Fixing Up An Historic Home : The Three Rs

Fix up an historic homeIf you enjoy both history and fixing things, then you may have trouble driving by historic homes for sale without feeling the urge to buy and fix one up. In Loudoun, there are of course numerous historic homes in the heart of each of the towns. Leesburg in particular has some gorgeous architecture in the historic district.

Before you consider a purchase, however, you should know the three R’s of fixing historic homes — Restoration, Renovation, and Repair.


“Restoration” is the process of returning a home to its original state.┬áRestoring historic homes often requires city and state permission. It’s essential that you check to see whether your home is listed in the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP); or, whether it’s located in a historic district. If either is true, there may be a specific set of rules to follow while renovating.

Restoration can be an expensive endeavor. For a home to keep its historic value, the materials used must match the home’s original materials, including furnishings. This can be costly because of antique value.

Renovating is less complicated and less restrictive when compared to restoring. However, through renovation, a home often becomes a more “modern” living space, which can lower the home’s historic value. Be sure that your home is not listed in the NRHP or located in an historic district before beginning renovations.

Depending on size of the project(s), renovations can be expensive, too. However, it’s easier to find great deals on modern appliances versus the antique appliances required for a restoration.

Repairs are often less intensive than a restoration or renovation. For repair, be sure to use materials fitting the home’s character, which may include plaster walls and wooden floors, for example. Matching original materials is not important in the home repair process.

The cost of a repair project will vary depending on the size and scope of required repairs.

The differences between a restoration, renovation and repair of an historic home may be minor, but those small differences will change your costs, your timeline and your procedural red tape. Speak with an qualified architect if you’re unsure of your obligations as the owner of a historic home.

Think you might be interested? Contact us and we can help you identify some historic Loudoun homes that fit the bill.



Trackback from your site.

Leave a Reply

About our blog

Michael and Heather Elias are full time real estate professionals and licensed REALTORS at Century 21 Redwood Realty. They sincerely hope you enjoy reading this blog, and would love the opportunity to work with you.