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The Secretary of the Interior provides guidelines for minimum education and experience required if you're searching for a qualified professional."Most structures over fifty years old have been altered, even if only by natural forces," explains Travis C. Occupants leave their marks on a property as much as the weather does.Older homes have usually evolved, inside and out, and figuring out how and when those changes happened helps us determine what needs to be done next. "Architectural investigation can range from a simple one hour walk-through," explains architectural historian Travis Mc Donald, "to a month long or even multi-year project-and varies from looking at surfaces to professional sub-surface examination and laboratory work."Purpose and Procedure: An architectural investigation may take place for different reasons, including a curiosity about history, the accurate preservation of a historic building, or the emergency repairs needed to keep a building standing.
"All projects should begin with the simplest, non-destructive processes," says the author, "and proceed as necessary." Reconnaissance is the preliminary surveying step.
A goal of any investigation is to estimate a starting date and trace the changes that have occurred and when they probably happened.
People make changes to buildings for any number of reasons—additional space, technological upgrades like indoor plumbing, and sometimes people make changes just because they can!
If historic preservation appeals to you, professional architectural investigations can be a worthwhile career.
For every project, the investigator is able to, essentially, write a book about the structure and what went on there.