Building In The Santa Fe Historic District

by Rob Woods

Santa Fe has no shortage of beautiful historical homes. The Santa Fe historic district includes the downtown plaza and the city’s East Side. Many of our remodel projects are on the East Side, which is one of the most desirable locations to live in the city. We love the richness of materials and the quality of structures, but that beauty can bring along costly and strict city-imposed regulations.

With Beauty Comes Regulations

The city of Santa Fe protects buildings in the historical district with strict codes that cover all remodels and construction.
Restricted categories include (but aren’t limited to):

  • Exterior facades
  • Windows
  • Portals
  • Additions

Any house within this district that is more than 50 years old (which is most), must go through a status review process that deems the property non-contributing, contributing and significant.

  • Non-contributing homes are the least restrictive.
  • Contributing homes have somewhat restrictive codes.
  • Significant homes are subject to the most restrictive regulations.

Regardless of the home’s assignment, every project is required to undergo review by the historical district board, which reviews, approves or denies construction projects. We’re fortunate to have a historical review board to help preserve the much celebrated and revered historical Santa Fe style (and keep property values up). The potential downside is that many homeowners can run into restrictions in building out their vision and suffer from unforeseen costs.

Why Your Builder Matters

The payoff of remodeling a historical home can be great; the right design and property can nestle you in the heart of Santa Fe’s historical Eastside with a perfect blend of old and new.  With so many regulations to navigate, we encourage our friends and clients to find a remodeler who has experience with historical homes in Santa Fe.

Please do not hesitate to contact us you have any questions about remodeling, we’re here to help. As Santa Fe’s oldest design-build firm, we’ve been rebuilding and restoring historical buildings for more than 35 years. Our own Sharon Woods chaired the historical board for more than a decade (a mayoral appointed position), and we have been fortunate enough to have been recognized and featured in many publications for our historical projects. Contact us if you’re ready to get started.

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