What are the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation?Updated 2/17/2008
The Secretary of Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation and Guidelines for Rehabilitating Historic Buildings are excellent resources for all work done on historic homes. These guidelines are used to determine whether the historic character of a building is preserved in the process of rehabilitation. The guidelines recommend responsible methods and approaches and list treatments that should be avoided. A copy can be obtained from your State Historic Preservation officer, online, or from the Government Printing Office.
Government Printing Office941 North Capitol Street, NW
Washington , District of Columbia 20002
Phone: (202) 512-1800
For more information write to the National Park Service's Heritage Preservation Services office.
National Park ServiceHeritage Preservation Services-424
P.O. Box 37127
Washington , District of Columbia 20013-7127
Phone: (202) 513-7270
Ten Basic Principles for Sensitive Rehabilitation
"What Every Restorer Should Know," an article by Susan Morse, appeared in the January/February 1989 issue of Historic Preservation. Morse lists the Department of the Interior's "Ten Basic Principles for Sensitive Rehabilitation," also known as the "Do's and Don'ts for First-Timers and Veterans."
- Make every effort to use the building for its original purpose.
- Do not destroy distinctive original features.
- Recognize all buildings as products of their own time.
- Recognize and respect changes that have taken place over time.
- Treat sensitively distinctive stylistic features or examples of skilled craft work.
- Repair rather than replace worn architectural features when possible. When replacement is necessary, new material should match the old in design, composition, and color.
- Clean facades using the gentlest methods possible. Avoid sandblasting and other damaging methods.
- Protect and preserve affected archeological resources.
- Compatible contemporary alterations are acceptable if they do not destroy significant historical or architectural fabric.
- Build new additions so they can be removed without impairing the underlying structure.