Tips for Restoring Your Historic Home

By: Horizon Bank Last Updated: May 13, 2012

Horizon-building-1888-300x189There are many great historic homes in the Michiana region, and, while these homes are full of charm and style, if you live in one, you know that oftentimes they could use restoration or renovations to meet your modern needs.

Historic property owners have to often make decisions and considerations that are unique from owners of properties built more recently. Here are some tips to consider as you look to renovate and restore your historic home.

1. Look into Local Laws and Regulations

Oftentimes if you live in an older home, you are beholden to certain zoning laws, community guidelines and historic commission regulations that can change between states, municipalities, neighborhoods and even, in some cases, from street to street. Usually regulations only apply to exterior spaces, but it is best to check with your town to find out what you can and cannot do with your historic home.

2. Work with a Contractor Specializing in Historic Restoration

As is the case with other services, you want to try to find a builder who has experience working on historic buildings. They will be better equipped to grasp the nature of your individual project, work around the parameters you define and understand local regulations that may affect your restoration. Before hiring someone, ask to see samples of work they have done in properties built in a similar era or style.

3. Research Your Local History

Head to your town library or local historic society to find out more information about your community and the role homes like yours played in its development. Ask to see archival photographs and antique newspapers from the time your home was built. You may be surprised by what you find. If you are new to a community, this can be a great way to get to know more about the area and its history. More importantly, you can also learn about significant historic features of your home that you may wish to preserve or highlight as you plan your renovations.

If you are looking to restore your historic home and need help with financing, visit your local Horizon Bank location for more information.

This post is part of a series on home equity. Take a look at our post on Renovating Part of Your Home to be Rented.