New City has extensive experience with historic renovation of buildings in DC and Maryland. Our projects seamlessly blend architectural style and period details of historic homes with the convenience, energy efficiency and comfort modern homeowners require.
Historic renovation is designed to respect, retain, and restore the historic character of aged buildings. If a structure has not been altered substantially since it was built, historic renovation can focus on bringing the building back to its former glory. However, homes that were altered may need more substantial work to reverse alterations, to determine which parts were changed or destroyed, and to restore the structure. Historic renovations often include modernization, so long as these techniques do not compromise the historic character of the structure. Modernization may include installing or replacing electrical systems, putting in a more efficient heating system, using energy efficient glass in vintage window frames, and so on.
New City is expert at addressing the complexities of historical renovations. For example:
- Structural problems are often present. We work with structural engineers who either can confirm that the structure is safe or can make recommendations for meeting current building and safety codes without compromising the historic integrity of the property.
- Many historic renovations involve replacing the entire mechanical and electrical infrastructure of a building without disturbing its facade. True success of an historic renovation is achieved when visitors can’t tell that we were ever in the building – except that it looks (and operates) better.
- Historic homes often have environmental concerns. It is common that lead, asbestos or mold remediation projects are a part of a historic renovation.
- The historic renovation process can include sourcing of salvaged and replica material from the region.
- In historic districts, you must comply with local government regulations and oversight. For example, the exterior paint may need to match an approved list of historic colors, or the outside of the structure may need to remain unchanged. However, there are often substantial tax credits available to support these projects. New City can refer you to experts who can help you understand what kind of government support may be available for your historic project.
When considering a historic renovation, it is important to consider the special value of an older home. A well-done remodeling project can transform an old house into a warm and pleasing environment with original character and all the modern conveniences.