How old is your house, really? Follow these steps to find out. Then... have a birthday party!
Difficulty: Requires perseverance
Time Required: Plan to spend many weeks researching
- Try to identify the architectural style of your house. Begin with House Style Guides.
- Examine the building materials and construction methods used for your home.
- Check the title. Get the names of previous owners.
- Talk to previous owners, neighbors, and anyone else who might be familiar with your house. Visit with your local historical society or Town Historian.
- Study the tax roll. A sudden increase in property value may mark the year your house was built or remodeled.
- Check the tract index or a grantor-grantee index for names and dates.
- Search paper documents such as local newspapers, city directories, insurance records and town guidebooks.
- Houses often aren't built all in one piece. The home you live in today may have evolved over many years. See through the upgrades, additions, and remodeling.
- An architectural investigator can date your house by studying its wood, plaster, mortar and paint.