A home is deemed historic or “architecturally significant” by the National Register of Historic Places—or by the local historic board—if it exemplifies a signature architectural style, captures the essence of a given time period, or is associated with famous people from the past.
Also included in this category are homes located in neighborhoods designated as historic districts.
In keeping with the home’s true nature and original construction, there are restrictions on renovations that homeowners must follow. Special permits need to be attained and because of the special requirements, there are usually extra costs involved.
Here are some of the typical restrictions and extra costs:
Additions- Rarely are homeowners permitted to add footage to historic homes, including extra stories.
Windows, shutters and roofs- Since house exteriors such as windows, shutters and roofs embody the original architecture or design style, they are to be preserved and can only be replaced in kind.
Paint- “Painted ladies” are Victorian and Edwardian houses painted in three or more colors that embellish or enhance their architectural details. Painted Ladies are known for their vibrant colors and intricate detailing. Some preservationists use the term polychrome for the style.
Taxes- Although you may qualify for tax benefits for investing in a home or in a district where preservation and restoration are priorities, tax levies for merely living in a historic neighborhood may be higher than other neighborhoods.
Utility bills- Before you seal the deal, study the previous year’s energy bills. It may cost you significantly more to heat and cool an older home than a new one.
Review the Standards for Rehabilitation of Historic Buildings imposed by local and state laws on owners of historic structures. Some remodeling and expansion plans may not be able to fulfilled on historic homes.
The beauty and charm of historic homes is very appealing. The architecture and design of the home and the neighborhood is distinct and very valuable. In addition, there can be tax credits and lower interest loans for preserving and restoring historic buildings.
Contact A Professional Contractor
A professional contractor, like Jeff DeNicola of Jeff’s Carpentry, with experience in dealing with historical and other architectural style buildings will provide advice and guidance on projects for your home or office. Attention to detail is important when improving and restoring your home or office. Call today!