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Architectural Detail Experts | A Blog by Worthington Millwork

5 Must-Have Exterior Features for Historic Downtown Buildings to Meet Modern Building Regulations

Posted by Worthington Millwork on 3/10/20 5:00 AM

Christy Widel House-1If you are going to be restoring a historic building or doing new construction in a historic downtown district, having the right finishes is important. You want the new finishes to not only be as historically correct as possible, but you also want them to meet modern building standards and local regulations. The following must-have exterior features for historic downtown buildings will help you complete your project and meet all the building standards and requirements needed:

Moldings That Fit the Historic Downtown Cityscape

The most important architectural details for historic downtown buildings are the molding and trim details. Today, there are a lot of options to achieve the historic look you are trying to achieve. The moldings and trim can be copies of historic materials but made out of modern materials like polyurethane composite wood trim products. The advantage of using these materials is that they are also going to be more durable and less vulnerable to problems with moisture, mold and water damage.

Storefronts That Are Updated to Meet Modern Building Standards and Preserve Historic Look

If the downtown building you are renovating or building is a commercial property, then the appearance of the storefront is an important part of the historic design. Therefore, you want to make sure that the storefront preserves the historic appearance but is still modern. Modern architectural products can help you preserve details like recessed entries and decorative kickplates below display windows. You may also want to use replacement clerestory windows, or modern polyurethane decorative panels to preserve the historical look with modern building products.

Adding Railings to Bring Historic Buildings Up to Date with Modern Code Without Disturbing the Historic Appearance

With many historic downtown building projects, you may be adding features like railings to bring buildings up to code with modern building standards. There are a couple of ways that this can be done. One option is using products that are craftsman-style and look period correct. Another option that you may want to consider is using less noticeable modern glass and metal railings that do not distract from the historical architectural design.

Siding That Preserves Historic Architectural Designs Using Modern, Durable Architectural Products

The siding of downtown architecture is also important, but it is also a material that is vulnerable to wear and problems with moisture. Therefore, you will want to consider modern products that are more durable and resistant to these problems. Modern fiber cement and vinyl siding materials can come in styles such as shake or board-and-batten, which are ideal to get the craftsman appearance that you may want to achieve for a historic downtown project.

Updated Windows and Doors That Preserve Historic Downtown Look with Modern Energy Efficiency and Automation

Another important area that you will want to pay attention to when you are doing historic downtown renovations is the windows and doors. Many historic downtown buildings have double-hung windows, which means that both the bottom and top sashes are operable. The sashes of the windows often have grids in them and woodwork details. Therefore, when choosing new or replacement windows, you want to choose designs that match the original downtown designs. In addition, for entrances and things like automatic doors, consider products that have a more craftsman design to preserve the historical look, but are modern and allow for automation and energy improvements.

 

These are some of the must-have features that you will want for your historic downtown building project. If you are doing a downtown project that needs to be historically correct and meet modern building standards, contact an architectural product manufacturer to get materials like polyurethane railings that look good with historic buildings and help meet modern building standards.

Topics: wood look fiberglass columns, polyurethane millwork, polyurethane balustrade, urethane molding, polyurethane molding, historic preservation

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