Popular TV shows allow audiences to vicariously experience the excitement and challenge of restoring a run-down English country house, fulfilling one’s dream while at the same time taking special care to preserve important historical features.
Too hasty changes could damage historically significant features or land you in trouble with the local preservation board, but there are tax incentives and grant money available from the government that can assist your efforts for historical restoration.
History of the Home
Historic houses add charm and character to a neighborhood, but can present unique challenges. If you own an older home that needs updating, hire an expert familiar with historic properties. Their expertise can ensure compliance with preservation rules while protecting its character.
Historical homes were typically constructed using raw materials that no longer exist today, so it is crucial that each aspect of your house be carefully assessed to ascertain which items can be salvaged and reused to keep its character. This process often requires extensive research; for this reason it is best left in the hands of professionals who can make informed decisions for your project.
As part of your restoration efforts, the first step should be researching your home’s history. A great place to begin would be your local library’s archives with pictures, maps, and newspaper articles about your neighborhood or house. Also contact local historical societies or preservation foundations that specialize in your house/neighborhood history for additional insights into its heritage.
Aesthetics of the Home
Historic properties require special care in order to look their best and preserve their rich histories. Restoring historic properties requires extensive work; however, this process can be simplified by mixing modern renovations with nods to their past history.
Of course it can be tempting to highlight the original features of your historic home, but take care not to falsify its historical context. Focus on maintaining raw materials while paying close attention to details like door sconces, fireplace mantles and handrails for best results.
Finding hardware and replacement parts suitable for an old house can be difficult, yet Wood has found an outlet: Zaborski Emporium in Kingston is her main supplier; but she also seeks support from Historic Albany Foundation and Hudson Valley House Parts.
Safety of the Home
Restoring a historic home can be costly, but the investment can pay dividends. Hiring an expert contractor is recommended in order to avoid making major alterations that alter its character; additionally it’s advisable to prioritize preservation of key features by determining which are most vital and then planning any alterations accordingly.
Before embarking on any renovations, it is crucial to contact your local or state historic preservation office. They will let you know whether your home falls within a historic district and require you to follow certain guidelines in the restoration process. Inquiring with other owners of historic homes as well as searching online will help find qualified contractors – this step will guarantee quality work done that lasts.
Maintenance of the Home
Restoring historic buildings may be challenging, but the rewards can be well worth your efforts. Historic homes boast unique character that cannot be found elsewhere. Therefore, working with professionals who understand both modern and historic materials as well as using repairs methods that match up to each building’s era should be key components to its restoration and preservation.
Though it can be tempting to alter an historic home to suit modern living needs, it is crucial that any changes recognize its historical value and preserve its features. Working with an architectural historian is the best way to ensure these features don’t become lost during restoration efforts.
As part of a historic renovation grant application process, it’s also wise to check with local preservation authorities about any restrictions placed upon your house modifications. Otherwise, this could put you in trouble with them or cost you outright grants available for renovation.