Online Reference Materials & Resources

Standards & Guidelines for Historic Places

The general standards for the preservation, rehabilitation, and restoration of historic places as listed in the National Parks Service (US) Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties :

  • Preservation focuses on the maintenance and repair of existing historic materials and retention of a property’s form as it has evolved over time.
  • Rehabilitation acknowledges the need to alter or add to a historic property to meet continuing or changing uses while retaining the property’s historic character.
  • Restoration depicts a property at a particular period of time in its history, while removing evidence of other periods.
  • Reconstruction re-creates vanished or non-surviving portions of a property for interpretive purposes.

For more helpful information on standards and guidelines for restoring heritage properties, check out the following link: Standards and Guidelines for the Conservation of Historic Places in Canada.

Questions to Ask Potential  Professionals and Craftspeople:

  • Does the contractor have extensive experience with heritage buildings or does he/she specialize in new construction?
  • Does the contractor carry Workmen’s Compensation and general liability insurance? What are the limits? Can you be named “additionally insured?”
  • Can the candidate supply a list of at least three references for you to call or previous work sites you can visit to evaluate the quality of his/her work?
  • Does the contractor have a license?
  • How long has the contractor been in business?
  • Is the candidate willing to supply credit references from suppliers, such as lumber shores, sheetrock vendors, and others so that you can be confident that he/she is financially solvent?
  • Is the contractor comfortable working with architectural drawings and partnering with architects?
  • Is your contractor skilled at getting your project through the permitting process?
  • Will the contractor be able to start your project? How long does he expect your project to take?
  • How many other projects does your contractor have in progress? How often does he/she expect to be on site at your project?

The following link provides useful information on the restoration and preservation of heritage buildings: Make History. Preserve Manitoba’s Past. Heritage Building Maintenance Manual.

Additional Questions to Ask:

  • What percentage of your work is focused on heritage buildings?
  • How did you learn to work with heritage buildings?
  • What are some common problems you observe with heritage buildings, and how do you approach them?
  • Do you organize heritage projects differently from new builds?  How so?
  • How long is the warranty on this work?
  • Are you involved with any heritage organizations?
  • How do you continue your education on heritage buildings?
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A Ginger Design