Only by adhering to the most rigorous standards for documentation and storage can the integrity of dismantled historic fabric be preserved and costs be controlled. Even if purchased for practically nothing, acquiring a period structure is not cheap. William Gould, of Pomfret Center, Connecticut, a preservationist who specializes in relocating period bulidings, estimates the cost of properly dismantling, labeling and storing a modest two story at $35,000 and upwards. Materials stored for even short intervals can rot or warp if stored improperly or be rendered effectively useless by incoherent labeling systems. He was once hired to redocument and inventory a confused and poorly labeled dismantled structure, at a cost to the client of $9,000. Experience has shown that it doesn’t pay to cut corners whether the dismantled material is to be stored for two months or two decades. To make sure that the material stays labeled until it is needed, William Gould affixes a color coded vinyl tag to each piece in an unobtrusive spot. Just like new goods, stored dismantled materials must be carefully stickered, protected from the elements and well ventilated. They can be safely stored outdoors, on bunks and under tarps, but the coverings must be diligently rigged and vigilantly maintained. William Gould has preserved dismantled structures for decades at a time by following these procedures.
List of Building Documentation Specialists.
List of Building Dismantlers.
By John M. Corbett