Rehabbing a historic residential property in Newport, RI

3 Replies

Howdy everyone! I'm looking for others who have experience with rehabbing historic residential properties. My friend and I are just about to start a rehab of an historic property in the Newport, RI area. It would be great to hear from others who have already been through the rigors of a complicated restoration. I'd love to hear any hints and tips from someone who's been there, done that.

I haven’t done this myself but have had clients and friends do it. The only advice I’d have is to engage the historic society and building department early and often. If you do something wrong or have misstep in the process, even as an honest mistake, they can make things difficult and expensive. I have a friend with a historic house tear down a crumbling brick wall on the front of his property. They made him rebuild it with period appropriate bricks. It was a learning experience. 

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I have done a number of these on the East Side of Providence. Whatever your rehab budget is, add an additional 35% to it. I’m not saying this to scare you, but it’s realistic. Have an exact, detailed game plan before you start construction because once you do, money is going to flow. Consult with the historical society and be sure to pull every permit. Municipalities do not mess around at all when you begin working on these properties. Dot the I’s, cross the T’s, budget accordingly, and don’t hit the HA or Bldg Dept with surprises and you’ll be in good shape. Best of luck on your project.