Can't afford restoration? Don't give up hope

By: Shannon Lee , Contributing Writer
In: Historic Preservation

If you live in an old house, chances are you are well versed on both the charms and the not-so-wonderful parts. The latter can include the cost of upkeep on the house, high utility bills and the price tag attached to renovations and restorations. In fact, there might be times when you throw up your paint-stained hands and say, "Forget it. There's no way I can afford the time, effort or cash to renovate this place the way it deserves."

But before you walk away from your old house restoration, get creative. There are many ways to afford the changes -- you just have to have plenty of patience and the fortitude to find them.

5 ways to afford historic preservation

With an old house, it's easy to get in over your head. This is especially true if you are looking to restore your property to its original glory, rather than taking the renovation route. If you do run into funding problems, consider these options to help you over the hump.

  • Take advantage of a unique status. If you have a historic home that happens to have a storied history, you might get lucky with a conservation group that wants to preserve the home and can help you do that with some funding. However, if you have a property that is very unique, such as a converted library, firehouse or even an old barn, some states offer financial incentives to keep the property looking great. The Preserve Mass Barns program in Massachusetts is one good example.
  • Look into tax credits. Some states offer tax credits for homeowners who seek to restore historic homes. This is especially true if your home is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In some areas, a home in a designated historic district or a home that is a historic landmark might be eligible for additional tax credits or some funding from historic organizations. As of July 2012, thirty states offered some sort of credits for historic commercial properties, and some of those states included help for residential properties. The State of Rhode Island offers a good example of this.
  • Speak to friends and family about the situation. When I was working on my first old house, I ran into the very common problem of not enough cash to finish the job. My mother came to the rescue. She had some funds tucked away and loved the idea of preserving a home for generations to come. If you have family and friends who feel as strongly about old houses and restoration as you do, invite them to come over and take a look. You never know where that might lead.
  • Turn it into a community effort. Those who live in historic communities want to see the houses around them restored to their original glory. If you need help with funding or simple labor when it's time to tackle restorations, turn to your neighbors for help. In fact, consider a working weekend capped off with a neighborhood barbecue. That kind of community spirit can provide much more than help with your restoration!

Finally, remember that restoration or renovation on old houses will cost more than you think -- always. So it pays to set money aside in a rainy-day house fund in order to pay for the little surprises that will pop up when it's time to take the plunge into fixing up your old house.


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  1. 4 Responses  to “Can't afford restoration? Don't give up hope”

  2. Jackson
    Mar 28, 2013
    i liked your way of giving hope to people. Historic house keepers are more luckier than new ones. i am having a house not that old, but it has gone through many accidents. yet, you can say i am still lucky that i found Damage Restoration Company. Their service is excellent with affordable rates. i hope many people will find it useful.
  3. Thomas Freed
    Dec 15, 2012
    There are many ways to decide between Reynoldsburg property restoration companies. The most important concerns should be their experience and skill, but other factors come into play as well. Some situations may require people with specific skills or equipment, such as dealing with certain kinds of equipment or hazardous materials. Taking these basic steps can make sure that you choose water damage companies that can take care of your needs.
  4. Thomas Freed
    Nov 19, 2012
    Structural damage requires someone who is properly trained. Unlike some Reynoldsburg property restoration tasks, if the muse and structure of household isn’t repaired correctly, there could be dire consequences. Faults for the structure of the house are often difficult to spot. Exterior walls hide serious weaknesses that can cause dangerous situations inside the future. Structural repairs are one of the most serious property restoration jobs and should always be handled by a professional.
  5. Thomas Freed
    Nov 15, 2012
    It’s possible for a family you will find be overcome with fire once you least expect it. Or even for a commercial property to be flooded, and experience water damage for this reason. Anything can happen when you’re a property owner, that’s why its smart to be prepared to handle anything with the help of Reynoldsburg property restoration experts.