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The Adam and Eric Team

Orange County Real Estate

By Adam Brett | Agent in Fullerton, CA

HISTORIC HOMES and Tips for Remodelers

HISTORIC HOMES and Tips for Remodelers

Remodeling older American homes presents a unique set of challenges to a remodeler, testing his skills, resources, and sometimes patience. For a homeowner, updating a historically designated home can cost more relative to building new, but the reward is a beautiful, unique home as well as a healthy financial return.

According to a 2009 report of property values in San Diego, in that city, a home’s value increased by 3.8 percent when a historical property was located within 250 feet, and 1.6 percent when a historical property was within 250 and 500 feet away.  Across the United States, the values of historic buildings and homes located in or near historic districts—of which there are now more than two thousand—appreciate significantly faster than the market average, according to the U.S. National Park Service.

Savvy remodelers and homeowners interested in preserving a piece of America’s heritage see significant benefits from historic properties, provided they’re willing to deal with the extra steps and surprises that can arise along the way.  (Kevin B. Day)


Dan McKeithen's Tips for Remodelers of Historic Homes

  • Be mindful of the difference between restoration (returning something to its original form) and renovation (altering, adding to, or enhancing the original), and be aware of municipal or community architectural guidelines that apply.
  • Utilize local resources like archived permit documents, historical plans, preservation societies, architectural libraries, etc.
  • Respect the original design intent and architectural detail of the structure—that doesn't mean it can't be  varied, it just means changes should be made in a sensitive way.
  • Partner with the right Architect for the project.
  • Be aware of scale—in renovating older homes, it is  important to maintain a proper scale—in any added spaces. This applies to both room size and ceiling height. This is often critical in creating additions with a seamless flow from the original home.
  • Stay flexible and be creative in confronting the  unexpected. This can often lead to unique solutions or distinct features that  enhance the historical nature of the structure.
  • Always consider carefully the integration of  technology and trendy design—these elements can dramatically enhance a project but should not be in conflict with the style of the original structure.
  • Document, document, document: Take loads of pictures  at every stage (before, during and after)—this will help document the provenance of the property and provide the homeowner with valuable information for the future maintenance and preservation of the structure.


By Donna Ferrell, Broker,  Thu Apr 21 2011, 01:34
Nice, thanks for sharing :)

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