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What to Know Before Tackling a Historic Building Restoration?


Are you thinking about accepting a historic building restoration project? It’s not an easy decision to make since those projects are specifics and different than others. You need to consider the location history, the structure’s age and materials, and other risks that could come with the job. Here are the major things to consider before tackling a historic building restoration.

1. Learn More About the Community


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The first thing on the list is to do some groundwork about the community. Your goal is to learn about the location and community specifics. 

Are there are any regulations and building codes you have to honor? Even if there aren’t the exact codes to follow, does the community have particular expectations for that structure? You don’t want to risk the locals hating you for doing the renovation poorly or destroying an integral part of their heritage.

2. Surround Yourself with Experts

Here is another fantastic piece of advice that could help you – employ experts from different areas and ask them to help identify any potential risks. You can benefit from having experts throughout the project, too. 

For example, a reliable contractor is perfect for estimating how long the project will take and what will be the material cost. It could prove useful to use a construction consultant such as March Construction who did a a historic building restoration for The Union Hotel in Flemington, New Jersey. 

It’s much better to invest a bit more in experts and identify any problems on time than spending a fortune on dealing with issues along the way.

3. Is the Building Capable of Supporting Modern Amenities?

Modernization is probably the primary thing that went through your head when thinking about a historic building restoration. The moment you saw the property, you started thinking about how modern appliances, crown moldings, and cabinets would fit.

The age of historic buildings is the reason why you should be cautious when deciding which modern amenities to implement. For example, a structural system might have a problem supporting top-level appliances. That’s why you shouldn’t forget about the importance of strengthening the structure’s integrity as much as possible. 

Does your budget allow placing new pipes or other installations? Do you need to perform other alterations to ensure the building’s structure fits your project? You might need to adjust project details to ensure they meet the property’s specifics.

4. Stay in Line with the Building’s Character


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If you decide to accept a historic renovation, it’s vital to stay in line with the property’s characters. First, inform yourself about the location’s history. Is it the first structure of that type in that area? Was the building a home of an important person for the community, or did a critical event occur there in the past?

You don’t want to distance the building entirely from its history. That’s why combining modern and classic features might be a smart idea. You can consider designing a section of the property to replicate the time when the structure was first built.

The experts would suggest keeping whatever you can from the original building. Did you notice that some materials are in good shape? If the answer is yes, don’t hesitate to keep them. And if you need to replace specific structures and areas, try to replicate the original. It might not be possible to use the same materials, but sticking to the same colors and appearance is a wise idea.

Final Thoughts

You should think carefully before accepting a historic renovation project. These tasks can be exciting because of their uniqueness, but it’s vital to do everything right. Start by getting to know the building’s history and specifics. Keep the original structure as much as possible – even if you find some quirky things, learn to love them if they don’t require changing. The community will appreciate your efforts to save history and ensure that the property will be there for at least another generation.

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