In many cities across the country, revitalization efforts are underway to improve city infrastructures. Local businesses have become an integral part of this, investing in the community through the rehabilitation of historic commercial buildings. While the benefits of restoring these older buildings are seemingly endless (restoring rundown neighborhoods, tax benefits, and cultural appreciation, just to name a few), many of these buildings are dilapidated and require much work.
If you’re thinking about rehabilitating a historic building for your business or commercial enterprise, here are some tips to get you started:
Restore vs. rehabilitate
The first thing you should know is the difference between restoring and rehabilitating a historic building, as many people use these terms incorrectly. Restoring a building means turning it back to how it once looked, removing any modern additions. Rehabilitating a building, on the other hand, means preserving important historical features while making it useful for contemporary needs.
Do your research
While you’ll be adding modern pieces and appliances, you need to make sure that you’re honoring the history of the building as well. The only way to do so is by investigating the original blueprints, owners, time period, and more. If you’re unable to find any records on your building, then research similar buildings that were built in the same period. This will give you a better idea of the architectural pieces you should preserve, and those that can be changed or updated without losing the building’s unique charm.
Repair, don’t replace
Depending on how run-down the building is, you may be limited on how much you can save. Nevertheless, if there’s the slightest chance that you can save something, do. Many older buildings have original pieces that cannot be bought from the store. Additionally, restoring pieces rather than making them from scratch again will save you money in the long run.
Begin with the exterior
When it comes to older buildings, the best place to start is the exterior. Often times, historic buildings have crumbling infrastructures, so if you want the best results, you’ll need to give it a solid foundation before working on anything inside.
Watch out for water damage
As a result of those crumbling exteriors, one of the most common problems older buildings face is water damage. If left unchecked, it can cause dry rot, bugs, and structural damage. Therefore, make sure it gets fixed by walking through your building and checking common areas such as the ceilings, floors, and windows for any signs of water.
While you’re rehabilitating your historic commercial building, it’s important to protect the parts of the building that are still in pristine condition. At Construction Protection Systems, LLC., our door protectors will ensure that the original doors to your historic buildings remain just as they did when they were first constructed. For more information, give us a call at 303-740-6700 today.