Service Spotlight: Technical Assistance
You may have heard us say "Technical Assistance is the Heart and Soul of the Heritage Home Program." For every loan that is signed, Heritage staff performs an average of 15 technical assists to homeowners that end up financing projects without a Heritage Home Loan. The following is an example of a project that utilized technical assistance from start to finish over the course of a year.
This 1880s home was purchased as an investment to be used as a rental property. The new homeowner initially planned to update the interior to attract renters. The homeowner had Heritage staff out for a site visit and asked us to review his plans. We discussed approaches to modernizing the interior while keeping what historic architectural elements remained. The homeowner started, and a few months later called staff to come back and see progress. While on site, the homeowner began to lament the exterior of the home. While serviceable, it was quite unattractive!
ink aluminum siding with pink and brown asbestos shingle
The homeowner had received a bid to remove the siding and replace with vinyl. Heritage staff suggested that since the aluminum and shingle siding needed removed for the vinyl, perhaps it would be worth it to take a look at the original cedar siding to see if that could be restored. Most often, we see that the original wood siding is actually in very good shape having been protected over the years under other forms of siding. The homeowner agreed, and went about removing the top layer of siding. As it turns out, a treasure trove of architectural detail was found underneath! The imprint of the original window hoods and door surround were plainly visible and the homeowner became excited.
During - window hood detail and original wood siding revealed
The homeowner asked us to inspect the condition of the house and connect him with contractors that were suited to perform the work. We estimated that only 10% of the wood needed to be replaced outside of the window and door trim. This proved to be true. We then connected the homeowner with a specialty carpenter who not only replicated the original trim, but historically documented the pattern and connected it to the immigrants that helped construct the house. This inspired the homeowner to document the families that lived in the house, and familiarize himself with the historic heritage of the neighborhood.
After- new window hood detail and remodeled interior with open floor plan
With the completion of this project, the homeowner has found another home on the same street that he intends to restore next. He admits that he knew nothing of preservation before this project, but now has the bug! He credits the technical assistance of the Heritage Home Program as making it possible to complete this project so successfully and also credits the HHP for making him into a preservationist. This is truly our heart and soul!
After- restoration nearing completion, with the exception of the door