In most cities, there are both commercial and residential buildings that are considered to be historic structures. Some may be registered as such, while others may not. Prior to renovating or restoring one of these buildings in Phoenix or throughout Arizona, the property owner should determine if there are regulations pertaining to what improvements or changes they are permitted to make and what restrictions and requirements pertain to their property.
While any home remodeling or ‘fixer-upper’ project has its challenges, undertaking the restoration of an antique home or commercial building will typically require additional experience. Bespoke Builders has extensive experience working to bring back to glory many such properties, from Brown Stones in Brooklyn Heights and row houses in Bedford Stuyvesant to barns and farm houses in Michigan and historic district homes in Phoenix as well as historic district commercial buildings in Phoenix.
Prior to commencing a historic restoration project, one must consider the added expense typically involved. In addition to the normal costs of remodeling, an antique or historic property will normally require custom made moldings, trims, doors, windows or other items such as era specific brick in order to match the existing items or to maintain historic accuracy. There is also the costs of refinishing wood flooring, cabinetry or other wooden fixtures, or locating materials to match these items in color, material, size, etc. so that the new and existing blend unnoticeably. Another item that should never be over looked is the likelihood of the presence of asbestos or lead in older materials and the cost to investigate, identify and properly remove these materials.
Painting and Staining
To preserve the integrity of the original building when painting or staining, it is key to remember that the application process when the building was originally constructed was not the same as modern techniques. Although spraying on finishes, as is the current process, saves considerable time, the appearance of the finish is not the same as when paint or stains were brushed or rolled on as they would have been when originally constructed. A combination of these techniques, such as spraying and then back rolling or brushing, will permit a faster application while leaving the brush strokes or nap marks from a roller to give the appearance desired.
As with any good paint job, it’s all about the prep work. Proper removal of old, loose or oxidized paint, filling or repair of wood, plaster or other surfaces and the application of the correct primers or sealants prior to applying the finishes is what will make the difference in having a ‘painted building’ and a quality painted building that will last and look good for years to come. Professional painters with historic restoration experience, such as PHP Commercial Painting or Phoenix House Painting, the painters Bespoke Builders works with, will also have the best knowledge on how to match the old paint colors and stains, if the desire is to match existing.
Windows, Doors and Glass
In most remodeling projects, a great way to improve energy efficiency is to replace old doors and windows. In a historic building restoration, that could be a big mistake, as the new windows would not preserve the authenticity. Most windows can be repaired and/or rotten wood replaced as well as the weight balance cords replaced to bring the old windows back to life. In the event the windows are too far gone, there are a few options to replacing the windows that can be considered. Also, replacing the glass in broken windows requires skill and knowledge of the construction of the windows as well as the type of glass used in order to keep it authentic and not decrease the property’s value.
Consult a Professional
Though the above information may make it seem as though remodeling an antique home or restoring a historic building is overwhelming or too complicated, it really is not. Taking the time to think the project through, research and plan, will make the process enjoyable. Bespoke Builders would be happy to work with you in whatever capacity is needed, to get you off on the right foot and see the project through to the glory of it’s completion.