5 Historic Apartment Building Restoration Tips

There are many reasons why you might be interested in buying and restoring a historic apartment building. For one thing, you could procure such a property for a relatively small sum of money, especially if it suffers from deterioration and requires upgrades to plumbing, electrical, or other infrastructure. And once you have restored it, you might stand to earn a tidy sum renting out the refurbished apartments. Of course, it could also be that you have a soft spot in your heart for a particular type of architecture. Maybe you agree with the adage “they don’t make ‘em like they used to” and you want to make sure that a beautiful, old building isn’t lost to antiquity. Whatever your reasons, you should know that restoration is very different from repair. It may require more money and there are certain guidelines you’ll have to adhere to in order to accomplish a restoration project. So here are just a few tips you may want to employ when restoring your historic apartment building.

  1. Check in with the historic registry. If your building has been recognized by the national historic registry, you may be subject to rules and regulations pertaining to repairs, upgrades, and overall restoration. So you’ll want to contact your State Historic Preservation Office to make sure that any intended restoration is sanctioned. Otherwise you could end up having to undo changes at your expense. And don’t forget that this organization can also provide you with valuable resources and information that can help you through the registration process, including listings of agencies that may be able to assist you with your restoration project in a variety of ways.
  2. Get blueprints. The county clerk’s office handles the collection of property records for the county, so this is where you’ll want to start when seeking information about your building. Although records may only extend back a set number of years, you might get lucky and find blueprints for your property, as well as records of changes throughout the years (pertaining to any renovations that required permits, just for example). This can only help you when it comes to restoring your building to its original state.
  3. Consider building materials. Restoration generally requires that you return your structure as close to the original specs as possible. However, this may not be entirely possible. For example, older buildings tend to feature materials like asbestos and lead paint that are now considered a health hazard. In such cases it is acceptable to use modern materials.
  4. Get bids. Any time you’re hiring a company or contractor for renovations, it’s in your best interest to get a number of bids for the project. This will help you to find a vendor that can provide you with the reliable service you’re seeking at a fair price.
  5. Select a specialist. For a massive restoration project like an apartment building, it’s not enough to hire your standard building contractor. You need to find a company that specializes in restorations, such as Adriatic Restoration Corporation, in order to ensure that the job is done right. You may incur higher costs as a result, but the payoff should be a beautiful restoration that preserves your historic property for years to come.
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