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Home Built in the 70s? Top Tips to Help You Modernize & Update Your Home

If your home was built in the 1970s and you have not done much in the way of renovations, it is time to modernize and update a few things. Many homes from the disco era have a solid infrastructure that offers great home makeover opportunities. Your home may have cast iron or PVC sewer lines rather than the problematic terracotta of prior decades. However, you may need to upgrade some plumbing and wiring, depending on what you have. Here are the best tips to update your 1970s home.

Check the Plumbing for Poly Pipes

Soldered copper pipe from the 1970s should still be viable for a long time to come. However, there was a period of time during this era that a flexible plastic pipe known as polybutylene was used in home construction. This type of plumbing was removed from building codes as being suitable after leaks led to class-action lawsuits. If you have any poly pipe in your home, replace it while doing renovations as it is something that lowers the value of your home if it comes time to sell.

Replace Aluminum Wiring

The aluminum wire used in your home is not bad in and of itself. Issues can develop, which makes it a fire hazard, and do-it-yourself projects from a previous owner could leave your home at risk. The main service entrance conductor is likely aluminum and may be just fine. If you have a fuse box, you want to replace it with a modern breaker box. Check code requirements for residential wiring in your area, but you likely want a minimum of a 200 amp breaker box. Individual aluminum circuits should be replaced with copper wiring. Aluminum can corrode if not connected correctly to outlets and fixtures, and those outlets and fixtures must be approved for use with aluminum wiring. Corrosion creates resistance, and resistance creates heat that can lead to fires. Replacing it with copper eliminates the problem.

Fix Your Sidewalks and Driveway

If your home was built in 1970, your sidewalks and driveway are almost 50 years old. Cracks, crumbling, aggregate exposure, scaling, and dirt that is impossible to remove are likely occurring. There are all kinds of options for upgrading sidewalks from paving stones to embossed and colored concrete. With the help of a professional, like those from Lakeridge Paving Company, driveways can be redone quickly and beautifully on a modest renovation budget using asphalt paving. Your sidewalks and driveway are huge surface areas outside your home that are a major influence of the curb appeal of your home. Upgrading them improves the look of your property immensely.

Kitchen and Floors

The top renovation project for homeowners is the kitchen. HGTV.com says that the kitchen provides the highest rate of return on investment if you are going to sell. New granite countertops, stainless steel appliances and new cabinetry in your kitchen can make a huge difference, especially if this is the first upgrade since the 1970s. However, the first thing people see when they walk into your home is the flooring. Early homes had real hardwood floors, but many were just rough planks. Linoleum provided a colorful flooring option for kitchens and bathrooms that have largely been replaced by tile. Wall-to-wall carpeting may be fine for bedrooms, but most newer homes utilize hardwood flooring in most areas outside of the bathroom, basement, and kitchen.

There so many great home makeover opportunities that will add value to your home. You will learn a ton by doing stuff yourself. BUT, doing some research online for renovation guides and tips will definitely help you do a better job, and inspire you.  With that being said, it is always advisable to hire a professional for complicated tasks like electricity or plumbing.

Finally, if your home was built in the 1970s and you have a basement, you may want to consider checking for radon and water/moisture problems. Radon is a colorless, odorless and tasteless radioactive gas that seeps into basements and crawl spaces through masonry. Radon venting may be necessary before you can sell your home, but protecting your family from this gas associated with lung cancer should be a priority. Wet basements can lead to mold and thousands of dollars of damage as well as cause breathing problems. These are two upgrades to your older home that can also protect your health.