Rehabilitation Services

Design Guidelines

The Design Guidelines was created to convey preservation and rehabilitation best practices.

Rehabilitation is defined as the act or process of making possible a compatible use for a property through repair, alterations, and additions while preserving those portions or features which convey its historical, cultural, or architectural values.

Technical Preservation Services

Helps home owners, preservation professionals, organizations, and government agencies by publishing easy-to-read guidance on preserving, rehabilitating and restoring historic buildings. For more information and listing of the available guidance materials, visit the Technical Preservation Services Website.

Standards for Rehabilitation

The Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation has ten basic principles created to help identify the distinctive character of a historic building and its site, while allowing for reasonable change to meet new uses. Those ten principles are listed below:
  1. A property will be used as it was historically or be given a new use that requires minimal change of its distinctive materials, features, spaces, and spatial relationships.
  2. The historic character of a property will be retained and preserved. The removal of distinctive materials or alteration of features, spaces, and spatial relationships that characterize a property will be avoided.
  3. Each property will be recognized as a physical record of its time, place and use. Changes that create a false sense of historical development, such as adding conjectural features or elements from other historic properties, will not be undertaken.
  4. Changes to a property that have acquired historic significance in their own right will be retained and preserved.
  5. Distinctive materials, features, finishes, and construction techniques or examples of craftsmanship that characterize a property will be preserved.
  6. Deteriorated historic features will be repaired rather than replaced. Where the severity of deterioration requires replacement of a distinctive feature, the new feature will match the old in design, color, texture, and, where possible, materials. Replacement of missing features will be substantiated by documentary and physical evidence.
  7. Chemical or physical treatments, if appropriate, will be undertaken using the gentlest means possible. Treatments that cause damage to historic materials will not be used.
  8. Archaeological resources will be protected and preserved in place. If such resources must be disturbed, mitigation measures will be undertaken.
  9. New additions, exterior alterations, or related new construction will not destroy historic materials, features, and spatial relationships that characterize the property. The new work will be differentiated from the old and will be compatible with historic materials, features, size, scale and proportion, and massing to protect the integrity of the property and its environment.
  10. New additions and adjacent or related new construction will be undertaken in such a manner that, if removed in the future, the essential form and integrity of the historic property and its environment would be unimpaired.

Tax Incentives

The Michigan State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) has information about tax incentives for the restoration or rehabilitation of historic properties. Visit the SHPO Website or call 517-373-1620 for more information.