Historic homes built in Denver in the late 1800s through the 1940s have a unique set of challenges when it comes to maintaining the exterior. Homes built during this time were constructed much differently than they are today – from roofline to the foundation (and everything in between) – which gives older homes “character” that is often absent in new construction.
More often than not, what makes owners fall in love with the home in the first place is its architectural design. Those exterior details are not only what you want to preserve, but also what you want to draw attention to – with color.
When we work with owners of historical homes, one of the questions we often get asked is whether or not now is the time to restore the exterior of the home, or can it wait a bit longer. Homeowners understand the significance to preserving the architectural integrity of the home, and because of their desire to do it “right,” they also expect that a project of this nature will be more expensive than a typical home.
So how do you know if now is the right time to restore the exterior of your older home? There are a few tell-tale signs:
#1: Paint is peeling.
If the paint is peeling from the exterior of your home, it is time for restoration work. Furthermore, if the paint on your home pre-dates 1978, there is a good chance that it contains lead. Lead was added to paint for a number of years – up until 1978, when it was officially banned from residential construction due to its harmful effects.
Today, contactors must be certified to remove lead-based paint (Dowd Restoration is certified by the EPA in lead-based paint removal). Whether doing interior or exterior work, precautions must be taken when working with lead-based paint so that it is handled, and disposed of, properly. Some of the safeguards taken include workers wearing protective clothing, sealing off the work area and using tools with a special vacuum that has a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter attached.
#2: The color needs correcting.
Perhaps the exterior materials are solid, but the color is fading – or not to your taste. When it comes to restoring a home, color selection is an important aspect of the painting process. It is important to choose colors that are “period correct” or make sense with each other. A painting contractor who specializes in restoration work will have a variety of color schemes (from bright to muted) to help you make a selection that fits your home’s personality.
Look for Part 2 of this article next week.