Excellence in Historic Renovation or Restoration
Historic home renovations come with their own unique set of challenges for architects and builders. Providing structural integrity and modern-day livability while preserving the home’s history is often a necessary balancing act. Add problematic site logistics to the mix, and these projects can present a daunting undertaking.
Gable Building Corp. tackled these challenges head on with the restoration of the Old Village House in Chatham, the project for which they won gold in the 2016 BRICC Awards historic renovation category. Upon purchasing the home—originally built in 1835—in 2015, the new homeowner asked Gable Building to modernize the house but also maintain its “old flavor,” says company vice president Michael Squire. True divided light windows, a 19th-century-inspired color scheme—as seen in the Sea Mist-painted kitchen cabinets, installed by Scott Horgan of Horgan Millwork—and refinished original wood flooring help achieve just that.
“What we’re most proud of is that we didn’t have to tear the house down,” Squire says. “We refused to do that. The owner didn’t want us to, so we said, ‘We’re going to make it happen.’”
While the majority of the original structure is still fully intact, new structural elements were added in order to stabilize the building, as it had been sagging and settling in different directions over the years, says Squire. The team at Gable also needed to raise the 3,400-square-foot house to meet new flood plain regulations. In order to allow access for large equipment to lay the new foundation within this narrow, conservation-restricted site, the team temporarily detached the one-car garage and moved it offsite.
Reflecting on the project as a whole, Squire says, “We took great care to make this work on such a small site, and we suceeded.”