Historic Home Renovation Services
PR Builders is a residential general contractor for full home remodels and new construction throughout Denver metro and Northern Colorado.
Renovating a historic home is both a journey into the past and a commitment to the future. It’s about preserving a piece of the community’s history while upgrading your home to modern comfort and safety standards.
Whether your home is in historic neighborhoods like Washington Park or Potter Highlands, or elsewhere in the Denver metro area, our expertise will guide you through the process of retaining your home’s unique historical features while adapting it to your needs. Plus, with financial incentives available for Denver’s historic properties, your investment becomes even more rewarding.
Let’s work together to seamlessly blend historic charm with modern sophistication in your historic Denver home. Learn more about the process below.
Denver's Historic Home Renovation Rules
Buildings can be classified as “historic” at the national, state, and local levels—each paying tribute to its historical, architectural, or geographical significance.
Having a historic home doesn’t mean you can’t update some of its outdated features. You can remodel, restore, and even add on to your home. But if you live in one of Denver’s 50+ locally designated historic districts, your proposed changes must first be reviewed and approved by Denver’s Landmark Preservation Commission (LPC) if they affect your home’s exterior.
If your historic home is not in a designated historic district, you will simply need to adhere to Denver’s standard building permit requirements and building codes—no special city review and approval process necessary.
Some Renovation Projects That Require City Review in Historic Districts:
- Demolition & Rebuilding
- New Construction
- Exterior Remodeling
- Home Additions
- Window Replacement
- Site & Hardscape Changes
Minor Renovation Projects That Don't Require City Review in Historic Districts:
- Interior alterations that don’t require a building or zoning permit
- Interior alterations that don’t affect the home’s exterior
Ideas & Tips for Historic Home Remodeling
Historic homeowners choose a variety of updates to suit their space for modern use. This includes everything from repairing minor damage to complete renovations of the most-used rooms like bathrooms, kitchens, and basements. Remodeling a small historic home? We offer our full-home renovation services for homes of all sizes. Where space is an issue for you, home additions can be built to seamlessly match your home’s architectural style.
Here are a few ideas for modernizing your historic house while preserving its historic charm:
Make your whole space functional again with fresh layouts, appliances, and fixtures. Restore those little original details that you love so much, all while improving your home’s energy efficiency and updating electrical and plumbing systems to meet current safety standards.
Has your home sustained damage over the years or from natural disasters? Restore and rebuild your historic home while achieving practical updates, like structural changes, new features, and modern systems. We’ll help you build or rebuild on your lot.
Starting with nothing but a concrete box gives you endless possibilities to style your basement to be anything but an afterthought. Create your new favorite room in the house with a sitting area, entertainment space, basement bar, and more!
Renovating Your Historic Home: A Checklist
Wondering where to start with your home remodel? Here’s how to kick off your historic home renovation project:
Historic Home Remodels: Frequently Asked Questions
If your historic home is not in a designated historic district, you will simply need to adhere to Denver’s standard building permit requirements and building codes—no special city review and approval process necessary. A design review is generally not required for interior remodeling projects on historic properties either. Repairs or renovations that don’t require building or zoning permits and interior remodeling are not subject to a design review by Denver’s Landmark Preservation Commission, but there may be exceptions if your project is using state historic preservation tax credits.
It’s a good idea to consult with the Landmark Preservation staff if there’s any uncertainty about whether the design review process applies to your project.
Yes: even in Denver’s historic districts where a review by the Denver Landmark Commission is required, home addition projects are regularly reviewed and approved (where they meet design guidelines). Many homeowners choose to add to the rear or sides of their homes to maintain the original street-facing appearance when doing home additions. Where a rear or side addition isn’t possible, a second-story addition may be an option.
When considering a home addition, you do not have to duplicate the home’s original materials and style. But the addition should be compatible in size, scale, and proportion to your current home—and use materials that appear similar in color, texture, and finish.
Choosing to renovate your older home can come with its share of challenges. Outdated plumbing and electrical systems often require extensive updates, and inefficient windows and doors may need replacement to improve energy efficiency. To meet modern building codes, ceilings may need to be raised, egress windows added, and more.
More importantly, unforeseen structural issues, hidden water/mold damage, and potentially hazardous conditions may lie under the surface and add complexity to your project.
Given these complexities, careful budgeting, planning, and the expertise of professionals are essential for a successful remodel.
When it comes to improving energy efficiency with your historic home remodel, maintaining and enhancing your home’s current inherent energy-saving features (porches, operable windows, etc.) is key. This conserves the energy that went into building them and reduces the impact on landfills.
There are other retrofit measures you can take with your remodel, like replacing inefficient HVAC systems, bulbs, water heaters, appliances, and much more. Photovoltaics (solar panels) may be added but are subject to design guidelines in Denver’s historic districts.
To get a full idea of what energy efficiency improvements are possible without compromising your home’s historic character, consider a professional energy audit.