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How Old Is My House?

Two clues to your house’s age

FH99JAU_2CLUES_01-2Family Handyman
Have ever wondered how old a house is? Whether you're buying or selling—or just want to know what you have—here are two hints you can use to pinpoint a house's age.

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Two clues to how old your house is

Check the toilet for stamped manufacture dates

Find the oldest toilet and look for dates stamped under the lid or inside the tank.

Look inside the toilet tank

Sometimes there’s a date stamped under the lid, sometimes it’s inside the tank.

Data sheets don’t always show the actual age of a house. Whether you’re shopping for a fixer-upper, selling a fixed-upper or just curious how old your house is, here are two very simple tricks that will help you get at the truth.

First, find the electrical panel in the house. Not many of these panels get replaced, and the electrician who installed the panel (or the inspector who originally inspected the electrical installation) probably marked a date on it.

A second clue can be found in the toilet (actually, in the tank of the toilet). It’s fairly rare for a fixer-upper not to have at least one original toilet, unless it was built before 1920. To find the date, lift the lid off the tank. You will find a date stamped on both the lid and the inside of the tank (see photo). This date will usually fall within a few months of the home’s actual age.