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Architectural Detail Experts | A Blog by Worthington Millwork

How to Restore Your Home to Its Architectural Era

Posted by Kyle Boatwright on 7/9/18 12:37 PM

historic homeLovers of architecture and history believe they will enjoy marrying the two when taking on restoring an older home to its natural glory. Staying true to the home's architectural era may be more of a challenge than expected. Worthington Millwork can help! 

Not only do we have a full catalog of architectural products in stock, but we also make custom products. For example, when you need to match or recreate a section of molding that is no longer made, our craftsmen can reproduce it. Let us help you restore your home to its original architectural era.

Know the Architectural Era

There are few things to figure out before you begin a restoration. Namely, know when your home was built and determine the styles being built during that time. Which style is your home? A bit of research will point you in the right direction. If you're fortunate enough to know previous owners (maybe the original family), that's your best source, particularly if they are willing to share photos from when the home was new. Checking with your local historical society can be a valuable source for photos of your home if it housed a beloved city official or some other outstanding local person. More often than not, you won't have that opportunity.

Determine the Style

Once you have settled on the era, research the styles which were popular during that time. Even if your home has been stripped of original trims, you can take cues from the house itself. Study the entry door, staircase, or fireplace to find your home's vocabulary and use new work that "speaks" the same language.

Another option is to use a style from the era in a furnishing and transfer that to architectural details in your home. For example, you can use the design of a Stickley chair for inspiration for cladding on a counter. You may benefit from researching decorating and architectural design history to determine the details you wish to bring out in your restoration.

Choose a Restoration Contractor

Many people do not realize it, but building a new home and doing home restoration are quite different. Home restoration requires a unique set of skills, tools, and experience. Here are a few websites to use to begin your search:

Once you have a list of contractors prepared, use due diligence to check for licensing and complaints, just as you would a contractor for any build or remodel. Next step is to contact each contender to set a time to meet and discuss your project. Ask such pointed questions like how many projects they will have going on during your remodel, what kind of insurance they cover, will they be responsible for obtaining any permits, and who do they use for subcontractors. Request several references and follow up with each one.

Construction Contract

Always sign a construction contract before work begins. Make sure it has a retainer clause stating that work is complete and project is fully functional before final payment is made. Once final payment is made, make sure they have signed a lien waiver. This insures both parties have signed that all work has been completed and all payments to materials suppliers, subcontractors or vendors were made.

At any point in your restoration project, check with us at Worthington Millwork for architectural details. If we don't have it in stock, we will work with you and your contractor to assure you have quality products that match the details you need. We guarantee any product you receive from us will be Made-in-America or you will receive a full refund. This is our specialty and the pride of our company.

Architectural Millwork

Topics: Architectural Urethane, Home Restoration

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