Historic Home Inspections
David Rushton has a special love and affinity for older homes. He has inspected hundreds of pre-World War II homes, barns, and commercial buildings. Log, stone, brick, timber, and balloon-frame structures, large and small, have been subjects of his scrutiny.
“They don’t build them like they used to!” In some cases, that’s good, in other cases, maybe not. While old windows, doors, and woodwork have charm and beauty, antique plumbing, heating, and electrical systems may have serious limitations, problems or safety considerations. It is important to understand what might and what might not work for today’s living standards and expectations.
David Rushton uses the latest standards to inspect the oldest structures. Old homes may not and are not expected to meet today’s standards. It is important for a buyer to understand what these differences may be in order to appreciate, understand and, if necessary, correct or update an older building. Old doors may not have safety glass. Electrical systems may not have updated grounding or shock protection.
When an older home has been remodeled, it is important to look beyond the new fixtures, cabinets and paint. When a bathroom or kitchen was remodeled, were the plumbing and electrical systems replaced during the renovation work? Was a new, high-efficiency furnace installed into an old, unlined masonry chimney?
Some old home concerns can be corrected, such as replacing old plumbing or wiring. Other conditions can not be practically changed but there may be solutions to limit future, potential problems. If untreated wood is too close to the soil or masonry, a regular wood destroying organism inspection would be advisable to catch WDO infestations early. Non-toxic borate treatments can be applied to wood to protect it from damage. Modern updates to the systems or floor plan may be desirable. How can air conditioning be added to an older home? Your inspection will provide you with information about these situations.
David Rushton renovated, restored and built additions to many older homes and commercial buildings in the Los Altos, CA, and Haddonfield, NJ, areas for 17 years with his construction company. His 65-year-old carpenters taught him many of the secrets of old building construction. He has taken many continuing education courses and attended traditional building workshops in his inspection career, and now teaches professional seminars to home inspectors about inspecting old buildings. He is a member of the Historic Building Inspectors Association. He was on the Historic District Advisory Commission of Haddon Heights, New Jersey before he moved to Virginia.
David and his extraordinarily patient wife, Debra, have owned, remodeled and restored four over 90-year-old homes. Their current home is a vintage 1850, center hall, Gothic Revival farmhouse in Harmony Hollow, south of Front Royal, VA. It is under constant repair, upgrade, restoration and renovation.
Thank you for your report. Your work certainly exceeded my expectations. I feel that I now know the house in Basye nearly as well as my home here in Winchester where my wife and I have lived for 30 years. We remain excited about the possibility of purchasing this house. Should that come together for us, your assessment will be our guide to bringing its maintenance up to par levels.”