Aging Well (Your Home that is)

River Springs Early Yeats

The article below appears in the February Issue of the River Springs Newsletter:

My wife and I moved to River Springs last spring. Our move had actually been a downsize from a much bigger house but we found the maintenance (and mortgage) on the other house to be more than we wanted to manage, plus, with two children under 3, we really wanted a playground in walking distance and a flat yard. In this context, River Springs sounded perfect and frankly, we don't miss the 1,000 sq ft we left behind, as our house is so much better suited to our life today.

We looked at every house that came up for sale in River Springs for a period of months and we are very happy with what we found, but there is one truth to all the houses in River Springs which is they were all built in the early 80's and that makes them all about 30 years old. In context, the Commodore 64 was released 30 years ago this year, featuring 16 colour graphics, and the cool kids would have been playing Eye of the Tiger at full volume on a new cassette deck.

30 years after construction, most River Springs houses have changed hands a few times and there have been a variety of updates, repairs, add-on's, and disasters that have left each home very unique in the aging process. Between all the Open Houses we have been in and a few house inspections, I've had a good chance to see a lot of homes and overall, I'd say the neighborhood has been aging well but there are a few things homeowners should be keeping an eye on:

  • Copper Pipes - Unfortunately, the minerals and oxygen in our water have been eating at our pipes for 30 years and for some of us, that is going to mean water leaks. Small leaks can be an annoyance to repair any damage and the cost to have a plumber do an emergency fix but at some point in the next 20 years, nearly all of us are going to have to consider a lot of piping replacement. If you are doing any renovations in the near future, consider replacing the piping in the area you are working on now to save yourself some costs in the long run.
  • Roofing - Most, if not all, River Springs houses are on their second or even third roof (ours is now on its third). If you still have the older "T-Lock" shingles, these have not been readily available for some time and you are likely a candidate for a replacement soon. Make sure your roofer replaces all your flashings at the same time as these are not likely to last the life of a third roofing cycle and flashing leaks can cause damage very quickly as they typically direct a lot of water in heavy rains.
  • Furnaces - While the 'experts' say a furnace is good for 15-20 years, we have seen many in operation longer even in our community. While a 30 year old furnace may still be fine and safe, what you can't count on is when it will fail. Consider changing it now as a planned replacement while you have the time to arrange for the government high efficiency rebates. A planned replacement now could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars versus an emergency replacement during the next cold spell.

River Springs is a wonderful neighborhood. We have great people, amazing nature at our doorstep, and resort style amenities that make life here very attractive and all well worth the ongoing maintenance our thirty-something homes require.

By James Bell - Owner/Operator of Solid State Inspections Inc.


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