Within every city there are many historic properties waiting restoration. Because of this the city and federal governments offer tax breaks, restoration grants and a host of other assistance programs designed to restore landmarks to their original splendor. The preservation of these buildings lends gravitas to the city, bolstering civic pride and in some cases new revenue generating tourist attractions. Historic site restoration is a lucrative, albeit changeling process that can offer satisfaction personally, monetarily and publicly. But it is not simple.
Historic restoration requires a detail-oriented mind possessing a vast reserve of patience and organizing ability. It is important to remember that you are not just renovating a building; you are returning it to its original condition, the state by which its historic significance is predicated upon. It is an archaeological enterprise and ideally you are returning the building to that purpose, either continuing its original work plan or demonstrating that purpose for the people of the city and tourists alike. A historical site cannot be altered in any way. Restoration efforts must take the most diligent of care, restoring the old while using original construction methods when possible.
To begin you must choose your property, The National Register Of Historic Places created in 1966 lists all of the sites already deemed historical by federal, state and local governments. If you identify a historic site not listed it is possible to petition the government to declare it so, although this add time to the duration of the project. Once the site has been chosen research is required to establish it original function, layout, method of construction, ownership and the daily activities preformed at the site. The property as is must also be inspected to determine its current condition and the viability of restoration. Some sites, despite their historical standing, are not worth renovation and it is important to recognize this at the beginning. After the actual renovation, research is the second longest stage. The government requires in depth detail and definitive proof of the sites legacy. If it is a home that you intend to live in, leeway is granted for the interior design, but the façade must meet historical standards. If the site is commercial or a home that will be turned commercial, inside and out must meet historical standards.
Size is everything. At $150,000 you cannot buy a cathedral and expect to remain in budget, but there are plenty of small, more affordable options waiting to be rescued. Old post offices, customhouses and sometimes train stations can be found in many areas, to name a few. These places offer the best return because of their versatility. They are easily transformed into small cafés, research foundations or gift-novelty shops. Depending on location they are sometimes in the heart of bustling neighborhoods offering easy access to large population numbers. It is important...