Heritage homes have plenty of character and taking care of them is a serious matter. Those who live in a heritage home understand that they have a contract with the home to conserve its original beauty and structure. There’s a whole host of issues that come up for owners of heritage homes when it comes to modern-day living in a building from another era.
For those preparing for a heritage home restoration, you should know that features that typically classify as “heritage” include: stone wall massing, ornamental details in wood or stone, stairways, railing, cornice detailing, window openings, window details, and anything else that would have required some historical craftsmanship.
A Little Extra Love
Aa a reliable window installer and manufacturer, Golden Windows offers window styles that are visually appealing, unique, and efficient enough to fit the bill for a heritage home renovation. It’s important for heritage home owners to know the architectural features of the home that are protected before moving forward with a renovation. Because of the extra attention and care that goes into a heritage home renovation, these types of repairs end up being more expensive than projects for regular houses.
A History to Preserve
Heritage homes are designated and protected, usually, by the municipality in which the home stands. The Ontario Heritage Act designates whether a building has any cultural heritage value or interest as a way to give a building a certain standing in its community. Once a building is designated a heritage property, then its preservation becomes priority for more than just the homeowner. This means that repairs or renovations, because they alter the home’s original fixtures, must be approved by a committee at the city level.
Owners of heritage homes might have bought the home because of its heritage designation or they might have even applied for heritage status once living there. Whether you knowingly bought a heritage designated property or discovered you had one once you were already down the line of homeownership, consider the Heritage Committee your allies in fully appreciating your unique home.
With heritage homes, the notion of simply tearing down certain parts of the home to re-build from scratch are out of the question. With an important history to preserve, the home requires restorations and never full removals and re-installations.
For example, it may seem tempting to completely remove a rotting porch and replace it with something completely new, but when there are likely intricate details of the original porch that need to be maintained, you have to work around what’s left instead of getting rid of it.
Your renovation will eventually be reviewed by a committee to ensure that the features that classify the structure as “heritage” are being treated respectfully with their preservation in mind. As such, you need to start your renovation by securing a permit to ensure you do things right every step of the way.
The rules and regulations of heritage home renovations may seem intimidating, but remember that the committee that review the project cares about the heritage home — they don’t want to obstruct repairs that will improve it. They want to see the house improved, it’ll last longer that way, and they want to know that the current owners are happy and comfortable.