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Thanks to Blake and his entire crew for doing such a great job and being so helpful throughout the whole process."  — Betty Green

Thank you, Historic Tax Credits. Regards, Durham

(Part 1)

I live in Durham, North Carolina. It is a city with a rich history and is full engaged residents. Durham has many historic districts and has embraced its history through the implementation of historic preservation codes in its local development ordinances. Residents continue to push for new National Historic Districts. As a general contractor in Durham who focuses on renovations and additions to older homes, I have an even closer relationship with these laws and I have seen the challenges and the benefits first hand on my projects.

Recently, I was asked to sit on a Historic Preservation Panel for the Home Builders Association  along with a Historic Preservation Tax Credit Consultant and Home Designer, Sara Davis Lachenman , and member of the Durham Historic Preservation Commission and contractor, Tiffany Elder. The event was hosted by the King’s Daughters Inn  in Durham, a historic building that was renovated a few years ago. We had an engaging discussion with Durham home builders about the challenges and benefits to renovations done to historic properties. We covered some technical and logistical concerns of the builders, but spent most of our time reviewing the process for acquiring historic tax credits.

Local and National Historic Districts

For readers who aren’t familiar with Historic laws and tax implications, there are 2 types of Historic Districts: Local and National. Local districts are also National Districts, but not all national districts are local. National Districts do not carry any enforceable regulations, but do reward property owners with a 30 to 40 percent tax credit for all money spent maintain and renovating the home. Local Districts, on the other hand, do not provide tax credits, but are regulatory in nature. The Historic Preservation Commission is an arm of the Durham planning department and it oversees and upholds the governing regulations of each historic district.

These 2 types of historic districts are important mechanisms for preserving and maintaining the image and composition of Durham. They help our growing city to celebrate its history and provide the financial incentive for continued revitalization.

There are some important things to keep in mind if you live in a Historic District or if you are planning a historic renovation. If you live in one of Durham’s 7 Local Historic Districts, I advise against taking a risk that what you are planning to do to the outside of your home is acceptable.



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801 Gillbert Street, Suit 101Durham, NC 27701(919) 943-6214