The Build Up Blog

Renovating Historic Homes: 2 Challenges

While we often talk about new home construction at Hebert Design/Build, that doesn't mean we won't work on older homes, including those with "historic" designations.Antebellum house exterior.jpeg
Often, these homes have been in the same family for generations, so it's a great honor to work on them. But they do have unique challenges, two of which we're bringing up here. If you're thinking about buying a historic home, or if you know someone who owns one and is thinking of renovating in 2018, be sure to share this with them.
Challenge #1: Plan for longer lead times.
If you have a historic home, you could easily add another three to six months to your planning time.
Because if you're doing an addition or a major exterior renovation, you have to go through the local commission and get approval. And sometimes it can get even more complicated than that.
For example, on a project we did last year, we had to go through the local commission. Then, we had to go through the state commission, because there were flood issues. In fact, the rules had changed enough that the local building inspectors didn't know what to do. They had to inquire about interpretation of the rules. It was quite a process to get what we wanted, and, of course, it added time to the schedule.
Challenge #2: Beware of wiring.
The other thing you need to keep in mind regarding older homes is wiring. Any time you're doing projects in a historic home, you're probably going to run into some old wiring. You want to expose and eliminate as much of the old wiring as possible. Most people don't realize it's there, and in some cases, it can be very dangerous.
Thinking about a renovation for 2018? Now's the time to start making plans. Let's talk.
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Tags: home renovation tips, Remodeling RI