Restoring a historic house in Westfield, New Jersey? Here are 3 must-knows before getting started.

It’s easy to get caught up with the charm of Westfield, New Jersey. It’s a county where small town living meets urban bustle. When it comes to buying a home in Westfield, you’ll more than likely be purchasing a historical home, which could mean a fixer-upper. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing! With details like woodwork, early 20th century fireplaces, and wide floorboards, you have the exciting opportunity to salvage history by bringing an old house back to life – and truly make it yours. Before you move forward with your project, know that historic restoration in Westfield, New Jersey and the areas around it is no small undertaking. Not only does special care need to be taken when dealing with old structures and building materials, but old houses are full of surprises, and costs can add up quickly. But if there’s one thing we’ve learned over the past 30+ years, it’s that a renovation done right will give you the home you’ve been dreaming of!

Here are 3 must-knows before getting started:

1. Watch out for the water works
Keep an eye out—especially around the ceilings, floors, and windows—for signs of water damage. Signs of water damage could be an indication of serious structural issues. If you do spot water damage, it’s important that it be addressed immediately. You can check for structural water damage on the sill plate (runs around foundation) of your historic home. Water damage could cause dry rot – also, wet environments are a go-to for bugs.

historic restoration with updated paint

2. Your historic restoration project and the Contractor
Some homeowners gather bids and choose their historical restoration contractor based off of price rather than credentials. This tactic can actually do more harm to your restoration than good. It’s important to remember that each Contractor works differently, and therefore, each prices the project differently. Some contractors provide pricing with an allowance for general materials and not specifics. The pricing will most likely include base-line products and not custom materials/requests.

“I always stress to my clients that it is important to have a “connection”.

In order to get an idea of a Contractor’s professionalism, expertise, and specifications, interview them instead of collecting a “bid”. A qualified historic restoration remodeler will explain their process, offer ideas, utilize a contract, and readily answer your questions. At the end of the interview, the Contractor should make you feel comfortable and informed.
Historic restorations require a bit more detail and planning up front to make sure that the historic aspect remains intact. Communicate your goal of restoring the property with the Contractor to ensure you’ll are both on the same page. To review how SEI’s historic restoration process, click here.

historic home exterior updates

4. Be smart about your restoration project investment
Even if you’re not remodeling to sell, it’s smart to consider resale value when setting an investment aside for your historic restoration. Also, consider the location of your home. Westfield, New Jersey historic preservations require a different investment than a home in Florida. To get an idea of what remodels in Westfield, New Jersey run, visit Cost vs. Value. To that end—research about what fully renovated houses sell for in the area and let that inform how you structure your restoration investment.

For more historic restoration projects, click here.

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Historic Home Restorations in Westfield, NJ & Beyond

Get a Free Historic Restoration Consultation & Project Quote

Historical Restorations

It's a privilege to work on a house that existed before us and will exist after us.

At SEI Construction, Inc., we appreciate the history and design features found in older homes and have an experienced and talented team of restoration experts who work to preserve the architecture, heirloom details, and charm that tell the story of the space.

We repurpose or upcycle as much material as possible to maintain the aged and true-to-era look you want for your historic home restoration while adding modern elements for functionality, convenience, and storage.

Our Work Has Been Featured In:
historic restoration - tour of notable homes

Historic Restoration Craftsmanship, Carpentry & More

Since 1987, we’ve helped homeowners restore, or bring to life, forgotten homes with hidden beauty while facilitating all aspects of the process, such as permits, code compliance, design, and construction. 

Our commitment to restoration has landed our projects on a Tour of Notable Homes. This event highlights Westfield, NJ, rich architectural history by showcasing some of the hottest new properties and historic home restorations.

Your Home Restoration Process With SEI Construction, Inc.

Step 1

The process starts with a no-obligation consultation to review your frustrations, wants, needs, budget, and more.

Step 2

Suppose you decide to move forward with our construction services. In that case, we will collaborate with your project's hired architects, designers, and more to join design/build efforts, align goals and priorities, and reduce risk.

Step 3

With all project details in hand, we prepare a proposal with a breakdown of the scope of work for your home restoration. 

It includes repair vs. replacement items, permits and code necessities, structural/form and character materials, a proposed design, floor plan, elevations, and more.

Step 4

Once you approve the proposal and sign the contract, we schedule a pre-construction meeting to discuss communication cadences, job site cleaning expectations, and more.


Step 5

As construction moves forward, we will oversee the scheduling and progress of specialty trades and your project's timeline, quality of work, and budget. Rest assured that our streamlined process, team, and BuildClean Dust Control System will provide you and your family with a worry-free remodeling experience.

Step 6

A post-construction walkthrough with each professional involved in your remodel ensures that all checklist and blue tape items are complete.


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Planning Your Historic Home Restoration

Discover answers to frequently asked questions and get insight from our team of expert professionals.

How Much Does a Historic Restoration Project Cost?

Because of the uniqueness of each historic restoration, we cannot provide a price range for this type of project before visiting the home. After seeing its condition and discussing your concepts and wants, we can offer a starting range for restoration services. We encourage homeowners to save 15 - 20% of their total remodeling budget for unforeseen issues that may arise during the construction phase, such as electrical, plumbing, and foundation. However, for historic restoration projects, that figure is 20-25%, as older homes generally require more work to get them up to code. 


Before you begin, you must visit your local township's historical restoration commission to receive adherence information for exterior and interior design standards. With historic homes, there are limitations to what you can do and how you can do it. That is why consulting a professional and licensed historic restoration contractor is essential. They will bring the experience to help guide you through the process.

Why Choose Our Local Remodeling Company for Your Historic Restoration Project?

When it comes to repairing and restoring historic homes, our team understands the importance of preserving the rich history of Westfield, New Jersey, and surrounding townships. With over 30 years of experience, we can apply our entire spectrum of construction and design expertise to these always unique and often complex projects. Our vast work in this area may include:

  • New roofing
  • The insertion of steel or wood beams/columns
  • The construction of other vital structural elements

We regularly perform masonry and window restoration, carpentry, and installing state-of-the-art plumbing and HVAC systems. From complex interior finishes to restoring façades to their bygone era, you can put your trust and confidence in SEI Construction, Inc.

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