How To Care For A Historic Home

Historic homes are beautiful architectural projects. They’re full of character. Historic homes need special care to keep their history intact. How do you care for a historical home?

What Qualifies A Home As Historic?

     Not just anything qualifies a home as historic in California. While your home or a home you’re looking to purchase, may be old it’s not necessarily historic. There are certain regulations that California goes by to register a home or building as historic.


These regulations are as follows:


· Associated with events that have made a significant contribution to the broad patterns of local or regional history or the cultural heritage of California or the United States (Criterion 1). 

· Associated with the lives of persons important to local, California or national history (Criterion 2).

· Embodies the distinctive characteristics of a type, period, region or method of construction or represents the work of a master or possesses high artistic values (Criterion 3).

· Has yielded, or has the potential to yield, information important to the prehistory or history of the local area, California or the nation (Criterion 4).*

historic home

Historic Home Preservation

    Historic homes are generally very old. With that being said, they need a lot of care to preserve them and their history. There are many ways to keep the home looking the way it did way back in the day.


Care procedures are as follows:



-Understand Home’s History

     One of the first things you should do is take the time to understand your home’s history. This should cover everything from the styles of the homes era, the architecture, condition of materials, finishes, and systems. Doing this will fully prepare you for restoring a historic home. Try to preserve the original details of the home, those are what gives it character and that historic home look.




-Routine Maintenance

     Routinely taking care of your historic home can minimize rotting and costly repairs. Use gentle cleaning methods to clean the exterior and the interior as well. Sandblasting and power washing the home may not work and result in further damage. Cleaning substances fall into three categories. These are water, chemical substances, and abrasive cleaning. It is critically important to study the building materials on the exterior of your home. Knowing what materials were used will help you avoid damaging wood, paint, and stones. Talk to a preservationist to get their opinion. They will also be able to help you find where you can buy paint that adheres to the colors of the home’s era.




-Talk To An Architect

     An architect is a great person to get in contact with. They will be able to help you with the preservation or refer you to someone who can. If you choose not to hire an architect for the cleaning process, they are good source to work with when there is light demolition or installation of distinctive features.




-Map Out Your Plans And Budget

      It’s a good idea to map out what you are trying to achieve besides preserving the home. It’s also a smart idea to set a budget. A beneficial rule of thumb is to over budget for the project. This will give you a more realistic cost price and will give you some money to fall back on in case you do go over your budget. If your home is nationally registered as a historical home, you may be able to receive financial assistance. Talk to your local building department to learn more about this opportunity.

historic home kitchen

Historic homes are wonderful masterpieces. Not only do they hold so much history and character, they are unique to each town they’re in. Preserving a home can be a big project but, studying and talking to professionals can make the process of restoring a home to its former glory, easier. Visit the California Historic Preservation to get more information.

*Information gathered from California Historic Preservation website,