Considering a Historic Home in Wake Forest NC? Become Familiar With a COA!

So you’ve just purchased that historic home in Wake Forest NC that you have always dreamed about or maybe you already own a historic home in Wake Forest NC – either way, a Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) is something that you should be familiar with.

What is a Certificate of Appropriateness?  A Certificate of Appropriateness is a permit that allows you physically alter exterior surfaces and areas within a Historic District.  A COA will most likely be issued when it has been determined that the proposed improvements conform with the overall historic character of the District.  You must obtain a COA PRIOR TO any work beginning.  A COA will have specific quidelines set forth to determine how the work will be done as well as set parameters to operate within.

For instance,  you want to paint your white historic home in Wake Forest NC a different color that perhaps you think will evoke a more Victorian “feel”.  Before you can do so you must apply for and receive a Certificate of Appropriateness.  Should you want to paint your home the SAME color then you would not need a COA.  (Always better to be safe though and call your local Historic Preservation Committee)

Some additional examples of what MAY not need a COA are:

  • Interior renovations or remodels that do not affect the exterior of the home.
  • Planting of shrubs, flower, trees

What is most important though are the types of work that DO need a Certificate of Appropriateness.  Here are a few examples:

  • Moving of a structure
  • Demolition of a structure
  • Conversion to handicap accessible
  • Fences, pools, tennis courts
  • ANY change to the roof line of the structure
  • any addition of an outlying building such as a shed or garage

Keep in mind that even if the scope of your future project does not entail a Building Permit you still need a Certificate of Appropriateness.

Again, for any specific questions regarding your City or Town it would be best to contact your Historic Preservation Committee.

While purchasing and owning a historic home is a wonderful achievement and a life long dream for many – it is best to remember that historic homeownership can be drastically different from that of non-historic homeownership.  Due to the delicate nature of these properties and their significant contribution to history they have to be handled with care which is why there are so many safeguards in place to ensure that they continue their legacy.

If you are currently searching for historic homes in Wake Forest NC please let me know!  There are quite a few currently listed and I would be happy to share their history with you.  You can reach me at 919.649.6128 or simply send me an email!  To discover more that Wake Forest NC has to offer you can visit:

Life in Wake Forest NC

Discover Wake Forest NC

Wake Forest House Chick

 

Historic Homes and a Certificate of Appropriateness – Do You Need One?

Soo you’ve just purchased that historic home in Wake Forest NC that you have always dreamed about or maybe you already own a historic home in Wake Forest NC – either way, a Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) is something that you should be familiar with.

What is a Certificate of Appropriateness?  A Certificate of Appropriateness is a permit that allows you physically alter exterior surfaces and areas within a Historic District.  A COA will most likely be issued when it has been determined that the proposed improvements conform with the overall historic character of the District.  You must obtain a COA PRIOR TO any work beginning.  A COA will have specific quidelines set forth to determine how the work will be done as well as set parameters to operate within. 

For instance,  you want to paint your white historic home in Wake Forest NC a different color that perhaps you think will evoke a more Victorian “feel”.  Before you can do so you must apply for and receive a Certificate of Appropriateness.  Should you want to paint your home the SAME color then you would not need a COA.  (Always better to be safe though and call your local Historic Preservation Committee)

Some additional examples of what MAY not need a COA are:

  • Interior renovations or remodels that do not affect the exterior of the home.
  • Planting of shrubs, flower, trees

What is most important though are the types of work that DO need a Certificate of Appropriateness.  Here are a few examples:

  • Moving of a structure
  • Demolition of a structure
  • Conversion to handicap accessible
  • Fences, pools, tennis courts
  • ANY change to the roof line of the structure
  • any addition of an outlying building such as a shed or garage

Keep in mind that even if the scope of your future project does not entail a Building Permit you still need a Certificate of Appropriateness.

Again, for any specific questions regarding your City or Town it would be best to contact your Historic Preservation Committee.

While purchasing and owning a historic home is a wonderful achievement and a life long dream for many – it is best to remember that historic homeownership can be drastically different from that of non-historic homeownership.  Due to the delicate nature of these properties and their significant contribution to history they have to be handled with care which is why there are so many safeguards in place to ensure that they continue their legacy.

If you are currently searching for historic homes in Wake Forest NC please let me know!  There are quite a few currently listed and I would be happy to share their history with you.  You can reach me at 919.649.6128 or simply send me an email!  To discover more that Wake Forest NC has to offer you can visit:

Life in Wake Forest NC

Discover Wake Forest NC

Wake Forest House Chick

 

Seven Sisters Inn Petition

Seven Sisters Inn

Seven Sisters Inn

I wanted to share a story that I just came across from Ocala.com

The Seven Sisters Inn is a historic home on the National Historic Register c. 1888.  It has been voted “Inn of the Month” by Country Inns Bed and Breakfast as well as the “Best Restoration Project”.

This Inn has been up for sale and faces foreclosure if not sold by April 7, 2009.  Ghost Hunters (T.A.P.S.) has featured the inn on it’s program for paranormal activity and it seems as though that appearance has garnered interest from other paranormal research groups around the country.  As a result, a petition has been created to help save the inn.  Please visit Save The Seven Sisters Inn to view the petition and see how you can help!

Water Damaged Historic Homes – What To Do….

Unfortunately, this post may come at a time when the advice is needed.  Our friends in New Orleans, surrounding Louisiana and Texas are again in the path of a storm that has the potential to destroy the efforts over the last three years to restore the beautiful area.  My thoughts and prayers are with everyone in Gustav’s path and the following storm, Hannah

Regardless of where you live there is the potential to have your historic property affected by water.  While the initial onslaught of water may be quick and swift the aftermath is a slow and time-consuming project.  Some tips and advice for drying out your home are:

  • Natural ventilation and a SLOW drying process is the ONLY way to go.  Irreparable damage can result by the use of heat forced air.
  • Before beginning the process of drying out your building you must first address any health or safety concerns.  Always assume that power lines are active!  Even if the power is out in your surrounding area ALWAYS turn off the power to the house at the connection.  You also want to check for any natural gas leaks and be sure to turn it off at it’s source as well.  Keep in mind that floodwaters are most often contaminated with sewage and/or animal waste.  It is imperative that you protect yourself with goggles, face masks, and gloves.  Everything will need to be disinfected.
  • Be sure to photograph all damage to the property prior to clean up.  Please refer to Hurricanes and Historic Properties for additional tips on reporting damage.
  • Make temporary repairs to the property such as tarps on damaged roofs and windows to help prevent additional water from getting inside the building.  Some materials to consider are tarpaulin, 30- or 90-pound felt paper, and plywood covered with tarpaper.

Water damage will affect a building in three ways:

  1. Materials:  Wallboard can disintegrate; woods can swell, warp and rot;  electrical components can malfunction, short out and cause fires.
  2. Floodwaters are contaminated and cause more damage than rainwater.  The unknown contaminents in the floodwater can and will touch everything in a building and it will all need to be cleaned and disinfected.
  3. Moisture will attract harmful mold, mildew and fungus which promotes rot and causes serious health conditions.

When starting the drying out process you should:

  • Start at the top of the building – the attic!  If you have insultation that has been exposed (and chances are you do) it should be removed immediately and disposed of propertly.  Once insulation becomes wet most of it is then ineffective.  If it is not removed it can retain moisture and cause further damage to other materials such as wood, masonry and metals.
  • If you have items stored in your attic remove them.  Not only to dry them out but the additional weight of the water can cause cracks in your ceilings plaster.
  • Be sure to open all windows and vents in your attic and SHOULD your power be safe turn on your attic fan.
  • Inspect your ceilings!  Ceilings can hold trapped water that can lead to a collapse.  If you find areas of a ceiling that are bulging you will have to release the water by drilling holes in the ceiling to provide a release.  If possible capture the water in buckets instead of allowing it to simply spill out onto the floor below. 
  • Walls – Plaster walls can be saved if damaged ONLY by rainwater!  You will need to remove baseboards and drill holes in the bottom of the plaster to allow water to drain out.  Remove any insulation that has gotten wet and allow the walls to dry out completely.
  • Open windows in ALL rooms.  Even the rooms that appear not to have been affected.  Windows fans will help to circulate fresh air throughout the home encouraging the drying out process.
  • All wood features of the home such as trim work, doors, mantels, stairs, will need to be washed to remove any silt or mud.   Mold and mildew must be cleaned with a mixture of Clorox and water or a commercially avaiable disinfectant. 
  • Pay special attention to any historic wall coverings.  You will want to maintain a sample for research when the time comes to restore the property.
  • All wet furnishings, rugs, and carpets must be removed from the property.  If they remain in the property they will only increase the amount of moisture in the property therefore extending the drying out process and possibly making the potential for mold and mildew worse.
  • If wood floors are involved they must be cleaned with fresh water.  While boards may begin to warp during the drying process there is always the possibility that they will return to their original shape once the process is complete.  The use of weights or shoring the floor may aid in the retention of the boards shape.  If thee are any vapor barriers under the floor you need to remove them to encourage full circulation of air.  Drying floor boards can take several months for the to completely be dry.
  • If you have a basement and it has flooded do not try and pump it out immediately.  Keep in mind that the surrounding ground is saturated and the additional water will contribute to instability which could result in a basement wall cracking or collapsing.  Once surrounding waters have started to subside you can start to pump your basement in stages going only 2-3 feet, waiting overnight and then repeating the process.
  • Furnishings, art work, books, photographs, etc should be addressed by a constultant well versed in restoration so that damage can be minimized.

The key to drying out a property is air circulation.  Remember, DO NOT use heat forced air to dry a building out – it will only cause further damage and in most cases ireperable damage.

Again, my thoughts and prayers are with those on the Gulf Coast.  I would like to take this opportunity to promote a charity that I have contributed to and firmly believe in.  They needed us once, they still need us -let’s just hope that it doesn’t get worse.  Make It Right 9  I implore you to visit the site and should you be so inclined to make a contribution. 

Hurricanes and Historic Properties

With Hurricane Season in mid-swing there are many properties that are in harms way.  While it is heartbreaking to see historic properties affected by a hurricane it does happen.  I can think first of New Orleans and the surrounding areas when Hurricane Katrina devastated an entire region.  While a catastrophic storm brings a whole set of it’s own issues even a tropical storm can cause damage.  Here are some things to know if your historic property is subjected to a storm.

  • Each SHPO should have a “Damage Report” that can be filled out and sent in.  Some basic questions that you may find on the report are:  Name and location of your property.  Historic District your property is located in.  What kind of damage did the building sustain?  Will all of the damage be covered by your insurance?  If not, how much money do you anticipate having to spend out of pocket?  Can the SHPO be of assistance in assessing the damage and advising you on repairs?
  • Your state specific HPO can provide technical restoration assistance such as vital records regarding your property, guidance in seeking qualified restoration architects and contractors, on-site inspections and free phone consultations. 
  • Your home does NOT have to be on the register (but must be at least 50 years old) however, special consideration will be given to properties that are already on the register.
  • The Office of State Archeology can be invaluable when assistance is needed with exposed once-buried features such as old wells, foundations, privies and cellars.   (Preceeding link is for North Carolina)
  • Emergency Procedures for State Tax Credits following a natural disaster are usually implemented in each state.  In North Carolina there is a 30 day window once an area has been declared as a disaster area in which a historic property owner can receive verbal approval for emergency repairs provided the property qualifies for rehabilitation tax credits.  Be very careful – very detailed information is needed following the verbal approval.  Photographs of damage and detailed damage information is a MUST!

While I sincerely hope that your historic property is NEVER affected by a natural disaster it is always good to be prepared for the aftermath.

If you have any questions or comments please feel free to call me or email me anytime!