As a home renovation expert, I’ve seen my fair share of homes that might look great on the outside, but are completely falling apart on the inside. To prevent yourself from buying such a property, you’ll want to know how to tell if your house has good bones—that is, if it’s structurally sound and has significant space for your needs (at least by modern standards). For more on this topic, read on!
What are bones in homes?
Bones in homes are the structural elements that provide support and stability. This includes the foundation, framing, and load-bearing walls. A home with good bones is well-built and will stand the test of time. Conversely, a home with poor bones is poorly constructed and will likely need major repairs down the road. So, how can you tell if a house has good bones? The following guide provides some helpful hints for identifying a house with strong bones:
Does it have at least two stories? The more stories, the better; a three-story home is typically considered ideal.
Is it made of brick or stone? Older homes are more likely to be made of these materials than newer ones because they’re durable and cost-effective.
Know your building materials
When considering whether or not a house has good bones, it’s important to know your building materials. Masonry, wood, and steel are the most common construction materials, and each has its own strengths and weaknesses. For example, masonry is very durable but can be susceptible to moisture damage; wood is strong but can rot; and steel is very strong but can rust. If you’re not sure what material your house is made of, ask a professional.
A house with good bones is made of wood. Wood is strong and durable, and it will last a long time if it is well-maintained. Look for signs of rot or water damage, as these can weaken the structure of the house. Also, check the foundation and framing to make sure they are level and in good condition.
A brick house is a great candidate for a renovation. Bricks are strong and durable, so you know the house can withstand some changes. Plus, bricks add character and charm that can be hard to find in newer homes. If you’re considering renovating a brick house, here are a few things to look for:
- Check the condition of the bricks. Are they cracked or chipped? If so, you may need to replace some of them.
- Inspect the mortar between the bricks.
The first thing you want to look for when assessing a house’s bones is the foundation. Is it made of concrete? If so, that’s a good sign. Concrete is durable and will last for many years with proper care. Another key element of good bones is the framing. Look for solid wood framing, as this will also stand the test of time. Other things to look for include plumbing and electrical systems that are up to date, and a roof that is in good condition. You can find out about these through a home inspection. Once you’ve assessed the house’s bones, there are several other considerations that can make or break your decision to buy it.
Foundations and floor framing
The first step is to check the foundation and floor framing. The house should be built on a solid foundation, and the floor framing should be straight and level. If the foundation is cracked or the floor framing is sagging, it’s likely that the house has serious structural problems.
There are some simple tests you can do to see how structurally sound the house is before investing any money in renovations. First, poke your head out of a window at ground level and look up; there shouldn’t be any cracks in the brick work above you. Next, use a hammer (or something with an equally heavy weight) to knock on different parts of the ceiling, walls, and floor.
Walls and ceilings
The first place to start when considering the bones of a house is the walls and ceilings. If they’re in good condition, that’s a good sign. But if they’re cracked or sagging, that could be a sign of bigger problems. Next check for evidence of leaks or water damage on the ceiling. On the other hand, if there are cracks in the walls but no evidence of leaks or water damage on them, then it’s likely they just need to be patched up before painting. Ceilings with water stains should be replaced instead.