Many people enjoy learning about their home, especially if it's an older home. There are various ways in which you find out who lived there before you, if anyone had died there, what the land was used for before the home was built and what year the home was built in. Finding out this information will give you an interesting history lesson and may help you determine if certain things (such as the wiring or plumbing) need to be fixed and renovated.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Look at the flooring for clues on the age of the house. Asphalt tile flooring became popular in homes from the 1920s to the 1960s. From 1930 to about 1976, vinyl became the choice for flooring. Linoleum sheet flooring was used extensively between 1890 and 1960. In more recent times, Pergo flooring was first used in the United States in 1994 (www.inspectapedia.com). Flooring is a great indicator of when a house was built as long as the flooring has not been redone.
Determine the house's architectural style. Understanding what style of home you have will help you determine the era in which the house was built.
Check out the house's meter reader. There will be the year in which the meter was placed on the home. Unless the meter has not been changed or updated, you will be able to determine a good estimate of when the home was built.
Talk to neighbours. Many of your neighbours may have a lot of knowledge regarding the homes in the neighbourhood. The house could have been the house that they grew up in, it could have been handed down to them from an older generations, or they may have already done the work in finding the age of their home. Since most homes on one block are built within a year or two of each other (unless it's an old farm house and a neighbourhood was built around it), knowing a neighbouring house's age will tell you a close estimate of the age of your house.
Check public records for the specific age of your house. The construction and building of homes is public record. You can go to your county's Assessor's office or the county courthouse and find all the details of your home. With a little help from the workers, you can find not only the age, but the previous inhabitants as well.
Tips and warnings
- Learning about architecture styles can help you to begin placing the age of a home. The following are some home styles by era, as listed in InspectAPedia.
- Italianate Style was popular in the 1850s.
- Mansardic and Stick Style homes were popular in the 1870s.
- Shingle Style homes starting being built in the 1880s.
- The Colonial Revival started in the 1890s.
- Craftsman Style began in the 1900s.
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