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What Restoration Really Means
Some people believe that restoration is restoring something to a satisfactory state. But to the homeowner interested in preservation, restoration is a whole new ballgame because it means restoring something to its original condition. An original condition is very different from a satisfactory state. A satisfactory state can mean anything really - and it solely depends upon the opinion of the restorer. However, when we're restoring an object to its original state, we have a standard to follow. As you might have guessed, this standard is history.
The importance of this historical standard is crucial when we're working with
restoration projects because not only are we attempting to recreate a historic object, we're also attempting to recreate a historic value. The closer an object is to its original state, the more valuable it is.
It's unfortunate, but many people don't know this and when they begin a restoration project, they mistakenly devalue what they're working on. Later, when they learn the potential value of their project and attempt to cash in, they're disappointed to learn of their mistakes.
Not only is a non-professional (and in some cases, non-authorized) restoration a major blunder, so is attempting to do a professional restoration job alone. This is analogous to a non-artist attempting to restore an ancient Egyptian wall painting or an archaic Greek sculpture. Nothing of suspected value should be restored by a non-professional - no matter what the object is or how careful you promise to be! Just one small mistake in your restoration efforts could throw off the entire significance of a piece, and ultimately render it valueless.
The professional that you hire to restore an item of interest will first evaluate the piece to determine the time-period that it's from. From this determination, s/he can further determine where it's from, what it was used for, who made it, and what it's supposed to look like. This discovery will assist the restorer in selecting the proper (original) materials necessary to restore an item to its original condition. In some cases, the restorer may have to recreate the out-dated materials that were used to make the object just to obtain the same look and feel of an item.
Restoration is a project reserved for those who are interested in preserving the past, such as antique collectors or those involved with museum work. If you're interesting in restoring a part of your home to its original state, do a little research about the item of interest first so that you can see what type of work might be involved. Remember to never attempt restoration yourself unless you're a professional restorer. Your goal is to increase the value of an item - not decrease it.
After you've learned the history and the significance of the piece that you're interested in restoring, hire a professional to validate your discovery and give you an estimate of the cost and length of time it will take to bring your item to a salable point. If you don't have an immediate intention to sell your treasure, you can always learn how to maintain the area or object so that you and future generations can enjoy it for years to come.
About the Author: Author Paul White represents FloridaHomeBuild.com. A site designed to help home owners from Florida locate local home contractors with their home improvement projects.
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