Converting Older Neighbourhoods

Remodelling behind the facade


Many small towns and villages are peaceful places with buildings that have stood for more than a century. Updating them for modern living or business is often seen as anathema by locals. They want to retain the charm of their main streets, but new development often means tearing down the old to replace it with something new. It has often become a major fight to get permits, so companies have learned that remodelling behind the facade is often the best way to get a project going that will satisfy new residents and business owners while keeping the local populace happy.

Older buildings have their share of issues, and they can begin with the roof. Sagging beams, torn shingles or slates, and even holes can make a building structurally unsound. The project will likely require the roofing to be completely replaced, but making it look like the original roof is often easy enough today. Many building materials can be made to look like they have been in place for at least a century while they are still brand new.

The front of most buildings is where much of their charm is located, and it is this charm that many local residents and authorities want to keep. They see their own style of architecture as part of what attracts people. Companies specializing in redevelopment of small towns have found it is often easier to keep the same building front while re-supporting it with new structure behind the scene. They retain the charm while being able to upgrade the rest of the building.

History and a feeling of familiarity are often what makes a small town or village unique, and this is what the residents want left in place. It can be accomplished with good planning and knowledge by those with experience. The town may keep its old look, but the inside of the buildings will be bright and modern when the work is completed.