5 Issues To Think About When Buying a House From the 1970s

Improvements occur over time. Builders and manufacturers won’t get everything right on the first try.

When you’re browsing the market for a quaint and unique home built during the 1970s, there are some issues you’ll encounter. Read about some of the most frequent problems to think about when buying a house from the 1970s.

Old Plumbing Materials

Galvanized steel and polybutylene pipes were two of the most common plumbing materials used during the 1970s. You’re likely to encounter one of these plumbing materials when touring these homes.

Originally, galvanized steel was the standard plumbing material up until the 1970s. Despite their strength, they could only last for 40 to 50 years. This is because high minerals in the water caused the pipes to corrode and break over time.

In the late 1970s, builders made the switch over to polybutylene pipes. It was an inexpensive alternative, but these pipes began to crack after being exposed to high temperatures. So before buying the house, determine the piping material used.

The Use of Lead Paint

Homeowners adored lead paint because it was easy to clean, wouldn’t peel or scratch easily, and had vibrant colors. In 1971, US Congress passed a ban on lead-based paints for residential and commercial buildings. However, these regulations only mattered if the building construction had federal funding.

In return, many homes during this decade continued to use lead-based paint. It wasn’t until 1977 that the US Consumer Product Safety Commission entirely banned the use of the substance. Therefore, it’s important to test the home to determine if previous owners or builders used lead paint in the past.

Outdated Electrical Wiring

Several issues arise when buying a house from the 1970s. One of the most complicated problems to think about is the outdated electrical wiring throughout the home.

There’s a good chance that the home you’re looking at has aluminum wiring. Aluminum wiring will expand as it heats up, then contract when cooling down. Gradually, the wires will wear down and increase the risk of house fires.

Nowadays, copper wires are the standard wiring material. Copper was once high in cost and difficult for builders to afford. Therefore, aluminum was the alternative. It’s essential to discuss with an electrician if the home requires new wiring to ensure it’s safe at all times.

The Presence of Asbestos

Asbestos was once a commonly used fiber known for its fire-retardant properties and thermal efficiency. You’ll commonly find the substance in insulation, pipes, drywall, roofing, and flooring. However, people soon realized that breathing in asbestos can cause lung disease and halted its production.

It’s important to know about the six types of asbestos so that you know what to expect when purchasing an older home. Each substance has unique properties that are harmful to humans. Before finalizing the purchase, ensure there’s a plan in place to remove all existing asbestos to protect your loved ones.

A Poor Layout

In addition to threatening substances, many homes from the 1970s have a unique yet poorly designed layout. Many buyers today look for open-concept homes that feel bright and airy. However, homes didn’t always look that way.

If you decide to buy a home from the 1970s, plan to conduct a few renovations to the layout. Remove a couple of unnecessary walls to open up the space and create a more functional layout for your family.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments