A cabin is prone to vulnerability and fragility over time. Further, cabins are susceptible to damage from the elements, which weaken the foundation and general aesthetics. As a result, a wooden house requires regular maintenance to prolong its lifespan. If you notice defects in your cabin, you can either replace the individual parts or do a complete makeover. Detecting problems early and repairing them immediately is critical if you want to save the entire structure. Overhauling the structure would be ideal for extensive damages or when you want to do thorough structural changes. However, this article discusses various strategies to remodel an old cabin. If you plan to remodel your old cabin, read on to find out how to go about it. First, here are factors to consider before the remodeling process.
What to Know Before a Cabin Makeover
Renovating an old cabin comes with unique challenges. Did you know that cabins constructed four decades ago may contain toxic chemical-laden elements, weak roofs, and old-fashioned electrical systems. These problems may occur due to old age or changes in construction standards and codes. If you want to remodel an old cabin, you should know numerous things before embarking on the project. You will learn how to manage the trouble spots.
The Walls May be Dangerous
As we’ve seen above, many old properties contain toxic substances, which the builders may not have known when building them. Chances are that these substances are only harmful when released into the air during renovations, demolitions, or damaged surfaces. For instance, houses built before the 1980s may contain asbestos available in steam pipes, textured paint, floor tiles, and spray-on insulation. When you remove old insulation or tiles, asbestos may be released into the air, causing lung damage to people living or working around the cabin. Further, it’s important to be cautious of lead paint as you remodel an old cabin.
According to EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), 87% of homes constructed before 1940 were painted using lead-based paint. This substance can cause mental and physical problems, especially in pregnant women and children. If the cabin you want to remodel contains asbestos, working with professionals is the best solution. Professionals have the ideal safety gear, such as respirators, to remove toxic elements safely. Lead paint is less toxic, and you can repaint the cabin using lead-free paint. However, if you notice the ceilings, walls, window frames, or sills are cracking, chipping, or peeling, hire a professional to assess the problem and recommend the best solutions.
Mildew and Mold May be Spreading in the Cabin
Older homes are more susceptible to moisture problems due to poorly fixed water damage or unidentified flooding and leaks. This can result in mildew or mold, especially in dark areas of the cabin. Suppose your cabin is close to the ocean or a humid climate; the chances of mildew and mold may be higher. The risk of mildew and mold is not as severe as asbestos and lead. However, they can still cause health issues, especially for people with allergies and respiratory diseases.
Mildew and mold also cause a bad odor and can result in rot. Seeing that mold doesn’t go away on its own, you will need the services of a professional to eradicate it. Worth mentioning is that you can’t paint over mildew and mold or remove a piece of wood where it’s growing. Professionals have the right mold, mildew eradication materials, and safety gear for the process. They are also experienced enough to use the right methods to ensure mildew and mold don’t recur.
The Structure May Not Be Up to Building Standards and Codes
If you want to remodel an old cabin, it may require a new roof. Remember, the roof is a critical part of any structure. It should be replaced after 25 to 50 years, depending on its condition. Further, roofs on older cabins were likely made of wooden shingles, prone to fire, leaks, and mold. Based on how old the cabin is, you may need to hire a roofer to replace it and ensure it meets prevailing building codes. The ideal roofing expert should recommend the right materials and construction practices to guarantee durability and safety.
For instance, in some US states prone to wildfires, roofs should be built using fire-resistant shingles. There are roof design codes as well. For example, contractors should fit in a drain at each low end of a roof. Having a modern roof complete with gutters can also be critical for homeowners insurance coverage. Replacing a roof is a complex activity that should be left to the experts. A roofing professional will help you choose the best modern roof to remodel an old cabin and ensure it conforms to local construction codes and standards. The roof should be weather resistant to guarantee durability and safety for the occupants.
The Foundation May Be Unstable
Foundation problems occur in any type of house. However, the foundation in older cabins is likely to be damaged. Foundation cracks may occur due to tree roots, groundwater, drainage problems, or poor construction. Further, many old cabin foundations are built with bricks. These materials are not as resilient and strong as modern concrete-based foundations. Suppose you notice cracks around your cabin’s foundation. Consider repairing them immediately during the renovation process. Watch out for foundation cracks that come with bulging. That can be a sign of complex structural damage. If tree roots around your cabin worsen the foundation problem, you can hire a tree contractor to remove nearby trees.
The Electrical Wiring Is Functional but Outdated
Electrical wiring systems have evolved since they were first invented. Historical or older homes come with tube and knob wiring, which was used up to the 1930s. While it remains legal and valid based on current electrical codes, tube and knob wiring is not ideal for modern-day usage. It lacks a ground pathway, which can easily damage your electrical appliances. Further, these electrical systems lack three-prong outlets, which are crucial for many appliances today. Wire coating may be worn out, exposing live wire, which can trigger an electrical fire. Tube and knob wiring systems have various limitations when you want to remodel an old cabin. For instance, the wires in a tube and knob electrical system can overheat easily, meaning insulating them is impossible. To insulate or re-insulate your old cabin, you must replace the entire electrical system to function appropriately.
Renovating an Old Cabin
Renovating your cabin can be costly. Doing it step by step goes a long way in ensuring you complete the project in time. Start by evaluating the required repairs for the old cabin. Devise a structure to help you come up with a practical renovating budget. The next step should be prioritizing your list and developing a time frame for the cabin renovations. When making electrical, plumbing, structural, or kitchen design changes, check with the local government for required construction permits or other necessary construction-based regulations. Here are tips to help you remodel an old cabin with ease.
Begin With the Exterior Part
Clear unwanted items from your cabin’s exterior, such as broken or discarded items, dead bushes, overgrown weeds, and scrap metals. Doing so creates a clutter-free space to embark on your remodel an old cabin project. Begin with the most critical item on your list downwards. Focus on damaged structural components like the foundation, roof, crawlspace, window, and walls before working on cosmetic renovations. Replace damaged exterior walls with vinyl log siding. This siding is similar to natural logs but doesn’t need regular maintenance for sealing and staining. Use bright paint to give the exterior front door a lease of life. You can also choose other paint colors like sky blue, sunny yellow, or fire engine red.
Fixtures and Structural Modifications
Making structural modifications can stretch the footprint of your old cabin. For example, adding a bathroom or bedroom or installing custom insulated glass in an existing cabin creates more room for guests to use while camping. Light-colored walls and floors, lth tubes or ceiling skylights, and well-structured rooms make the cabin more airy and open. Flattening a non-load-bearing wall between the living area and the kitchen creates an open and more spacious concept where people camping as a group can sit, relax, socialize, or even bond. Such a space can also be ideal for unique camping conferences.
As you remodel an old cabin, remember to upgrade its electrical and plumbing systems. Doing so is critical to conforming with government home laws and gives your camping guests the luxurious experience they need. If your cabin is in a cold area, consider installing tankless water heaters to guarantee a smooth flow of hot water, which campers can use to keep the cold at bay. Install a modern heating and cooling system to ensure the old cabin is comfortable enough for its occupants.
You may also want to hire a well driller to guarantee endless water flow. Remember, people visiting the cabin will want a great experience similar to or more than what they enjoy in their homes. One of the best ways to remodel an old cabin with this in mind is by replacing old kitchen and bathroom fixtures with new and modern ones. Install excellent quality in-built furniture pieces like shelving units, cabinets, bunk beds, and benches to create permanent fixtures and add storage space.
Make the Cabin Energy Efficient
Making energy-efficient upgrades to your old cabin can increase your utility savings. For instance, solar panels use the sun’s energy to deliver an eco-friendly energy source. Worth mentioning is that many campers enjoy interacting with the ecosystem. You can create an irresistible surrounding by planting trees. Work with experienced arborists who can recommend the best trees for the specific area. Replace single-pane windows with double or triple-pane options to insulate the cabin’s interior space.
Huge south-facing windows offer open views of the outdoors and allow warm sunlight to penetrate inside the cabin. Radiant and efficient floor heating ensures the inside is warm during cold weather. Update the fireplace, add modern kitchen appliances, and a geothermal heat pump is energy-efficient alternatives to consider as you remodel an old cabin. Leverage a heating oil delivery service provider to create a backup for your solar heater. You want the cabin to continue functioning in case of a breakdown with the core heating system.
Furnishings and Furniture
The cabin style is comfortable and casual. Even as you seek to provide luxurious space, you want to keep accessories and furniture to a minimum. Nobody likes a disorganized and cluttered space. Adopt versatile furniture pieces that can be used for different purposes. A bench seat with a large storage area can be a great choice for a small space. Furnishing the bedroom with layered bedding, bedside lamps, a deluxe armchair, and a warm area rug provides luxury lovers with a comfortable and inviting hideout. Accessorize the old cabin with an outdoor theme like surfing, hunting, fishing, or even skiing to create a natural feeling within the interior spaces.
Choose wooden window blinds to expose guests to the outdoors while enabling them to control the amount of light coming in with a wand’s touch. Use neutral-colored furnishings such as blacks, whites, browns, tans, or grays to create a peaceful ambiance. Dashes of bright green, red, blue, and yellow make the space lively. Ensure the timber you use on your furniture matches or is of higher quality than the existing one. If you are picking a replacement for a single part of an old cabin, ensure the wood pieces have the same moisture content. Remember, wood shrinks over time. Different moisture content may mean the timber is prone to cracking.
Collaborate with experts when renovating an old cabin. They will help you determine the areas you should preserve, use conventional materials, or integrate modern tools and materials. A proper renovation should result in a breathtaking cabin that camping enthusiasts can’t resist. Are you considering renovating your old cabin? Call us today to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced renovation experts.