There’s a sense of pride that comes with owning a historic home. You revel in its storied past, marvel at its architectural details, and respect the craftsmanship that allowed it to remain standing for so long.

Ownership also comes with a unique set of challenges, such as how to best restore and rehabilitate your home.

Here are some tips:

    1. Know the home’s historyIt’s important to know, who lived in it. If possible to develop a good understanding of its architecture and era, as well as the current condition of its materials and finishes. Likewise, be aware of building codes, historic district designations, property- insurance, and other regulations that may affect your plans to restore and rehabilitate home.
    2. Take a look at existing renovationsExamine the design, quality, materials, and overall craftsmanship of the home in its original condition, along with any improvements that have been made to it. Consider retaining compatible changes that have been made to the interiors and exteriors. You may also want to remove poorly designed and executed changes.


    1. Understand the difference between restoration and rehabilitation Restoration is the process of returning a home to its original appearance during a specific time period. Strict restorations, which eliminate all elements that were not present during the specified time period, are unusual for homes. This is because most owners prefer to retain modern upgrades like heating and plumbing, as well as later additions that contribute to the home’s character and history.

      Rehabilitation refers to the process of making an older home functional for modern living while at the same time preserving its historic and architectural qualities. A rehabilitated home always has up-to-date electrical systems and other modern conveniences.

    2. Pay attention to cohesionDuring rehabilitation, any changes you make must accommodate modern technologies and lifestyles. But be discerning. Changes must be non-intrusive — they must cohere with the home’s overall design. make care not to let alterations destroy historically and architecturally significant elements.

      Keep in mind that you should be able to tell additions apart from original features. This way, the home’s history is more -visible and intact. Avoid design additions that make the home appear as if it dates back to a different architectural or time period.

    3. Start smallIf you’ve never undertaken a restoration or rehabilitation project before, either choose a small home or make small changes at a time_ This will make the whole process more manageable. Buying top-grade materials and renovating less will help you make the most of your time and resources. It will also keep the process from becoming too overwhelming.
    4. Work with expertsLook for a local historian or contractor with extensive knowledge on restoring historic homes. They can give you valuable insight on the restoration process and the amount of work that needs to be done. A contractor, in particular, can give you an estimate of the costs.

      You -won’t need to bring an inspector right away — at most, an inspector will tell you if a home needs to be updated, but they will not be able to give specific details. For more information, take a look at the Secretary of Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties.


Looking for a historic home in Bayfield? Call us, Windseeker Realty LLC, at (715)779-5000 or send an email to [mail_to email=””][/mail_to]

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