You start reading this blog because you probably love old monumental houses. Perhaps, you are thinking of buying or owning an old house, or just like the old houses in the Netherlands. And, love the history and cherish the details of old buildings.
When I was still a student, I needed an internship. It was part of my graduation project to become a professional decorative painter. I had a small restoration project myself, but was in need of a coach. At this time, my teacher said: you can contact a painter in Delft. He loves to restore old buildings and paintings. But, knows he loves perfectionism too.
So, on a cold day in January 2006, I went to visit him. To get to know each other. I was nervous. Of course, I needed to find my way through the beautiful city of Delft without a mobile phone. And, I didn’t know what to expect. His atelier was in an old house, it smelled like linseed oil, paint and alcohol.
The first thing he did: testing my knowledge about the architectural styles of houses around his atelier. He asked me about the age and, what is so special about houses built in that style. So, walking with him through the city, he taught me many stories about the buildings. Not only the style, but also some history. I loved it!
However, working with him, learned to me that maintaining a monument is a challenge. You always need to make choices about how to do it, how to save parts for the next generation, and how your work could be reversible if necessary. Just a new layer of paint on the window frames needs some extra thinking.
When is a house a monument in the Netherlands?
When a house is older than 50 years, it could be a monument. It is only a monument when the municipality or the government appoints that this house is significant in history, beauty or for science. It doesn’t matter if the building is an office, villa or flat.
Different kinds of monumental houses
In the Netherlands, there are approximately 61,800 national monuments. You will find most of them in the western part. Famous monuments are for example the Rijksmuseum and the historical centre of Amsterdam. Also, a lot of old churches are monuments.
This monumental state protects the outside and, also, the inside of the monuments. Because the interior will tell a lot about the history of a house or building, too.
Are you an owner of a national monument? Then you have the responsibility for saving the building for generations to come. The website of “monumentenzorg” will be very helpful. That’s the governmental organization that will help, guide and control with maintaining.
Curious about the interiors of some of the most exquisite monuments? Check out this website of Hendrick de Keyser. You can even book a stay over in some of them.
Almost every municipality has their own monuments too. These are mostly buildings which are important because of their architecture, or cultural historical value. The protection is organized by the municipality. Mostly, only the outside of the house is protected. Not always. The rules for renovating will also be slightly different from municipality to municipality. However, you most probably need a permit when renovating your house.
Only the provinces of Drenthe and Noord-Holland have provincial monuments. Check the website of the province for more information.
Good to know about renovating your monumental house
First, the nice part. Every year, there is subsidy available for maintaining national monumental houses. Every year, the details will change. Be aware, that there is a short period where you can ask for subsidies. For example: this year, you could only ask for it in March and April and there is only a fixed amount of money. For details: see the website of Restauratiefonds.
When you have a municipal monumental house, you could check the website of your municipality.
If you are thinking to make your house more sustainable, check out this blog for subsidies. This is also applicable for monuments. Although, you probably need a permit before you start the process.
Do you want to make your monument more sustainable? There are possibilities for a loan with a low interest rate. For example: Restauratiefonds. Mostly, the interest rate is lower than the rate for a mortgage.
Changing your monumental house
For national monumental houses
In short: there are a lot of possibilities but in most cases, you need a permit. Even, when it is something simple like changing the bathroom and sometimes even when painting the house. So, when you want to maintain your house, or even renovate it, it could be wise to start on time. Also, you need professionals with the right expertise on the job. Some companies are specialized in the restoration and renovation of monumental buildings.
Starting with a renovation can be a challenge. Especially, with a monumental house. You probably need some support. Just plan an online meeting, by clicking this link for the best possible start.
For houses which are monumental for the municipality
The rules for renovating this kind of house differ a bit from municipality to municipality. Sometimes, it’s only the outside of the house which is protected. It could also be inside, for example with a historical interior. In many cases, you need a permit for changing your house. The preparation phase is important, and the right company for the job.
As a proud owner of a monumental house, it’s good to know that your house needs a bit more attention with renovating. The rules differ from normal houses, and you most probably need a permit for the work. To save the house for future generations.
If you think: this is a bit too complicated, feel free to book a free introductory meeting. You can click on this link and ask all the questions you have.