Historic Home Restoration and Rehabilitation – Part IV

Historic rehabilitation is a subject that I promised to touch on and I am excited to provide you with some avenues for research.  This is quite a complex area and I will do my best to highlight the important points and suggest additional resources as we go along.

I hope that you have enjoyed my previous posts regarding historic homes and that you continue to find this information relevant in your quest for a historic property.  If you missed any of my previous posts here they are:

“Rehabilitation” is defined as “the process of returning a property to a state of utility, through repair or alteration, which makes possible an efficient contemporary use while preserving those portions and features of the property which are significant to its historic, architectural, and cultural values.”  ~  from The Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation

The Secretary of the Interior’s Standards of Rehabilitation is the MOST comprehensive resource I have yet to find for guidelines when rehabilitating a property.  The guidelines are broken down into several categories:

  • Masonry, Wood, Metals
  • Roofs, Windows, Entrances/Porches, Storefronts
  • Structural Systems, Spaces/Features/Finishes, Mechanical Systems
  • Site, Setting
  • Energy, New Additions, Accessibility, Health/Safety

and lastly, Standard Guidelines which will be the focus of this post.

The Four Key Components to the Standard Guidelines are:

  1. Identify, Retain and Preserve:  The form and detailing of those architectural materials and features that are important in defining the historic character.
  2. Protect and Maintain:  Once characteristics are identified the next obvious step would be to protect and maintain what is existing.  It would stand to reason that protection is the first logical step before proceeding with any work on a historic property.  Protecting can be as simple as cleaning gutters, caulking, rust removal, etc.  It is during this phase where much of the present physical condition of a property can be assessed.
  3. Repair:  After physical assessments are complete and steps have been taken to protect the property repair can commence on the property.  This is where the individual sections (mentioned above) of The Secretary of the Interior’s Standards of Rehabilitation come into play.  The sections are extremely detailed for which materials can be used and the extent of the work that can be performed.
  4. Replace:  Only when the level of deterioration or damage of materials precludes repair can complete replacement be considered. (for example, an exterior cornice; an interior staircase; or a complete porch or storefront).

Whether you are contemplating a historic property rehabilitation project, starting one or in the middle of one The Secretary of the Interior’s Standards of Rehabilitation is one resource that you MUST have. Other resources available and encouraged are:

Be sure to check back soon for the next post in this series that is near and dear to my heart.  With the middle of hurricane season upon us I thought it might be beneficial to give you some resources should your historic property be affected by a natural disaster.

If you have any questions regarding historic homes or are ready to start your search please feel free to email me!  I would be delighted to help.


Is Your Future Historic Home On This List?

Here are a few more homes that are available in both Wake County and Franklin County.  Again, this does not represent all that is available but is merely a short list with some choices.  Enjoy!

416 N. College Street Owned by Capital Area Preservation this Circa 1930 home is a stunning beauty!  This home was moved from the seminary to it’s current location is Historic Wake Forest.  Inside unfinished but has some original trimwork and hardwood floors.  3bedrooms / 1 bath and over 1500 sq ft with additional 700 sq ft that can be finished.  $159,900.00

613 N. Main Street Impressive, fully restored Circa 1910 home located in Historic Wake Forest!  10′ ceilings, hardwood floors, updated kitchen, new windows and fresh exterior and interior paint.  Huge front porch, patio with pergola, brick sidewalks and driveway and fenced!  5 bedrooms / 3 baths and over 2600 sq ft.  $360,000.00

1428 Mays Crossroads  Stunning plantation home Circa 1817 with 20 acres making this ideal for a horse farm!  Lovingly restored and maintained with heart of pine floors, original trimwork, 4 fireplaces, updated plumbing and electrical and stocked pond.  4 bedrooms / 4 baths with over 3500 sq ft.  $1,250,000.00

These are just a few more exceptional examples of what is available in the Wake Forest and Northern Wake and Franklin County area.  For more details on these properties or to start a search for your historic home please feel free to give me a call or email me.  I would be delighted to help!

Also, if you are seeking more information for the Wake Forest area please be sure to check out Life In Wake Forest

Is A Historic Home Right For You? Part III

Welcome to Part III in a series regarding Historic Homes!  In Is A Historic Home Right For You? Part I we defined what a historic home is and some of the resources available for finding a historic home.  With the basics out of the way we moved on to….

Is A Historic Home Right For You? Part II which highlighted some of the financial resources available as well as incentives for owning a historic home. 

In Part III we will look at the process entailed in having a property designated as a Historic Home.

It is important to note again that the information within these posts regarding Historic Homes are specific to North Carolina.  Please check with your local State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) for information specific to your area.

There are several criteria for a property that should be considered before proceeding with the Study List Application and they are:

The quality of significance in American history, architecture, archaeology, and culture is present in districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects that possess integrity of location, design, setting, materials, workmanship, feeling, and association, and:

  • that are associated with events that have made significant contribution to the broad patterns of our history; or
  • that are associated with the lives of persons significant in our past; or
  • that embody the distinctive characteristics of a type, period, or method of construction, or that represent the work of a master, or that possess high artistic values, or that represent a significant and distinguishable entity whose components may lack individual distinction; or
  • that have yielded, or may be likely to yield, information important in prehistory or history.

Moving beyond that there are exceptions to the criteria which are too numerous to list.  However, should your property fall within the general criteria mentioned above then I would highly suggest that you complete a Study List Application for your property.

A Study List Application is the formal process by which you can submit your property to your SHPO for them to evaluate your home for designation.  You must provide photos of your property as well as detailed information regarding your property on the Application.  Filling out the form DOES NOT constitute your property being designated.  Once your Study List Application is submitted it will be reviewed by the NRAC (National Register Advisory Committee) which is comprised of professional historians, archaeologists, architectural historians, and architects as well as other citizens having a demonstrated interest and expertise in historic preservation.  If it is of the opinion of the NRAC that your property could be potentially eligible for the National Register it will then be placed on a Study List.  Upon your property succesfully making it to the Study List phase the NRAC will authorize HPO staff to work with you to coordinate a formal nomination of the property to the National Register.

Once a property is adeqately reviewed and ready for National Nomination the services of a private consultant are most commonly employed to navigate the process.  Private owners MAY prepare the nomination themselves and are capable of doing so via a packet available to them with instructions, forms and sample nominations for guidelines.  Substandard nominations will NOT be submitted to Washington and the Historic Preservation Office will NOT make revisions to your application.

After a nomination is reviewed by the NRAC and recommends the property be submitted to the National Register it is signed off by the SHPO Officer and forwarded to the Keeper of the National Register where the nomination will be reviewed and a decision will be made to list or not to list the property.  A decision will be made no less than 15 days and no more than 45 days from the date of receipt.  Should your property be listed on the National Register the Historic Preservation Office will notify you and provide you with a certificate stating that the property has been listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

While this process may seem time-consuming it is well worth itDetails are key and cooperation with the local SHPO is a must. 

Join me for Part IV coming soon!  In Part IV we will explore “Restoration“.  Quite an interesting topic!

For more information regarding historic homes in My Back Yard…. please feel free to call or email anytime!