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Need help finding a reputable contractor!

My fiance and I are looking at purchasing a 200+ yr old stone house in Kentucky but we live in Minnesota. I would like to get an estimate from someone on what restoration costs might be before we go any further with the purchase as it is going to need some work to bring it back. The house itself is in amazing shape, the stone walls are over 2 ft thick! But with living out of state I want to be sure whoever gives us an estimate is honest.

This property is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, so we want to do the restorations properly.

Also, any advice on 1800's style Georgian homes/decor would be helpful as well!


Re: Need help finding a reputable contractor!

Any real estate transaction done by "remote control" (meaning from distance), leaves the back door open for problems.

To have a successful purchase, you have to be local. That means that if you move from one state to another, it's better to rent for awhile before you buy.

Now, if you insist on buying, the least you can do is hire a professional, recommended home inspector, to go through the house with a toothpick, jotting down what has to be done, from "recommended" to "must be done".

Following the list, you can have an idea what you are stepping in to.

A. Spruce
Re: Need help finding a reputable contractor!

The local restoration body/society will know which contractors specialize in restoration and have good reputations and workmanship.

I don't disagree with DJ about not buying long distance. If you're serious about this house, then you need to be serious about taking care of the details, which include getting it inspected and evaluated. I wouldn't even trust a realtor long distance.

Re: Need help finding a reputable contractor!

Thanks for the replies! This is not ideal, trying to find a house from another state and we are also looking for a rental just in case. This house came along and we both fell in love with it. The realtor doesn't seem to know a whole lot about it or is just playing it that way, which is why i'm trying to find someone who specializes in these old houses. He doesn't even know if the chimneys are in working order and couldn't give me a number of who to call... not the most helpful or he just wants me to put in my offer and not do any digging!

Re: Need help finding a reputable contractor!

Beware of realtors or realtor-associates. They will do or say anything to close a deal, because they only get paid after escrow closes. I know what I'm talking about, I have dealt with them for years. Some of them don't know much, others pretend not to know.

They rank right there at the bottom, right next to lawyers and politicians...

This real estate mess we're in...is partly because realtors did everything they could to earn their commission.

Re: Need help finding a reputable contractor!

That would be a good choice for you. The contractor can help you find and estimate and the possible restoration cost for your property.

Re: Need help finding a reputable contractor!

I would recommend that you contact City Board of Architectural Review closest to the location.
If no local B.A.R contact the State of Kentucky they can put you in touch with the nearest B.A.R.
The B.A.R. will have the names of Architects, Engineers and Contractors that have experence in retrofitting Historical Homes.
The B.A.R. will also have info for excepted alterations and Design guidelines, may have pictures and other documents as related to this home.
Also look up U.S. Department of Interior, National Park Service
Preservation Assistance Division, Technical Preservation Services.
If it is on the National Registry One of the above will have a lot to say as what can be done.
You can get a lot of info from The Preservation Institue At Windsor House, Main Street, P.O. Box 1777, Windsor VT. 05089-0021
The last # I had 802-674-6752
This Institue also has an Advisory Committee for all trades that will be required to restore a Historical Building.
Keep in mind that restoration can cost BIG $$$$$$$$$$$

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