An "old house" architect often takes on the role of a historian, focusing on preserving, restoring, and blending the old with the new. Here's how to find an architect who will give your old house that detailed attention.
When looking for an architect for your old house renovation, pay close attention to his or her experience. You want an architect who mainly focuses on old houses, as new construction does not require the same historical knowledge of housing.
Scour the Neighborhood
If you live in a neighborhood of old houses, drive around and look for recent construction activity. Ask the homeowners for references--and for permission to look at the results of the architect's work! What did they like or dislike about the architect they hired?
Your local historical society is another good source, as the employees there should be familiar with the architects who focus on your town's older housing stock. While they may not provide official recommendations, ask for names of the most popular architects in town. Whom would they hire for their own house and why?
Churches and Commercial Buildings
As you drive around your town, look for old buildings with recent additions or renovations. An architect who can create a seamless addition on a 200-year-old church or a 19th Century department store often has the skills to help with old houses as well.
Also consider contacting The American Institute of Architects or another local professional organization. They can provide names of architects and some information about their expertise.
The search for an old house architect may take some time, but be patient. Once you hit upon the right one, you'll find peace of mind in knowing your house is in good hands.
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