Every renovation or restoration project begins with an assessment of the existing building, its materials, its condition, and its historic integrity. To each of these assessments we bring many years of technical experience as well as continuing research into historic materials and methods of construction and recent advancements in building science. We often prepare existing conditions assessments for building owners, reports that are as brief or extensive as conditions warrant, and frequently work with structural engineers and consultants in building forensics to both assess a building and to develop practical approaches to renovation. Our assessments differ from those of a house inspector in that they include observations of the building’ condition, identify and prioritize areas of concern, and outline options for renovation, repair, and improvement. These assessments are intended to help our clients make informed decisions about how to proceed with their project and to also guide further investigations during the design and construction processes.
Through experience in all phases of historic designation, both local and national, we have developed practical working knowledge of the standards for nomination, designation, restoration, and rehabilitation of historic buildings. We understand the steps involved in designating a property as a landmark, and have worked with and counseled property owners during all phases of the process. As active members in the preservation community, we have good working relationships with historic preservation officials and understand local, state, and national historic preservation regulations. We are able to research the history of a building or structure, evaluate its significance, and prepare documentation necessary to designate a property as a local historic landmark or for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. We work regularly with owners of historic buildings, both offering advice on the pros and cons of historic designation and guiding the process of review and approval for changes to designated historic structures.
We love learning about and sharing the history of architecture. If you are a homeowner curious about the former occupants of your house, a company that owns an old building, or an organization interested in knowing more about the history of your property, we can research its historic background and prepare a written, illustrated summary or detailed book. Additionally, if you own a property already designated as a local landmark and are planning alterations, we can prepare Certificate of Approval applications to local landmark preservation boards.
The City of Seattle evaluates potential impacts to historic resources during the SEPA review process. Building permit applicants must submit additional information on existing buildings or structures to the City of Seattle for review. We are available to prepare these ‘Appendix A’ documentation reports on existing buildings or structures required by the City of Seattle.