If you own a historic property, you need to know exactly how much your historic property is really worth. Knowing this value is beneficial for a number of things, including historic insurance and valuation. That’s why performing an effective condition assessment is incredibly useful when it comes down to really knowing every detail about your building.
Old buildings sometimes need restoration, reconstruction, preservation or rehabilitation, according to National Center for Preservation Technology and Training. It’s not just about research: it’s also about keeping your property vibrant for years to come. That’s why assessing the condition of your historic structure is essential to the upkeep of your historic property.
Not knowing how much your property is worth hurts. But what also hurts is not knowing what’s wrong with it in order to properly fix it before it’s too late. Losing out on the value of your historic property can turn disastrous fast.
Here’s what you need to do in order to perform an effective condition assessment, via the National Center.
What to Know Before You Begin Any Assessment
The first step of any assessment is determining the purpose of it. If the assessment is happening for a particular reason, like a historic designation application, there’s going to be certain information that has to be disclosed.
Ensure that the tools needed to conduct the assessment are readily available. This includes a ladder, flashlight, tape measure, level or plumb bob, camera, plastic baggies or an awl. If you’re not well versed in old architecture, getting a style guide or dictionary can help.
Getting your research done means that you’re getting historic insurance at the right value and price needed for protection.
Finally, always be aware of water. It’s what really can hurt your historic property in the long-term.
When the Inspection Happens
While doing a thorough inspection is necessary, it doesn’t have to always be done the same way. Think of typical features you’re going to want to examine. Starting with accessible areas first that are outside and then moving inside helps speed along the process faster.
It’s all about looking at the building as a whole. Taking careful notes, photographs and videos of what you see and where. Keeping record will be helpful for both present and future inspections. Also keep in mind that safety equipment is essential. Forgetting it can be hazardous to who is looking at the house. If you don’t pay attention to a simple fix, it can become far worse later.
No stone should be left unturned during an inspection. Here’s what you need to keep an eye on:
- Wall materials and finishes
- Roof type and covering
- Building construction methods
- Decorative finishes
- Surrounding site features and landscapes