The story behind your home offers a fascinating glimpse into the people who lived in it as well as how your home fits into the larger story of your city.
If you want to remodel your historic home's exterior, experts advise visiting your local historic preservation commission. If your home lies within the historic overlay district, these commissions often have authority to set rules not only on the visual aesthetic, but the materials as well.
If you're looking for a historic home renovation guide, the historic commission can be remarkably helpful. They may also be able to help you find local remodelers who are especially skilled at renovating historical properties.
"Many remodelers network with the historical commission so they are extremely familiar with the guidelines," says Kip Faulk, south Louisiana territory sales manager for LP Building Solutions. "Not only do they understand the opportunities and restrictions for such a renovation, but they often know the inspectors so they can help ensure it is a seamless process."
What Makes a Home “Historic”?
Houses on the National Registry of Historic Places operate under different rules. Generally, a historic house includes one or a combination of the following components:
First Steps for Remodeling a Historic Home
Knowing the historical context of your house can help guide your historic home renovations. The Nashville Historical Commission offers this advice for getting started:
If you want to know more about the people who lived in your home, historical commissions advise searching census data, deeds and tax records. Your local library may have old maps, city directories and copies of local newspapers.
Choosing Contractors Who Remodel Historic Homes
All this architectural and historic data can help you and your contractor put together a remodeling plan that celebrates the character and charm of your home. It's another important reason to work with remodelers whose specialty is historic renovation.
“A good remodeler will work with homeowners to take advantage of historic preservation grants and funds,” adds Faulk. “Tax incentives are available to homeowners remodeling historic homes.”
If your home is indeed part of the area’s historic district, the remodeler will have an excellent understanding of the building materials approved by the commission.
Faulk has been invited to speak at the remodelers’ counsel associated with the New Orleans Historic District Landmark Commission (HDLC) on LP® SmartSide® Trim & Siding. It gives contractors the opportunity to dig deeper about technical information, installation and durability, specifically with Faulk speaking about engineered wood products.
Like many districts across the country, HDLC requires historic homes to closely resemble the home’s original wood siding. The commission approved the use of LP® SmartSide® Smooth Trim & Siding following the product line’s 2019 launch. LP SmartSide Smooth Trim & Siding, which offers advanced durability, allows homeowners to feel confident their home renovation will last while ensuring its original historic charm will remain intact.
Re-siding your home can completely transform its look and increase curb appeal exponentially, but completing a re-side is a big job and a significant investment. If you've never done it, it's hard to know what to expect and how to prepare for a siding replacement.
Board and batten style siding is enjoying a resurgence as a way to create visual interest in an otherwise blank wall. Many believe board and batten style is a timeless look that can leave your home's exterior with major curb appeal for years to come.