Walls define the aesthetic tastes and budget of the original owner, the skill of the designer and builder, and the level of technology available when the building was built. Whenever possible, original exterior wall materials and decorative detailing (including brackets, endboards, gable returns, entablatures, pilasters, cornices, and quoins) of historic properties should be preserved and repaired.
Repairing damaged wood, brick, stone, metal, terra cotta, tile, adobe, stucco, or other original material is preferred over replacement.
- Maintaining and repairing using like materials, whether they be masonry, wood, or metal.
- Keeping natural brick or stone unpainted.
- Matching the type, size, texture, and color of brick, stone, tile, concrete, or other masonry material used (and any grout or mortar present) to repair a historic property to match the original as closely as possible.
- Matching wood siding selected for repairs for width, milling profile, texture, and general appearance to match the original.
- Keeping historically appropriate smooth wood finish.
- Using gentle cleaning techniques.
- Installing synthetic, non-traditional materials such as aluminum or vinyl siding, T-111 siding, plywood, concrete or synthetic brick, concrete block, synthetic block materials, Hardiplank, Drive, lava stone, or other non-traditional substitutes.
- Using wood with a raised grain because wood siding and trim historically did not have raised grain.
- Murals should not be painted on the exterior walls of historic buildings as these obscure original materials and craftsmanship detract from the historic character of a building.
- Using harsh cleaning techniques, such as sandblasting, high-pressure spray, or wire brush.