Historic Remodeling—Modernize While Preserving Your Home’s Historic Character
Historic remodels in the Denver Metro area come in two primary flavors with several variations. The City of Denver has many historic districts. In these districts any modifications to the external appearance of an existing structure and/or new construction must go through a mandatory review process with the Landmarks Commission. There are often relatively new homes (less than 50 years old) in these historic districts. Hence, historic remodeling also involves homes that most people would not consider historic structures.
Remodeling of these newer homes is similar to remodeling of newer homes in any location. Of more historic interest are the many houses in Denver that were built before 1930. If a home is located in a Denver historic district then the design is reviewed by the architects on the Landmarks Commission. Luckily, H & H Builders has been through this review process on many of our projects. If you are not familiar with the system it can be very frustrating. If you are experienced with historic remodeling and know how to work with the city the process can be made to flow smoothly.
Denver Home Remodeling (older Denver homes)
Most of the older homes in Denver and adjacent communities are not in government designated historic districts and therefore only need a standard building permit. These older homes are almost always built with load bearing brick walls. Brick is a beautiful, long-lived, low-maintenance material that was used extensively in Denver because of the lack of locally available lumber and the ready availability of the raw material for making bricks, namely clay. Brick walls can be very unstable and prone to collapse if they are not properly supported and reinforced during their removal and/or modifications. This presents interesting challenges for remodelers. H & H has extensive experience at successfully remodeling these older homes. We have restored old homes to their original appearance. We have also updated many older homes while still retaining much of their charm and character. Whenever modifications are made to existing brick walls a structural engineer should be consulted.
An Award-Winning Denver Historic Remodel
One award-winning Denver historic remodeling project is a good example of this process:
Our clients loved their 1895 Victorian home, but the kitchen was short on counter space and conveniences. A poorly-built sunroom at the back of the house, clearly not part of the original construction, was replaced with a spacious kitchen addition.
In another of H & H’s historic home remodels, the architecture was accented with a beautiful combination of sage and olive colors on the walls and trim. Load-bearing brick, chimney and fireplace walls between dining room and kitchen were removed and replaced with a new island, posts and beams. This sparkling new island features an under-counter wine cooler, microwave, and counters for easy entertainment.
A small space on the second floor with no well-defined purpose became a handsome sitting area and library, complete with lantern-style chandelier in the background.