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Do Homes Today Have “Good Bones”?

The housing market has been a bit chaotic for the last several years. As a result, individual homes and massive communities with hundreds or thousands of residents have been popping up all over the country. In many cases, houses are selling faster than manufacturers can build them.

This makes it tempting for builders to cut corners and make mistakes during the building process. So do homes today have good bones? Will they last as long as some of the older homes on the market? 

Let’s see.

What Does It Mean When a House Has Good Bones?

The popular saying “beauty is only skin deep” typically refers to humans, but it can also apply to homes. Behind the drywall and other surfaces in a home lie the structural supports. Depending on the home, these are typically solid pieces of wood that builders use to frame a house. A home with good bones will use high-quality materials that will last for decades without any major issues.

Like humans and our bones, these structural supports can weaken with age. A homeowner may need to repair or update materials to extend the structure’s life. Luckily, replacing bones in a home typically requires no medical school.

As long as you follow the correct process and use quality materials, you can sleep soundly, knowing your home will last.

Do Homes Today Have “Good Bones”?

Homes today generally have good bones. However, it can be difficult to tell if you’re considering a newer construction home. Some issues that reveal whether a home has good bones or not take time to present themselves. It could take five to 10 years before you notice something is seriously wrong with the bones in your home.

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How Do You Know if Your House Is Well Built? 

Knowing how to see if a house is well built or not can be difficult. Luckily, many home inspectors are skilled at spotting a home’s potential issues. Whether you’re buying a home or looking to identify any problems in your home, hiring an inspector is a good idea. These highly-trained individuals will check various aspects of the foundational structure of a home, but also the complex plumbing and electric systems. 

When complete, the inspector typically will provide you with a lengthy report detailing the findings. They’ll highlight any red flags they’ve found during the inspection and likely make a few recommendations. If you don’t have training in spotting issues or potential issues, this is the best way to know if your house is well-built or not.

Why Do Old Homes Last So Long?

Many people wonder why you can find some houses that are 100 or more years old that are in great condition but also find houses that are 10 to 20 years old that are struggling to stand. The answer is fairly simple. The houses built 100 years ago used quality materials and good craftsmanship. The ones that didn’t are no longer standing.

Did builders 100 years ago have access to building techniques or materials that builders don’t today? Absolutely not. They had good builders and bad builders, much like we do today. Houses today built with shabby materials or lackluster craftsmanship aren’t likely to stand in 100 years. 

Carpenter building new homes
Quality materials and good craftsmanship will make a home last for years.

Is It OK to Buy a 100-Year-Old House?

It’s not uncommon in some parts of the country to find houses 100 years old with good bones for sale. However, you could be taking a major risk by purchasing such an old house. On the other hand, if the house lasted this long, there’s a good chance it’ll last for many more years to come. That’s especially if it’s well-maintained.

No matter how old the house is, we think it’s worth the cost to hire a professional inspector to go through the home you’re considering purchasing.

These highly-trained professionals know what to look for and can spot issues that an uninformed buyer could easily overlook. They’ll inspect the electrical and plumbing systems to ensure they’re in tip-top shape. Once they finish their inspection, they’ll provide the buyer with a report detailing their findings. It may cost you $200 to about $400, but it could help you avoid purchasing a home that turns into a money pit.

How Long Will Modern Homes Last?

A modern home will likely last anywhere from 70 to 100 years. However, this greatly depends on the quality of the original build and how well the owners maintain it. Does it have good bones?

Foundation issues can take years to appear and be expensive to repair.  If a builder initially takes shortcuts or rushes the build, the entire home could be doomed from the start.

It’s essential that a homeowner address any maintenance as quickly as possible. Fix leaks and investigate the causes of cracks in the ceiling or the walls. Putting off maintenance is a recipe for a much more extensive and expensive repair down the road.

Pro Tip: Have you considered tiny living? Find out The Unfortunate Truth of Shipping Container Homes.

Are New Build Homes Poor Quality? 

Like 100 years ago, some new home builds are better than others. Some builders take more pride in their work than others. This is why you must spend time researching potential builders if you’re planning to build a home. If the home is already built, you want to hire a qualified inspector to go through it with a fine tooth comb. 

If there are any issues with the home, you want to know so you can adjust your offer or ask the seller to fix them before they’re your problem. It might not be cheap these days, but you can find a quality built home where you won’t have to worry about it falling apart.

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