Building & Renovating

5 Tips For Taking Care of A Family Home

Maintaining a mid-century property can be easy with this handy guide

Original Article: Bubbles Salvador Photography: Michael Angelo Chua (Main Photo)

There's nothing quite like living in a mid-century family home—nothing can replace the happy memories you've made in it, the sentimental value of the property being owned by the family for generations and how it stands out among more modern structures.  

According to architect Ivy Tablante-Darilag of Structura Architects, and hertiage conservation expert Manuel Singson, "A house built [in the 1950s] would have been designed with clean, linear silhouettes, and a great consideration for incorporating nature into the structure." Living in a mid-century abode is ideal for those who prefer homes with a straightforward design and passive cooling solutions. 

If you happen to own or inherit a place like this, consider yourself lucky—but that doesn't mean there's no work involved as far as maintaining it is concerned. What kind of maintenance does this kind of home require? Here's a quick guide: 

1. Conduct a thorough visual assessment of all portions of the house regularly. Do this at least every six to 12 months. "This will allow you to identify possible problems even before they occur, like exposed surfaces, structural members (beams, columns and stairs), electrical wiring and plumbing," Ivy explains. 

2. If possible, refer to as-built plans of the house. This will allow you to trace locations of unseen fixtures such as pipes and columns embedded on walls, among others. 

3. Focus your maintenance work on materials used on exposed surfaces (e.g. walls, ceilings, window frames, flooring, eaves, roof) if the structural frame is intact. 

4. Strip off paint from certain portions to assess the condition of the surface material. Wood and steel are considered "sensitive" materials and should be checked thoroughly before repainting or refinishing. 

5. Steel should be checked for corrosion. If steel used for structural components (trusses, columns, beams, stairs) has corroded, replacement might be necessary. Concrete is a more stable material and requires less maintenance. 

This snippet originally appeared in the July 2017 issue of Real Living Magazine. 

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