Have you ever wondered how old is your home? Was it built during the time when lead paint was the norm for home design? Was it built when asbestos was still an acceptable fire suppressant building material?
According to experts, the median age of houses in the United States is 37 years, which means a lot of homes are old enough that some of these issues can be a real problem.
Apart from potential problems surrounding lead and asbestos, older homes suffer from dated construction techniques and obsolete design principles. If you want to improve the appearance and safety of your home, here are five design and construction tips you can use to bring your residential property into the 21st century:
Use New Age Materials
Although wood, brick and masonry will always have a special place in home construction and design, it’s time to let some new materials into the mix. There have been significant advances in the way materials are not just being designed but also how they are made.
Take this as an example: a thick-walled injection molder can create massive pieces from epoxy resin, some large enough to form support struts or even building components. Such feats of chemical creation weren’t widely available a few years ago and were downright impossible prior to this century.
Explore such new age materials when you freshen up your home and you could be pleasantly surprised by the perks they bring. Resin support struts for your walls won’t just be light. They’ll also be termite proof.
Make Your Home More Secure
Back in the day, when homeowners talked about beefing up the security of their homes, they probably thought of installing window security bars and getting a large dog for the yard.
Today, the definition of security and what factors affect it have been significantly changed. Thanks to the proliferation of hackers and malware, home security should now include digital components to protect your Wi-Fi, computers and other devices that rely on internet connection to function properly.
Window bars may no longer be enough. You should take things up a notch by including motion detectors to provide absolute protection.
You could also invest in other means of improving security, such as motion-activated floodlights in the perimeter of your property. This will prevent criminals from trying to gain access under the cover of darkness.
Wood countertops are still in style, but they do tend to get worn down very quickly, especially if your house is decades old. Instead of constantly worrying about your wood countertops splintering every time you drop something heavy on them, why not use this time to switch to something more timeless and modern looking?
Granite countertops have been all the rage in new homes for years for a huge number of reasons. First, they are easy to clean because the stone isn’t as porous as marble.
Second, they are extremely durable.
Third, they look very sleek and stylish with their monolithic appearance.
Last but not the least, they work well with modern color schemes that use a lot of cooler colors. If you want your kitchen to be more modern, go for granite.
Switch Lighting Options
You don’t have to choose between warm incandescent lights and cold fluorescent lights. There are plenty of different options when choosing the type of lighting system you can install throughout your house.
Instead of making your home look like a drab office with harsh fluorescents, you can choose from a variety of LED lighting options. LED light bulbs, strips and different lighting material now come in many different colors and types. Not only are they much brighter than standard light bulbs, they’re also more energy efficient and consume less electricity.
Incorporate Solar Power
The best way to celebrate the 21st century and truly modernize your home is by acknowledging renewable energy sources, such as the sun. If you want to significantly reduce your home’s dependency on fossil fuel and the electrical grid, you’ll want to consider installing solar panels.
Solar panel providers can hook up several photovoltaic cells to your rooftop and connect it to your electrical systems. This will allow you to enjoy low-cost or even free electricity from the sun and switch to the power grid when necessary.
Modernizing an old home today can take many different forms. They range from simple solutions like changing your countertops to more daring but also more rewarding efforts like switching to solar power. It is through these efforts that America’s housing stock remains useful, comfortable and safe to live in.