Buying an older home to renovate is a great way to create a modern and beautiful home and increase the value of the property. If the home you're considering was built prior to the 1980s, then it's important to obtain an asbestos report as part of the pre-purchase inspection process.
The dangers of exposure to asbestos fibres during renovation projects is a well-known issue. If the asbestos report for your potential new home identifies building materials that contain the mineral substance, then you may begin to have second thoughts about the purchase.
The presence of asbestos shouldn't automatically rule out a purchase but it's important to know the scope of the problem before finalising a contract. Here are two things you should consider when making the decision to purchase the property or not:
1. Will the asbestos need to be removed?
Sometimes the materials that contain asbestos in a home are safe to retain. If they're undamaged and are in areas that won't be disturbed by your renovations, then sealing them with an appropriate product is often enough to resolve the issue.
If there is a large amount of asbestos, the asbestos containing materials are in disrepair or areas of the home that will be renovated, then removal might be necessary. This work needs to be completed by a qualified and experienced asbestos removal contractor to ensure that it's done safely and legally.
Asbestos handling, removal and disposal can add a considerable amount to your renovation budget. You might like to offer a reduced purchase amount to mitigate this added expense or you may decide to pass on the property if the vendors aren't willing to negotiate on price.
2. Can asbestos be found in the garden?
Building materials containing asbestos were frequently used in garden buildings, fences and other outdoor structures. Many older properties also have small pieces of asbestos in the garden because building materials were buried instead of being disposed of correctly.
Your asbestos report should also include a comprehensive inspection of the garden and garden structures. You can also ask the asbestos contractor to provide a quote for removal of any materials that contain asbestos so you can make an informed decision about the costs involved.
Removal of asbestos from the garden may be a simple and inexpensive task. It can also be extensive and expensive. If small pieces of asbestos are found in your garden beds, you may need to remove all the existing soil and replace it with asbestos free soil. This considerable expense may help you to reduce your offer price on the property or discontinue the sale.