Generally, at the rear of the house screened from view or in the front yard completely screened by shrubs. Please call the Planning Department or see the Air Conditioning Equipment guidelines for complete information.
The Landmark Commission must review all exterior changes proposed for individual landmarks and properties located in the Winslow Road and Shaker Square local landmark districts. This includes building changes and environmental/landscape changes. Visit the Landmark Commission page for additional information or call 216-491-1436.
In honor of the City's 2012 Centennial, the Shaker Heights Landmark Commission and the Shaker Heights Public Library collaborated on a project to assist and encourage citizen historians to learn more about their homes, neighborhoods, and heritage.
The Cleveland Historical smart phone app and website features information about nearly 50 landmark properties in Shaker Heights. The Historic Building Cards database includes information gathered from over 10,000 index cards. The original cards were created for each new building in Shaker Heights, and typically include information such as the date the home was built, the names of the home's architect, builder, and original owner, and the estimated cost to build the home.
The Shaker Heights Landmark Commission maintains a list of specialty contractors with experience in repairing original building materials. The Cleveland Restoration Society is another wonderful resource for information about original materials for your older home. Talk to your neighbors and get references! Visit the Landmark Commission page for additional resources.
The City does not regulate paint colors. However, Shaker Village Colors, a publication describing historic home colors, is available for download here at no charge. This book describes the architectural styles prevalent in Shaker Heights and provides appropriate paint schemes for each. You may purchase a printed copy of the book in the Planning Department office for $6.50.
Abrasive cleaning methods (sandblasting) are not safe for historic masonry. Chemical cleaners are another option for cleaning your historic masonry. Do not use in cold weather (same hazards as water cleaning). Test first: Chemicals can stain, etch, or burn the surface. Always rinse thoroughly and test the surface for a neutral pH.
Acidic Cleaners - use on non-acid sensitive masonry (granite, most sandstone, slate, unglazed terra cotta, cast stone, concrete).
Alkaline Cleaners - use on acid-sensitive masonry (limestone, marble, glazed brick and terra cotta, polished granite).
Paint removal is most successful with alkaline, organic solvent, or other chemical paint removers.
Use binoculars to see what's going on in the fall, before the freeze/thaw cycles; in the spring, see what the freeze/thaw did to your roof, checking for loose, cracked or missing slates.
It is also important to look in the attic for evidence of leaks, and to make sure gutters and downspouts are in good working order. If there is a leak, it is often the metal flashing at the seams, valleys and ridges of the roof is the real culprit. Slates usually outlive their flashing. Even copper flashing, the best in the business, typically lasts only 60 years (a spry and youthful age for most types of slate). Often, slate and wood shingle roofs are removed because of problems with flashings.
Sindelar, who coordinated a City-sponsored workshop on slate and shake shingles in 2001, cautions that before replacing a slate roof with something else, "You have to look at the economics of it." Because building codes prohibit putting new roofing material over a slate roof, the existing slates must be removed before their replacement may be laid down. That cost should be factored in.
According to the National Park Service, if over 20% of the slates on a roof or roof slope are broken, cracked, missing or sliding out of position, it is usually less expensive to replace the roof than to execute individual repairs. This is especially true of older roofs nearing the end of their serviceable lives, because even the most experienced slater will likely damage additional slates while attempting repairs.
The slates reaching the end of their serviceable lives are flaking and crumbling. At that point layers of mud that make up the slate are separating.
Slate is one of the three original, acceptable roofing materials for new homes constructed by the Van Sweringen company. The City urges owners of homes with slate roofs to maintain them and consider carefully before replacing them with any other material.
Slate roofs can last 200 years or longer, depending on the type of slate used, the configuration of the roof and the geographical location of the property, according to a bulletin published by the Technical Preservation Services arm of the National Park Service. By contrast, the average life span of an asphalt roof is about 30 years.
Two additional factors help determine a slate roof's life span: how the roof was installed and how well it has been maintained. In Ohio, well-maintained slate roofs on farmhouses and barns often date to the late 1700's.
Yes. Depending on whether your windows will be replicating the existing ones or whether you are changing styles and sizes, you will need approval from either the Planning Department or the Architectural Board of Review.
Wood windows are the soundest option. They are structurally strong, weather well against the elements (many Shaker Heights homes still have their original windows, which are averaging 80 years old), and they allow flexibility with exterior and interior color schemes. Wood windows are also available with aluminium cladding on the exterior to increase weather resistance and lower maintenance.
The installation of vinyl windows can have a significant visual impact on a house. The color selections are limited and the frames of the windows are wider, as vinyl is not as strong as wood. The wide frames make the new windows look very heavy and can create an unbalanced proportion to the appearance of the house. Shop around. Window replacements, regardless of material, can be an expensive project. Paying a little more up front for quality materials, flexibility in color and increased details will ultimately add value to your home.
Vinyl windows are not permitted in local landmark properties or districts.
Not necessarily. Often only the defective parts of a window may actually need repair or replacement. Consult with contractors who specialize in older window repair before replacing the entire unit. Repair of existing windows is often far less expensive than replacement. The Shaker Heights Landmark Commission maintains a list of specialty contractors with experience in repairing original building materials such as wood windows.
Before undertaking any project, look at your house critically. Notice the fine details of craftsmanship and compare the new product against what is currently installed on your home. How drastic is the proposed change? There are a large number of window manufacturers that fabricate new wood windows that replicate those fine profiles found on older windows. Another important thing to do is determine the architectural style of your house. Most Shaker houses fall into one of three broad architectural styles: English, French and Colonial. Traditionally, the windows are the same color as the trim on the house. Shaker Village Colors describes these styles of architecture (along with other common styles) and shows the appropriate color schemes for these styles of houses.
The city offers an annual Landlord Training Seminar and access to reduced cost tenant screening (highly recommended). Visit the Landlord Connection or call the Housing Programs Specialist at 216-491-1434 for additional information.
The city offers several programs for seniors. Seniors may apply for a Senior Exterior Maintenance Grant of up to $2,500 to help fix exterior housing violations, or apply for free paint through the City's paint program. A Senior Emergency Safety Grant of up to $500 is available to address health and/or safety hazards. A Housing Programs Specialist is available to provide free technical assistance and connect you with many resources. Income and location eligibility guidelines apply to all grant programs. For more information, call the Housing Programs Specialist at 216-491-1434.
Yes. Residents can apply for grants of up to $2,500, and apply for free paint through the City's paint program, to help fix exterior housing violations. A Housing Programs Specialist is available to provide free technical assistance and connect you with many resources. Income and location eligibility guidelines apply to all grant programs. For more information, visit the Housing Incentives page or call the Housing Programs Specialist at 216-491-1434.