Excess ready-built housing made of not very reliable materials encourages the search for good old houses to be renovated or reconstructed. Of course, such houses can also hide a lot of flaws, but you can often find something pleasant at a good price. The most important thing is not to rush and look for a worthwhile option. If you have already set yourself the task of finding such housing, then we will make a brief excursion into the difficulties you will face during the old wooden house renovation.

Old house for renovation – where to start?

Like any large-scale renovation project, works in an old house require official permits to carry out. Therefore, the first action after the purchase of such housing is the observance of all necessary formalities. Regardless of whether your house is brick or wooden, you will need to obtain permits and send notices if you plan to:

– replacement of roofing;

– replacement of skylights;

– replacement of the heating system;

– painting and/or complete renovation of the facade;

– constructive changes in the boiler room;

– insulation of external walls;

– window replacement. 

Reporting the renovation to the appropriate authorities is not difficult, but it will save you a lot of problems from the very beginning. The notice must be submitted to the office within 30 days of the planned start date for the renovation. Usually, after this, the mayor gives the so-called “tacit consent” to carry out the work described in the application. This means that if within 30 days you do not receive a refusal, then you can safely begin to complete the tasks. 

What should be considered before renovating an old wooden house?

An old house can hide many unpleasant and unexpected surprises. Therefore, before proceeding with its renovation, you might want to carefully assess the technical condition of the building and draw up a work schedule. At the same time, you need to pay attention not only to the condition of the walls, floor, ceiling and windows, but also to understand whether it will be necessary to replace water supply lines and sewerage, plumbing and electrical installations. Now, let us describe in more detail and order:

  1. You should start by checking the walls. In old houses, the walls are usually arranged in such a way that they create an extra useless space that could serve you very well. This means that you will most likely need a redevelopment.
  2. As a rule, old houses require the replacement of the roofing and truss. Before starting work, consult with the master, perhaps some part of the roof can be saved and this will save little funds during the reconstruction.
  3. In most cases, the heating system will also need to be replaced, including the heat source itself. Thanks to this, energy efficiency in the house can significantly increase and there will be an opportunity to save on heating.
  4. After completion of construction and installation work, you can proceed to the replacement or renewal of window frames, and the stages associated with the replacement of wall and floor coverings. Additionally, surfaces may need to be levelled before applying the desired coatings. This will help you achieve the perfect result. The floor will most likely need a new screed, as in older homes it may be in poor condition or not available at all.

Is it necessary to expand a wooden house?

The expansion of a wooden house consists in carrying out construction work aimed at increasing the area of the existing building. This can be done, for example, at the expense of a veranda, a winter garden, a garage or a terrace. We remind you that all the rules of work related to the renovation, reconstruction, extension or superstructure are described in the provisions of the building legislation. You should not take this lightly and try to circumvent the rules, since such stories often end not only with large fines but also with requirements to dismantle all the work done. And hardly anyone needs problems with state bodies.

Before planning the expansion of a wooden house, you need to consider whether there is enough space for this, and also immediately include in the plan the arrangement of utility lines for the new site. If you are planning simple work, you can use ready-made house extension projects (for example, ready-made terraces, balconies or verandas), which will significantly save your budget at least in terms of the development of an individual project. Whether you need this type of work is up to you, depending on how you see your dream home in the end, and what budget and space you have to manoeuvre.

Is it better to renovate or demolish and build from scratch?

This is a very complex issue, requiring a huge amount of detail to be taken into account. In order to understand which of the options will be better, first, you need to at least contact a construction company and get an initial estimate for the work. Unfortunately, even here it will not be possible to predict everything, since some shortcomings may be discovered only during the old wooden house renovation. Moreover, depending on the condition, sometimes you can live in the house and renovate it at the same time, which will save your budget for renting separate housing for the duration of the work.

The construction of a new house will cost from PLN 200 to 400 thousand. In order to roughly understand the numbers that will come out in the end and decide which option will be more profitable, it is worth hiring an appraiser who will help you figure it out and announce the costs of such an investment.

How to clean and protect the house from rot and mould

One of the main problems that the old wooden house renovation can bring you is rot and mould on the wood. The first step in renovating rotten wood is to find it. Fortunately, there are some easy-to-apply ways to deal with rotten wood, and these tricks are often enough to save a wooden house. 

So, first, check if there are soft spots and fungus on the wood. Also, in the presence of rot and mould, there will be a “raw” smell in the room. You will most likely feel it even before you can visually detect damaged areas of the wood. If such areas were noticed, they must be removed. Note that rot can also occur under layers of paint. After removing the rotten place, apply a layer of wood impregnation. Repeat this action 3-4 times. For the best effect, holes can be drilled in the rotten wood. 

Common sources of water accumulation are old, faulty pipes, outdated sewage systems, and leaking washing machine hoses. Another culprit is a fungus that feeds on damp wood. If you notice wet rot, it is important to remove it before it spreads. If action is not taken quickly, this can lead to serious damage to the structure of the house. 

Bark beetles and termites are other common causes of rotting wood. They are usually found in ground beams, which are often inaccessible. To fix the problem and prevent the growth of bacteria and insects, “seal” the wood. If you can’t afford to completely replace damaged wood, try repairing the rotten area by restoring structural strength. 

Of course, such methods are not suitable for every case: everything will depend on the amount of damaged material and the initial state. If you are not confident in your abilities, it is always better to contact a specialist who can assess the scale of the disaster. Trying to do something with your own hands, you can often miss serious problems that can lead to the destruction of the integrity of the structure and then the losses will become very significant.

 Old wooden house renovation step by step

  1. Chimney renovation.

If your home has a fireplace and you plan to use it, check the condition of the old chimney. In the case when the renovation is still required, then not carrying out restoration work will be dangerous to life and health.

  1. Renovation of partitions.

This stage will be needed if you are not satisfied with the layout inside the house or the old partitions are in poor condition. Do not neglect these works, so you can use the space more functionally.

  1. Roof replacements.

In addition to protecting against precipitation, the roof usually performs an aesthetic function. When renovating an old wooden house, the roofing material is usually completely replaced. But as for the truss, you may be lucky here and only individual beams and boards will need to be replaced. A good specialist will help you assess the condition. In addition, during the renovation of the roof, it is possible to carry out its thermal insulation and waterproofing. 

  1. Replacing windows in an old house.

In older homes, windows usually need to be replaced for many reasons. One of them is huge heat losses. We advise you to immediately take a closer look at modern double-glazed windows, which will help get rid of unnecessary expenses. There are also standards according to which windows should cover at least 10% of the entire area of the house. Usually, small windows are installed in old wooden houses, and in this case, we recommend expanding them, because the more natural light enters the housing, the better. 

  1. Replacement or renovation of the old facade.

During the old wooden house renovation, one of the first tasks will be working with the facade. Exterior walls must be cleaned of old coating (usually plaster or paint). Then they are covered with a primer mixture, which will perform the function of protection against fungus and mould. The next step will be insulation with water-repellent materials. The final work is plastering and painting if this type of finishing material is chosen. 

  1. Laying floors.

Here it is necessary to understand the condition of the old floor. In old houses, good wood was used, which can serve faithfully for more than one generation. Perhaps, you became the happy owner of just such a coating, and then the old boards need only restoration. This will be much easier, faster and cheaper than dismantling and laying a new coating.

  1. Replacement of doors and door fittings.

Most likely, you will need to replace the doors and door fittings. Everything will depend on the initial data and the final result that you plan to get from the renovation. Country-style doors are unlikely to fit well into a minimalistic interior, and in fact, they are often the very detail that completes the whole picture.

  1. Plastering walls.

The old wooden house renovation suggests that working with walls will have additional requirements. For example, when working with walls, you will need not only to remove the old plaster and re-coat them but also pre-treat them well with an antifungal agent. 

  1. Renovation in the bathroom.

Here you will need not only the replacement of plumbing but most likely a complete dismantling and installation of new utility lines. Read more about the stages of renovation in the bathroom here. 

  1. Cleaning and installation of furniture.

Do not rush to get rid of old furniture. It is possible that it will only have to be restored a little and it will serve you for more than a decade.

How much does it cost to renovate an old house?

Let’s be honest: the old house renovation usually costs a lot of money. But everything will depend on its initial state, area, your requirements, pitfalls in the form of hidden defects, materials used, etc. To get the final amount, it will be necessary to calculate such a number of variables that without seeing the facility, it will be simply impossible to answer this question. However, we can say that the average cost of renovating an old house will be about PLN 200-300 thousand.


The old house renovation is always a risky idea that can bring unpleasant surprises, but sometimes it can pay off without requiring a huge investment. We do not advise you to hurry with the purchase and choice. First, look at the offer market and select those options that suit you both financially and have a satisfactory condition, at least visually. Our team at Euromed-Bud will be able to help you with all legal and renovation issues. Come to our office and we will discuss what your new dream home should look like.

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