Wheat Ridge, Colorado is a relatively small suburb located just northwest of the Denver metro area. Like many parts of Colorado, this quaint city was originally established as a rest stop for travelers during the gold rush in the 1850s.
As travelers began to settle, they started to realize how fertile the land was. Agriculture helped the community to thrive and grow. Believe it or not, Wheat Ridge became a hub for the carnation flower, earning it the name “Carnation City.”
It’s situated in a prime location – just a several minute drive to the big city and a short trek to the beautiful Rocky Mountains. So if you like a healthy balance of the fast-paced city life and the tranquility of the outdoors, Wheat Ridge might be a great spot for you! Having seen significant growth starting in the mid-1900s and onward, you will tend to see a variety of home styles and eras.
If you are interested in making the move to Wheat Ridge, it will help to get an idea of the different neighborhoods in the region, and what to expect during a home inspection in the area.
Fruitdale/Applewood Villages is the west-most region, situated between Eldridge St and Kipling St. Just next door is Kipling/Bel Aire, which is located from Kipling to Wadsworth Blvd. The eastern section of Wheat Ridge is Barths/ Marshall Park, extending from Wadsworth and eastward to Sheridan Blvd.
This neighborhood has its own unique features and nice variety of housing styles. Let’s take a closer look at each section!
Let’s kick off our tour and take a glimpse at the Fruitdale/Applewood Villages area. This area saw a significant growth during the 1960s and 1970s, so you will mainly come across homes from that time period.
These mid-century neighborhoods are full of beautiful, tall trees and charming single family homes that range in size and price and have 2-5 bedrooms. This area has a number of parks, lakes, and trails, making it a welcoming environment to those who enjoy running, biking, fishing, picnicking etc.
When purchasing a home that is several decades old, you are always going to have some potential for issues and/or defects. That why it is so important to have a home inspection before committing. Having inspected thousands of homes, we generally know what to expect based off of the age of the house.
For instance, unless they are updated, 1960s homes will usually have insufficient insulation levels. Energy codes have changed significantly since then, so our inspectors can expect to observe little to no insulation in these types of houses. Proper insulation is an important part of maintaining a comfortable in-home environment, conserving energy, and saving money. So your inspector will be sure to inform you if the insulation needs improvement.
Another classic defect in pre-80s houses is outdated electrical configurations. In the 60s and 70s, aluminum wiring was utilized as an alternative to copper. However, using this material eventually proved to be a serious fire hazard. Aluminum wiring should not be present in the home, and the inspector will surely call it out for immediate evaluation and repair. Federal Pacific Panels were also commonly used in the mid-20th century. Similar to aluminum wiring, these types of panels are highly hazardous and will need to be replaced.
Plumbing is another big item that our inspectors need to watch out for. Galvanized piping was commonly used up until the 1980s. This material is extremely susceptible to heavy corrosion, rusting and leaks. Any water lines that are galvanized steel should be replaced. Also, if the sewage lines are original, it is possible that they are in bad shape. Homes from the 60s and 70s primarily used cast iron and clay lines. After years of wear and tear, these materials can develop significant corrosion, cracking, breaking, root intrusion and even collapse. This is why we recommend ordering a sewer scope inspection along with your standard home inspection.
This section has many similarities to the Fruitdale/Applewood Villages area. You’ll find a plethora of mid-century neighborhoods sprinkled with some fun outdoor recreation options – most notably North Henry Lee Reservoir and Anderson Park.
Though homes in this area range in eras, the bulk of them were constructed in the 50s and 60s. Our inspectors can expect to encounter many of the same issues noted in the above paragraph.
When it comes to 1950s homes, we are going to be paying close attention to the paint job. It was common for houses to utilize lead-based paint during that time. Therefore if there are portions of the home that appear to have an original paint coat that is chipping, peeling or deteriorating, we will be sure to recommend further evaluation and/or repair.
Asbestos was a common material used during the 50s primarily for insulation purposes. It was later discovered to be a carcinogen and banned in the late 70s. Many owners have updated their homes and eradicated any traces of asbestos. However, our inspectors do occasionally identify signs of asbestos. In these cases, we recommend further evaluation and remediation if necessary.
Another common issue worth noting is pest infestation. There many Colorado critters out there looking for a nice, warm house to call home. That’s why we are always on the look out for pest such as mice, rats, spiders, bats, birds etc. We even offer a specialized pest inspection service that involves putting the microscope on every nook and cranny of the building in search of any uninvited guests.
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Once we travel east of Wadsworth Blvd, we find ourselves in the east most section of Wheat Ridge. This region has a good mix of single family homes spanning from the 1920s all the way to brand new builds (at the time of this writing).
Like the other parts of Wheat Ridge, this section offers access to a number of shops, restaurants, and outdoor amenities. Some notable nearby spots include Sloan’s Lake Park, the Edgewater Public Market and the famous Lakeside Amusement Park.
When it comes to home inspections in 100+ year homes, there are always a number defects we keep watch for. The foundations of these dwellings have seen their fair share of wear and tear. So we make sure to meticulously inspect the structure, keeping watch for signs of damage or instability.
1920s homes also tend to have outdated electrical. Knob and tube wiring was a common method used during this era. However it is now obsolete and considered a safety hazard. While many of these older homes have had electrical updates, we still see knob and tube from time to time. We also frequently find ungrounded outlets and no GFCI outlets, both of which could pose potential shock hazards.
For new builds in the area, we are obviously not going to see the same issues as in 1920s homes! Some may even think that a newly constructed house does not need to be inspected at all. On the contrary, even in new homes, things can get overlooked and mistakes can be made. We approach new builds with our same tried and true process – a thorough evaluation of the whole interior and exterior.
Wheat Ridge Home Inspections
Wheat Ridge is a great Colorado city with a wide array of housing options and plenty to do. Its variety of beautiful, safe neighborhoods combined with a number of schools makes it an ideal spot to raise a family. Also for those professionals who commute to city, Wheat Ridge is just a few minutes from Denver.
If you are considering making the move to the Denver metro area, Wheat Ridge might be the place for you! We encourage you to consult with your agent to find that perfect Wheat Ridge home.