Historic Renovations

We have completed many historic projects over the years.  If you are considering a historic renovation project a 20% tax credit is available as an incentive to encourage you.  The first step is to see if your proposed project qualifies.  Here are the Secretary of The Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation:

  1. A property shall be used for its historic purpose or be placed in a new use that requires minimal change to the defining characteristics of the building, its site and environment.
  2. The historic character of a property shall be retained and preserved.  Ther removal of historic materials, or alterations of features and spaces that characterize a property, shall be avoided.
  3. Each property shall be recognized as a physical record of its time, place and use.  Changes that create a false sense of historical development shall not be undertaken.
  4. Most properties change over time; those changes that have acquired historic significance in their own right shall be retained and preserved.
  5. Distinctive features, finishes and construction techniques or examples of craftsmanship that characterize a property shall be preserved.
  6. Deteriorated historic features shall be repaired rather than replaced.  Where the severity of deterioration requires replacement of a distinctive feature, the new feature shall match the old in design, color, texture and other visual qualities, and if possible, materials.
  7. Chemical or physical treatments, such as sandblasting, that cause damage to historic materials shall not be used.
  8. Significant archaeological resources affected by a project shall be protected and preserved.
  9. New additions, exterior alterations or related new construction shall not destroy historic materials that characterize the property.
  10. New additions and adjacent or related new construction shall be undertaken in such a manner that, if removed in the future, the essential form and integrity of the historic property and its environment would be unimpaired.

Historic renovation is also one of the most green forms of construction.  Finding a new use for a historic building may well save the structure from the landfill.  Careful analysis should be conducted, though.  Old is not always historic.  Historic structures are notorious for construction cost overrun issues as well as operational costs that exceed those of new construction.  As the project is considered, it must be determined if the project is being approached altruistically or for profit.

Dr. James Ford Historic Home at ChristmasOne of our historic renovation  accomplishments that we are most proud of is our work on the Dr. James Ford Historic Home  in Wabash which we completed in 2006.  We were awarded the Judges’ Special Award from Associated Builders and Contractors of Indiana for our work on this project.  If you chose to pursue a historic renovation project, we would appreciate the opportunity to assist you.

Resources on Historic Rehabilitation Tax Incentives

National Trust for Historic Preservation: www.preservationnation.com

National Park Service: www.nps.gov/history/hps/tps/tax/index.htm

Internal Revenue Service: www.irs.gov

Advisory Council on Historic Preservation: www.achp.gov

International Preservation Trades Network: www.iptw.org

American Institute of Architects: www.aia.org

Information taken from Construction EXECUTIVE; December 2010

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