ARCHITECTURAL FORUM - Restoring a historic home - Richard H. Dodd
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11 Jul ARCHITECTURAL FORUM – Restoring a historic home

This is such a vast subject so I’ll only touch on some considerations . . . 

If you live in a historic or period style home you appreciate that style however, you might find it lacks some modern functional amenities; amenities you’d like to incorporate it. If your home is on the Historic Registry or if it’s located in historical district you may be limited as to changes you can make. These types of restrictions are often offset by a tax benefit.

    Homes on The Historic Registry are governed by codes and guidelines as to what you can do.

These codes and guidelines must be obtained.

    If your home is in a historical district any addition or remodel will have to conform to adopted guidelines. Recently, a homeowner in Brea, California was required to conform to the home’s Provincial style by replacing a previously changed entry door before being accepted into the Brea Historical District.

    In 1998 the State of California adopted a Historical Building Code. This code provides regulations for preservation, restoration, rehabilitation, relocation or reconstruction of buildings or structures designated as qualified historical buildings. Even if your home is not designated formally as a historic home, this code provides excellent guidelines.

    It will be necessary to bring your home up to current building codes and this includes existing utilities. Often the electrical wiring will need to be redone and the electrical service capacity increased. Additionally, a structural assessment must be completed. 

    Home exteriors for your particular style should be researched assuring any changes will be in keeping with the desired style. Many suppliers of windows, doors, siding and roofing manufacture components consistent with the great variety of historical styles. Paint companies can supply color palettes for a specific style.

    Interior products such as light fixtures, flooring, paneling, wallpaper and even tile are available. For example, Period appliances with modern functional features are available thru may choose to look for hardware from suppliers like Restoration Hardware or and soon discover your search has taken you to other unique websites and suppliers. 

Maintaining the integrity of a late 1800s Queen Ann style or a 1930s Art Moderne home is not inexpensive but it can be an incredibly rewarding project.

Begin by searching for an architect and interior designer familiar with the restoration historical homes and enjoy the process.

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