to the recycling
of an old building
other than that for which it was constructed. A neutral term, it can involve
a sensitive rehab that retains much of the original character (especially on
the exterior), or it can involve extensive remodeling.
an umbrella term
that has meant
existing in its current state by a careful program of maintance and repair.
relevant to homeowners,
a historic building that has been damaged or destroyed, by erecting a new
structure resembling the old as closely as possible.
the most common
means making a structure sound and usable, bringing it up to modern
operating condition while retaining what the feds call "character-defining
It does not attempt to restore any particular period appearance.
Rehabilitation might include new HVAC systems and an updated kitchen, yet
retain the stair hall, fireplace, cornices, paneled walls, etc on the
The exterior may replace the clapboards with cement board, yet keep the
original porches, doors and trim moldings.
style of the structure by removing or covering original details, and
substituting new materials and forms.
similar to rehabilitation, but assumes the
introduction of more new materials or elements to the building.
For example, adding not only the cement board, but replacing the original
windows with modern windows and storms, insulation, stripping and
a widely misused
term, has a
the museum world: the meticulous return of a building to its exact
appearance during a chosen period.
The National Park Service says the restoration is the "act or process of
accurately depicting the form, features, and character of a property as it
appeared at a particular period of
time by means of the removal from other periods in its history and
reconstruction of missing pieces from the restoration period".
homeowners need not worry about the restoration
process in its purist sense.
the word restoration is used in the context of
a private house, it refers to sensitive rehabilitation:
Making the structure sound and usable without extensive reconstruction, but
retaining original style and elements.
all the original
features intact and reconstructing the missing elements as faithfully as the
budget allows over the life time of the homeownership.
Interior Decoration, furnishings and exterior paint scheme do not attempt to
duplicate what was actually there, but follows your personal taste. It's
more of a do no harm, leave it better than you found it approach.
Remember in the real world, old-house owners use a combination of
approaches. Purists sniff that this is what ruins the historical record, but
they are not being realistic. Buildings have always been changed for current
Privately we may restore the exterior elements and landscaping, rehabilitate
the 1930's bathroom, renovate the kitchen, and use interpretive restoration
for the exterior paint colors.
Post Construction Information:
Operations and maintance manual, construction drawings, measured drawings, field sketches, as-built drawings, and possibly the project files. They include changes in construction different from design drawings.
Record of Treatment:
New materials and replacement features should be
recorded in place with photographs or drawings that clearly show their
extent. Physical evidence of the development history of a structure should
also be recorded before being removed or covered during the project.
Contracts must be clearly written and specific. Any changes clearly marked
and included. Pricing documentation.
Specifications that were followed, All changes made during a project are
graphically documented with cleanly marked drawings and photographs. Video
tape including narrative is becoming the new standard to the more
progressive field operatives.
Customer narrative, maintance updates.
The Purists' View: (not Holly or John's view, just a definition!)
The object of every repair should be the faithful
restoration of those features of the original building which yet remain, and
their preservation from further injury..And no alteration should be
attempted which is not the renewal of some ancient feature which has been
lost, or absolutely necessary for rendering the building suitable to the
present wants of the building owner; and this should be done in the strict
conformity with the character and intention of the building.
To restore is to revive the original appearance lost by decay, accident, or
ill-judged alteration. We must, whether from existing evidences or from
supposition, recover the original scheme of the edifice as conceived by the
first builder, or as begun by him and developed by his immediate successors;
or, on the other hand, must retain the additions and alterations of
subsequitions ages, repairing them when needing it.
Always do less rather than more. When in doubt, seriously consider doing
nothing. As Ruskin advises, better to let the building die than live as a