Restoring a historic home or commercial building takes time, money, and usually specialized skills possessed by experienced trade workers. The balance between time and money spent on a historic restoration aren’t necessarily as inversely related as they are in a typical renovation or construction project.
Some historic building restorations can be completed in 6 months or less. Other times, it may take more than a year to finish your restoration to your specifications. In this blog, we’ll discuss factors that can affect how long your historic restoration takes.
Specialized labor and materials
Building methods, materials used, and design tastes naturally evolve. Structural and finish materials in a historic building often differ from those used today. Finding direct replacements and qualified labor can be a challenge depending on the time of year and the area you’re in.
In a city like Washington D.C. where many historic restorations take place each year, specialized labor and materials can be easier to find than in a more rural setting. One of the first things your general contractor will want to discuss with you before starting a restoration will be how much of the original appearance you’ll want to restore or maintain.
Necessary upgrades, repairs, or new infrastructure
It’s normal for older buildings to need significant repairs or safety upgrades. This is especially true for buildings that have been neglected for some time. Structural beams or foundations may be failing, lead pipes may need to be replaced throughout the building, or you may have to work with the city to repair a damaged sewer connection.
Often these kinds of repairs will have to be completed before the structure is safe enough for other restoration work to begin. To spot potential hang-ups, you’ll want to review your inspection report with your general contractor.
Special permit or permission requirements
Here in the Washington D.C. area, we love our historic buildings. And not just those around the National Mall–our historic neighborhoods get a lot of their charm from the beautiful historic homes and buildings that line the streets. For this reason, organizations and rules exist to protect historic structures and ensure they remain a part of our city.
Some buildings are in the National Register of Historic Places. Others may have a local historic designation or fall within historic district boundaries. Navigating varying levels of restrictions is something your local general contractor can help with. Through our 25 years, we’ve learned the many ins and outs of pulling permits for historic restorations in the D.C. neighborhoods.
The fastest way to complete your historic restoration is by calling us today
The bottom line is that the sooner you begin, the sooner your historic restoration will be complete. Start by giving us a call today to discuss what you have in mind. We can help you get your bearings and lay out next steps toward beginning work.