Victoria has many heritage homes. It’s part of what makes Victoria an awesome place to live. There are many benefits to owning a heritage home and it’s no secret, we have millions of visitors here every year to see Victoria’s plethora of heritage homes. If you own a heritage home however you are no doubt familiar with the awesome responsibility placed on your shoulders to maintain these classic beauties to keep them in tip top shape. The city of Victoria will gladly help you meet these expectations, but they also place specific limitations on your ability to “do what you want” to your home, and rather set limitations on colour choices and your ability to add additions or renovate your home.
If you’re feeling a little confused about the entire process, we’re here to help.
First – What Resources Are Available?
The Victoria Heritage Foundation is your new best friend! This site has many resources available online and off, for what is expected of you, what kind of grants are available to you as an owner of a Victoria Heritage Home, and of course how to get your home registered as a heritage home. Looking for a map for a walking tour of all of Victoria’s heritage homes and their background? The Victoria Heritage Foundation is the right place for you.
Second – Where to Find Heritage Contractors?
You’re gonna want to skip the Yellow Pages for this one. General contractors are not for you! You want specialists who are familiar with what is, and what isn’t allowed in a Heritage Building Renovation. We here at Victoria Gutters are proud to call ourselves experts on this subject and can certainly help you find other contractors who are as well. If you plan to hire a contractor be sure to interview them first. Ask questions (and get pictures) of jobs previously completed and ask for reviews (no, not those fake online ones, actual humans – get a phone number if you can).
Third – You Can Never Ask Too Many Questions
Your heritage home designation saves you tens of thousands of dollars in taxes and other grants and you would certainly want to protect that at all costs. Be sure to ask as many questions at every step of the way as possible. Be sure your contractor understands what is expected of them, contact the VHF if you’re not sure, and always double check the answers you get before proceeding. Yes, it takes a little more effort, but it’s worth it in the long run to protect those savings!
Fourth – A Bit Of Healthy Competition Never Hurt
Yes, heritage homes are amazing, but even if you’ve got one that you love to bits, but did you know the Times Colonist has an annual “Ten Best Heritage Homes” List? Yup, use it to get some ideas for your renovation, or set your goals on making next years list, it’s up to you how you use this information!