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10 Basic Principles for Rehabbing the Right Way

These 10 principles should help make your historic rehabilitation a success.

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10 Basic Principles for Rehabbing the Right Way

  1. 1. 10 Basic Principles for REHABBING THE RIGHT WAY
  2. 2. 1. Consider its original purpose When possible, make every effort to use the building for its original purpose. If you can’t, make sure the new use requires minimal change to its historic features.
  3. 3. 2. Preserve its character. Identify those unique and historic elements that define the building’s character and make every effort to preserve and protect them. Do not remove or alter elements that are critical to maintaining the original historic fabric of the building.
  4. 4. 3. Buildings are a physical record. Recognize that all buildings are physical products of their time. Avoid changes that may create a false sense of historical development.
  5. 5. 4. Respect changes. Respect and retain changes to the property that have occurred over time and have acquired historic significance in their own right.
  6. 6. 5. Save distinct materials and features. Carefully save and preserve the distinct materials, features, finishes, and examples of craftsmanship that characterize the property.
  7. 7. 6. Repair, not replace. Whenever possible, repair—rather than replace—deteriorated historic elements. When replacement is necessary, new materials should match the old in design, composition, and color.
  8. 8. 7. Clean facades gently. Avoid sandblasting and other damaging processes, and always test materials first (especially with chemical or physical treatments).
  9. 9. 8. Preserve archeological areas. Keep surrounding archeological areas intact. However, if an area must be disturbed, take every step necessary to mitigate harm.
  10. 10. 9. Make compatible alterations. Compatible, contemporary alterations are acceptable if they do not destroy significant historical or architectural fabric.
  11. 11. 10. Build removable additions. Build new additions so they can be removed without impairing the underlying structure.
  12. 12. The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America’s historic places. Preservation Tips & Tools helps others do the same in their own communities. For more information, visit Photos courtesy: SDOT Photos/Flickr/CC BY-NC 2.0; Onasill ~ Bill Badzo ~ OFF UNTIL STATS ARE WORKING/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0; Wally Gobetz/Flickr/CC BY-NC-ND-2.0; NCinDC/Flickr/CC BY-ND; Jay Galvin/Flickr/CC BY-2.0; takomabibelot/Flickr/CC BY-2.0; Gary Lloyd-Rees/Flickr/CC BY-NC 2.0; Bob Marquart/Flickr/CC BY-NC 2.0; Odense Bys Musser/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0; Brent Moore/Flickr/CC BY NC; 2.0; Ben Pugh/Flickr/CC- BY-2.0; William Murphy/Flickr/CC-BY-SA 2.0