My husband and I have now invested in and renovated two historic buildings in our town. Both projects were interesting, challenging, and fulfilling. There are certainly many things to consider before diving into any type of historic project.
🚧 SCOPE. It is important to get a full understanding of the condition of the building you are considering. You will need to consult with engineers, city officials, the historic commission, inspectors, asbestos experts, architects, and many others who can help you get the full scope of the work needed.
🚧 DUE DILIGENCE. You must do your homework with your city, county, and historic commission. Understanding what you plan to do with the building will be paramount for these entities to either approve or reject your project.
🚧 BUDGET. Once you know what it is going to take to get the building the way you need it, determining a budget will be important. Historic renovations often go over budget because there are so many variables and unknown items.
🚧 LENDERS. Not every lender will loan money for a historic project. Identifying early on who will partner with you in this venture will need to be established.
🚧 LIMITATIONS. Because you will be dealing with a historic project, there will be limitations regarding exterior restrictions, adding on, or making any significant changes to the building.
🚧 CONTRACTORS. This will be one of the most difficult areas to establish. You will need to highly vet each and every contractor you use on a historic project. Renovation work is very different from standard construction methods. One bad contractor can completely ruin and hold up a project like this.
🚧 TIMELINE. Going into a historic project will be very different. Most likely, you will need to pad your timeline because of the unexpected issues you will encounter.
No doubt, taking on historic renovation projects is adventurous. The more work and details you can discover early on, the better. When you take your time to plan, the execution can run much more smoothly.
Best of luck if you choose to take on a project like this. And, feel free to reach out. We loved being a part of restoring history in our town and there is a ton of satisfaction when you complete your project!