October 14, 2011

Home Restoration...the Ultimate Recycling.

Why go to the extra trouble, and perhaps additional expense, to restore an older house? Everyone feels guilty throwing a cans or bottles into the trash. We feel better when we recycle! Wouldn’t it be nice if we felt the same responsibility before sending all historic plaster and lath and moldings to the dump? Think of restoration as the ultimate recycling.

Older buildings present a different set of variables and challenges and require a different mindset and approach to their upgrades. Original materials can be hard to find or replace, people experienced in working with historic architecture can be difficult to locate, and working within the framework of something that already exists can be more difficult than building new.

For many, restoring an older home rich with history and character to its original condition is a philosophical value. It feels good to take care of something, to bring something back, or to maintain the historic integrity.  Additionally, saving and preserving can increase property values. There are often tax credits available, and older workmanship and materials are better and stronger than their modern counterparts are. Historic areas attract more visitors creating a thriving community. There are also aesthetic arguments. Turn-of-the-century construction artisans not only built historical homes better, but a restored historical home also looks better than its modern counterpart does.   

If you are a homebuyer considering conducting historic restoration efforts yourself, or if you think you may hire professionals, be sure to research the many options available to resolve issues. Take into serious consideration options that do less damage to the original historic features. What happens on many projects is often more renovation than restoration. Completely gutting an interior for modern systems or removing walls to create open floor plans is not restoration. The essence of restoration is flexibility and creativity.

The general definition of restoration is to save what historic or original features are there and put back lost elements with ones most closely representing what builders of the era might have used.  Often, restoration decisions must be practical. In the home you are considering, there may not be much left to save, or there may be plenty of historic features in place, or hidden behind renovations. Many times, you can complete necessary repairs, and make upgrades to meet current usage requirements and needs, and still sensitively restore your historic home.

It is important to understand the difference between efforts that reflect restoration versus remodeling, rehabilitation, or renovation.  As you make informed decisions, you will find that preserving the historic value is often a more valuable option than replacing elements with something new. Be sure to understand what you may be losing as well as what you may be gaining.

Why go to the extra trouble to restore an older home?  Because restoration is the ultimate recycling effort, and with it you will preserve the architectural integrity of not only the home, but also the neighborhood, and the community.

To have a closer look at historic and other homes for sale in Salisbury and Rowan County North Carolina, contact Greg Rapp at 704.213.6846.  The choice is yours to purchase a fully restored gem or to take on a restoration project of your own.

300 W. Horah Street, before and after restoration.  This home is for sale.

October 05, 2011

Countdown to October Tour of Historic Homes ~ Open House Oct 8th!!

Only 3 days 'til October Tour ~ Tour of Historic Homes in Salisbury North Carolina!  In addition to the nine historic properties that will be on the Historic Salisbury Foundation's ticketed tour ~ be sure to stop by Park Avenue to see 2 historic homes FOR FREE that are on the market now!


414 Park Avenue ~ c. 1900 Victorian ~ $78,900

Nearly 4000 square feet of historic living space.  Come see this jewel at the gateway to the Park Avenue~Long Street Historic District.

Large Foyer with Original Fireplace and Mantle
Spacious Sunny Renovated Kitchen with Granite Countertops

429 Park Avenue ~ c. 1900 Victorian  Single~Story Queen Anne ~ $142,500

Completed restored Queen Anne with large wrap-around porch ~ a cornerstone property in the Historic Park Avenue Neighborhood.

One of  the three bedrooms with refinished floors and original fireplace
Renovated Bath, one of three, with claw~foot bathtub & ceramic tile flooring
Expansive Living Room with Original Woodwork, Refinished Floors, Fireplace
Custom Landscaping with English Rose Garden, Japanese Maples, Mature Fig Trees
Both 414 Park Avenue and 429 Park Avenue neighbor the fabulous McCandless McCubbins House made famous in its restoration by the History Channel.

A fine example of preservation at work, the collaborative efforts of Historic Salisbury Foundation, the History Channel, and Lowes Home Improvements saved one of the most significant Queen Anne Victorian properties in the Piedmont of North Carolina.  This effort was national televised in September of 2006 on the History Channel on a program entitled "Save Our History: A Victorian Reborn".  Within three months the home was sold to a couple who have become wonderful stewards of this significant home.  
Saturday October 8th's Historic Open House will run from 1PM ~ 4PM.  It will be a beautiful, sunny, 75-degree day ~ perfect for touring historic homes, both in the Park Avenue Historic District, and Historic Salisbury Foundation's October Tour of Historic Homes.  Take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to view a part of history in Salisbury North Carolina, and perhaps own a piece of it for yourself!

Contact Greg Rapp at 704.213.6846 for more information!

McCandless~McCubbin House: Park Avenue Salisbury NC Restoration made famous on the History Channel program "Save Our History: A Victorian Reborn".

Greg Rapp 
Wallace Realty Co. 
704 213 6846 Mobile 
704 636 2021 Office