Learn the 5 pitfalls every real estate investor or business owner should know about before purchasing a historical building.
Our team of project managers, contractors, engineers and architects can help you navigate the best way to approach your historical building construction project. We have decades of experience working on historical buildings in southwest Michigan. Pearson Vice-President Sean Ebbert says there are a few main things to keep in mind before singing on the dotted line. The first pitfall is many business owners and real estate investors believe the building they are looking to purchase is in better shape than it is.
Pitfall #1 – They underestimate the amount of work it takes to bring it up to code.
“It’s imperative that those interested in purchasing these types of properties rely on experts like our team at Pearson Construction to tell them what could be hidden beneath the surface,” says Ebbert. “It often takes a lot of work to revitalize these buildings and bring them up to code.”
The utilities, the water system, electrical infrastructure – in essence a lot of the things you don’t see – it’s hard to put that into terms of how much work needs to be done and that can be a real driver of cost.
Pitfall #2 – Sometimes you underestimate what the building is.
Our team of in-house design professionals, including engineers and architects can determine what parts of the building can be salvaged. We have the advantage of being able to establish a realistic budget on the front-end of your project.
“We try to minimize the surprise and sticker shock at the end of the project,” says Ebbert. “You can save costs if you utilize more of the building. So just taking down a crumbling wall all the way isn’t necessarily a cost-effective approach. Salvaging some of that wall keeps some of that historical character and at the same time saves money.”
Pitfall #3 Is there a Historical Designation attached to the building?
A lot of older buildings that have been around a while don’t necessarily have a historic designation by the state or other organization, but some owners do like to maintain that historic integrity and flavor. However, it’s important to keep in mind some areas do require special building materials.
Pitfall #4 Scheduling Issues
Unforeseen conditions can shift the construction timeline. Ebbert says when considering historical renovation it’s an “if” not “when” you will come across unforeseen situations that cause your timeline to shift.
Pitfall #5 Public Reaction
“Be prepared for neighbors and area businesses to weigh-in on your project,” says Ebbert.
This last one is something many business owners don’t think about before their project has started. Ebbert says people in the community tend to be pretty passionate about change, and whether you are saving things or changing things there can be feedback from the community that could be a deterrent to some business owners when considering a historic project.
So why choose Pearson Construction for your Historical Construction project? The main reasons are simple – Our Experience, Our Knowledge of the Local Market, and our Team Approach of sharing information and using the strengths of our best team members for each individual project.
“It’s not a one size fits all situation,” says Ebbert. “It’s not ‘I can handle this particular type of project all the time.’ There may be a project manager who is better suited based on previous experience and timing to take on that project. We connect the right people for the right project.”
Pearson – WE BUILD. Historical Projects.
Our team of project managers, contractors, engineers and architects can help you navigate the best way to approach your historical building construction project. We have decades of experience working on historical buildings in southwest Michigan. Contact our team to get started on your project.