Do you own a historic home in Denver? Want to renovate? Do these first!
Owning an historic home in Denver is exciting and unique; remodeling a historic home or adding onto it can be a challenging task. In Denver, according to local KGA Architects, “more and more home buyers are looking to be part of the cultural fabric with a home that reflects our vibrant regional history from a design and/or cultural perspective”. Maintaining the integrity of the original design while incorporating modern amenities is a balance and requires research, a professional team, and patience. Remember that less is often more when it comes to remodeling historic homes.
While modernizing and updating, try to preserve as many original features as possible, such as moldings, trims, and flooring to maintain the historical character of the house. If necessary, consider restoring or replicating original features that have been lost or damaged. Find a balance between modern and historical features. Consider adding modern amenities that complement the original design and enhance the functionality of the home without detracting from its historical character. Don’t overdo it and risk losing the unique charm and character of the home.
Consider the Denver climate.
Denver has a semi-arid climate with dry, hot summers and cold winters. Your remodeling project should take into account the weather patterns in the area. In Denver’s climate, energy-efficient upgrades can be beneficial so installing energy-efficient windows, appliances, and HVAC systems can help save money on utilities. Denver is a drought-prone region, so it is important to use water-efficient fixtures and appliances in your project. Low-flow plumbing like faucets, toilets, and showerheads, are great options. When adding modern amenities, such as plumbing, heating, and cooling, look into the sustainable options that will not harm the historic aspects of the house.
Here’s a few more important things to remember before remodeling a historic home. If your home was built before 1978, it may contain lead-based paint. Also, make sure to check local regulations about historic preservation to prepare your projects. There may be strict guidelines on what changes can be made to the exterior or interior of the home. Building Codes: Denver has specific building codes and permits that you must follow when remodeling a house. Check with the city government using a resource like this to determine the requirements for your project.
Historic Preservation-do your research.
Let’s talk about historic preservation. If your home is located in a historic district in Denver, there may be additional permits and regulations necessary for any remodeling projects. Not only can it be fun, but essential: research the history of the house before you begin remodeling a historic home to understand its architectural style and original features. This will help you to maintain the historical accuracy of the house. What is the style of the neighborhood? Ensure that your remodeling project does not negatively impact the overall aesthetic of the neighborhood. Use compatible materials with the original construction of the house. For example, if the house is made of brick, use a complementary brick or the same kind of brick.
Always use your expert team.
Finally, hire your expert team and a licensed contractor who is familiar with the building codes and regulations in Denver is important to help guide in research and decisions. Consider hiring a preservation architect who has experience in renovating historic homes.
Together, you and your team will have a thorough understanding of the materials and techniques used in the original construction. This important step will help you make informed decisions about what changes can be made without compromising the historical integrity of the house. In addition, you will be comfortable and enjoy your historic home for years to come.