12 Restoration Blunders | Fine Homebuilding
Ok, so this is really weak simply reposting an article from someone else. It’s a great article though and too good not to share. In fact, in addition to giving it a read, I’d encourage you to print it out and share it with a friend. We have a packet of information we share with new neighbors to one of the historic districts and I think we should add a hard copy of this to that packet.
Anyway, there are a couple “Blunders” that really resonate for me… well actually most of them do but two I’m compelled to add an Amen to.
Blunder #7: Installing New Windows
Now you may recognize this as a recurring theme on this neighborhood blog. This is due to several things.
First, in our own old house we have lovely, original, old and repaired windows. They provide an aesthetic that is unmistakable and substantial to the character of our home. AND combined with storms they’re warm and efficient.
Secondly, in our community the unified marketing message from the replacement window manufacturers, retailers and installers has resulted in a year-over-year doubling of homeowners removing otherwise original and repairable windows for new replacement windows. The result, IMO has been the making-more-ordinary and generic homes that derive much of their character as a result of their windows. This while not really saving any money or increases in energy efficiency as claimed (discussed elsewhere). It’s my opinion consumers are getting bamboozled by inflated claims.
Anyway, I appreciate Fine Homebuilding’s editorial autonomy and integrity in including this in a magazine that has MANY replacement window advertisers and NO window repair advertisers. In fact they highlight a great point that in a 2004 article they suggest that “30% of the windows being replaced are less than 10 years old…” That bears repeating. 10 year old replacement windows are themselves being replaced.
It’s widely reported on that the break-even on the investment of replacement windows can stretch into the range of 60 years or more. So it’s unlikely the home owner will ever get that money back and they’ve de-graded their home in the process. Increasingly, that subset of the home buying public that values and seeks out distinctive old homes do not like finding replacement window on a prospective home. These are the very same people who most likely would be those most interested in your “historic home”.
Blunder #9: Ignoring Historic Tax Credits
Here in Wisconsin for example home owners can receive a 20% tax credit on qualifying (and pre-approved) work done their home… IF they live within an existing historic district or an individually listed property. There’s a minimum of $10K in work to be done but this can be spread out over five years. The process is not that difficult and while no one is going to do it for you there are folks to help guide you. You can get more information about WI historic tax credits here.