Home Improvement

How to Handle Emergency Repairs to Your Historic Home

Historic Home

When disaster strikes your home, timing is crucial. A quick repair can mitigate the damage to your home — and your wallet!

Unfortunately, timing can be an issue if you live in a historic home. National and state registries protect these properties, and you may need permission before you make significant updates to your home.

Do You Have a Historic Home?

A historic home isn’t just an older building. While many houses may be 100 years old, only those with official designation and status received by a state or federal body can claim this title.

According to the Texas Historical Commission, a property can be considered “historic” if it has all three features:

  1. Age: Your home must be at least 50 years old to be considered.
  2. Integrity: Your home must also retain its original design and structure to earn a historic designation. That means a 100-year-old house that was torn down to studs and rebuilt with a modern open-floor plan isn’t eligible.
  3. Significance: Your property must also have some architectural significance (due to its preserved design) or ties to local history.

A preservation office, like the Texas Historical Commission, will assess your home against its criteria before awarding you official historic status.

What Does This Status Mean for Repairs?

Official historic status means your house is protected against repairs and renovations that would significantly alter the integrity or significance of your home. This means you have to present your renovation plans to a committee before you start any work. Failing to do so can involve fines and loss of historic status.

When it comes to cosmetic upgrades, this collaboration is easier to plan for in advance. You can invite the appropriate authorities into the conversation when you have your ideas in place.

This relationship may be harder to deal with in an emergency. You may not know the full extent of the repairs when you first start working, making it difficult to present a workable plan to the committee.

Like many bureaucratic processes, involving a governing body in an urgent situation may slow things down. You may be able to patch things to prevent further damage, but you could be waiting weeks (or months) before you can move on to restoring your home back to its original condition.

Can You Budget for These Repairs?

When it comes to the average home, homeowners are encouraged to save one to four percent of their home’s value each year for upkeep.

You may want to save five percent or more, depending on the age and condition of your home. Older homes may need more frequent repairs, and the work is often more expensive. That’s because you may have to hire restoration specialists and use premium materials.

If your savings fall short in an emergency, you can consider online installment loans to make that initial patch. These short term personal loans give you a quick injection of cash so that you can afford an emergency plumber, roofer, or foundation professional to temporarily stop a leak.

You can easily compare installment loans in Texas online using your phone. Most online installment loans are available through convenient virtual applications you can complete at any time, and you’ll hear back if you qualify within minutes.

What about after the crisis and you need to make major renovations to repair the damage caused by a leak, for example?

These larger restoration efforts require more financing than installment loans online in Texas can offer. Contact your local preservation office to discuss personal loans, project grants, and other incentives. You may also search the National Historical Preservation Fund to review the national funds that are available.

Official historic status may complicate your repairs, but there’s always a way to get the work you need done in time. Keep these tips in mind the next time something goes wrong.

Leonard Moore
Leonard Moore mission is to conduct in-depth research that leads to new ideas in creating informative articles. His focus is on innovation in technology and creativity.

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