We’ve all heard the tail-end of dad’s home buying advice time and time again – ‘Buy something with good bones.’ (Says the man still walking around in stubbies and socks and jandals in Winter!) We digress, but when you really want to bite down on a renovation and claim it as your own, what ‘bones’ should we be searching for when house hunting? And do you need a certain number of bones to make it a real treat? We thought we’d do some digging – not literally – and here’s what we fetched . . .
Perfect posy – Forget central, when it comes to layout, a home with good bones won’t make a wasteland of its section i.e. plonking itself centre stage leaving minimal opportunity to extend front or back. Ideally, if the home doesn’t have a garage you want enough space alongside or in front to construct one. Or if it doesn’t have a deck but the sunlight beams in the back, you want enough space to extend your outdoor living where it counts.
Look to the laundry – Older homes often had HUGE laundries. Nowadays, many of us are replete with a hot spot off the bathroom or garage – separated with a shutters/bifold. So, when seeking a home with potential, pin down one with a massive laundry and gauge where you could extend this space into others i.e. increase the size of the kitchen/dining/living.
Build em up – Often enough a home with ‘good bones’ isn’t averse to a good lift – up that is! When perusing potentials, consider the possibility to lift the whole place up and build underneath.
Bring in the experts – Goes without saying really. If you want to get as close to the nitty gritty of what’s going on in a place, then get a thorough building inspection done. We’re talking piling, moisture, plumbing and electrical. It may look solid from the outside but you just don’t know what’s lurking underneath and in between.
Lose the extra shift work – A home with ‘good bones’ shouldn’t leave you feeling skeletal. If you suddenly realise that to achieve the modern look you want, you’re going to have to destroy that structural wall, that wall, shift that wall, bowl that entrance and move the kitchen down the other end, then maybe it’s just not meant to be. Too much of anything isn’t always a good thing.