know that Mr. Handyman is here to help. We offer a full range of repair and maintenance, home improvements and lite remodeling. The work is done by our staff, who are all employees, and their work is backed by our Done Right Guarantee®. We have a great reputation and do quality work, as our online reviews will attest. New home or old, Mr. Handyman is here to help with carpentry work, siding repairs, drywall repairs, door replacement and countless other projects around the home. Rather than list all we can do, give us a call and we will talk through your needs and how we might help.

Professional, Safe, Reliable and Convenient – Mr. Handyman is re-defining the home improvement experience.