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Historic Replacement Cost Appraisals

Historic Replacement Cost Appraisals


Within the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties there are four distinct approaches: preservation, rehabilitation, restoration, and reconstruction. The reconstruction treatment is defined as "the act or process of depicting, by means of new construction, the form, features, and detailing of a non-surviving site, landscape, building, structure, or object for the purpose of replicating its appearance at a specific period of time and in its historic location."

Achieving the proper reconstruction treatment under this standard for historical properties presents both unique and costly challenges. Contractors that perform historic restoration and reconstruction can work in several ways. Some may use methods that were utilized during the period when the object was created, keeping the replication as true to the original as possible. This contractor may fabricate replications using original techniques if replacements made during the period in question cannot be located.

This type of restoration is quite costly as it involves significant research, detail, time, and work by hand. Other contractors try to maintain the character of the object, but may use modern methods to accomplish these goals. This type of restoration work, although still quite expensive, is less costly as it tends to reduce labor and time. This technique can also be performed extremely well, resulting in an authentic and accurate look. However, certain activities could prohibit structures from being listed as historic landmarks, or may interfere with acceptance of authenticity. To attain a superb result with either technique, highly skilled contractors and craftsmen must be employed.

Historical restoration and reconstruction specialists understand that using masonry cement instead of lime mortar can severely damage historic brick, that moldings found in historic buildings have profiles and sizes not readily available at local home repair centers, that artisans skilled in areas such as three-coat lime plaster application and ornamental woodwork are required, and that the meticulous selection of woods and building products in conjunction with skillful handling and installation make all the difference in achieving a fine replication. Our replacement cost appraisal is developed contemplating specialized historic reconstruction in accordance with the standards set forth in the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties.