If you’re like most builders we work with, when it comes to building a new house you know all the rules like the back of your hand. From start to finish, you’re ready to select an great house plan and make sure that everything is built according to code to reflect your quality of workmanship.
But when it comes to building a new house in historic neighborhoods, the rulebook completely changes. In addition to everything else that you’d normally do, you’ll need to be well-versed with the preservation process. You’ll also have to know how to evaluate the neighborhood and site conditions according to historic guidelines to fully maximize your scale and height.
First, let’s go over the preservation process. There are a lot of specific forms and deadlines that have to be kept in order to build a new house in a historic neighborhood. Your safest bet is to work with a residential designer, someone who has been dealing with the historic zoning overlay, metro-government staff and the commissioners for at least 5 years.
Next you’ll need to evaluate the neighborhood and the block to see what kind of house or the type of house you can build and how big you can actually make it. If you look at the neighborhood as a whole, there might be a lot of different kinds of houses. But when you look at the block you’re building on, you want to make sure that your new house fits in with the rest of the houses on the block, not just the neighborhood as a whole.
Since you’re building a house right next to several other houses, you don’t want to disrupt the rhythm of the block. It’s that definition of rhythm that really captures the philosophy of what preservation looks like and why there’s a preservation process in place.
They’ll also able to help you evaluate building site conditions, along with amassing scale and height so that you can really maximize the size.
For more information on what you’ll need to know, click on the button below to download our 5 Mistakes to Avoid When Building a New Home in a Historic Neighborhood for Builders.