In Salt Lake many of our neighborhoods are full of beautiful homes built several decades ago. While they are loaded with charm, they are often impractical for today’s lifestyle and technology, leaving homeowners wondering whether they should renovate their property or move. The November 2011 issue of Fine Homebuilding has an article every one thinking about renovating should read. “12 Restoration Blunders” identifies pitfalls to avoid when planning for a remodel. One in particular caught my eye: Mistake #9: Ignoring Historic Tax Credits. In Salt Lake, there are 10 national historic districts (the city website only lists 8; the Yalecrest and Liberty Wells neighborhoods should also be listed on the registry). The author of the article writes, “Historic-rehabilitation tax credits are the largest incentive available to residential homeowners in the United States, even larger than the sacred mortgage-interest deduction.” We couldn’t agree more. In the past 2 years, five of our projects have qualified for this tax credit, including our own office space.
Another helpful resource to those considering a remodel is a publication put out by the Utah Heritage Foundation. Celebrating Compatible Design: Creating New Spaces in Historic Homes features beautiful photos and drawings of homes throughout the Salt Lake City area that have utilized good design to create functional, contemporary homes that are compatible with their surroundings and retain the historic character of the home. The book explains the hows & whys of good design and looks particularly at compatible additions, dormers, and garages. If you’re considering a remodel in Salt Lake, you will want to get a copy of this book.