The Commercial Inspector | What to Know About Renovating Historic

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CRE tips and news by National Property Inspections



What to Know About Renovating Historic Properties

 March 2, 2022 |  Maintenance, Investment |  business tips, exterior maintenance, interior maintenance, building renovation

Historic commercial buildings can make for a truly unique investment. Their design and history offer the perfect opportunity for modern renovations. If you’re interested in reviving an old building, here’s what you should know beforehand.

Plan for Problems
With working on an old building, maybe by even a few centuries, there are guaranteed to be issues. The elements, various animals, and of course people all leave their mark on a property. Even buildings that have been renovated before you’ve bought them can still have problems. You should anticipate running into at least a few unforeseen obstacles before you begin your project. Try to set some money aside for when you run into an issue, and you’ll be better prepared for the unexpected.

Research the Property
The rich history that many old buildings have is what makes them one of a kind. Sadly, renovations can sometimes erase a lot of the stories they hold. Though you may not be able to preserve every inch of an historic building, try to keep what you can. Important rooms or features tell the story of the people that used to occupy the same space. Old buildings can also act as snapshots of local history and how a community has grown. Researching the property before you start working will give you a better appreciation of it and help you see the building from a different perspective.

Start with the Bones
It’s important to first understand the condition of your building. Starting out with a strong foundation and working your way up will make the building safe for years ahead. Look for any cracks or splits in the foundation and have them repaired as quickly as possible. Then work your way inside and check for more flaws in the walls, floors, and supports. If you come across anything concerning, have it examined by a professional. Remember, simple cosmetic issues can be corrected later; it’s the “bones” you want to focus on first.

Go for Efficiency
One of the biggest challenges you’ll run into when remodeling an historic property is modernizing major systems, like electrical and plumbing. While this can be costly, you may be able to save yourself money down the road. It’s very popular to outfit older buildings with energy-efficient components. Green models cut down on wasted energy, which means more money going back into your pocket.

Work with Someone Qualified
Remodeling old buildings takes specialized knowledge and experience. Consider hiring a local architect with a proven track record in historic properties. They’ll be able to provide the best insight on how to upgrade your building while also preserving the history of it. They’ll also help you decide on repairing or replacing areas that need it in an order that makes sense.

All in all, working to revive historical buildings has many benefits. They help retain a piece of the local history, provide new opportunities, and liven up the area. While they do require special care and consideration, taking the right steps can make the project easier.

National Property Inspections is the partner you can rely on for all of your company’s inspection needs. Schedule a consultation with our inspection coordinators to see how NPI can assist you.

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National Property Inspections, Inc., founded in 1987, is one of the oldest companies in the inspection industry. Our reputation is built on honesty, integrity and professionalism. National Property Inspections operates as Global Property Inspections in Canada.