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Home & Property Improvements

Living in and loving a Shaker home can be a major undertaking.

To make the effort worthwhile and the result magnificent, take advantage of Shaker's City Services. Information on historic preservation of an older home is available on the Landmark Commission page. Qualified rehabbers can receive special incentives through the Shaker Renovator Program.

So, you're planning an improvement project for your home. What do you do first?

First, find out whether the project is something you can tackle yourself:

  • Contact the City's Neighborhood and Housing Specialist to discuss your project by calling 216-491-1333.
  • Schedule a free site visit with the Heritage Home Program to get input on your project from a construction specialist by calling 216-426-3116.
  • Get a few estimates for the work to compare the cost of hiring someone for the project.

Once you've determined whether you want to do the work yourself or hire a professional, the City has a number of ways to help.

Residential Improvement Assistance


Financial Assistance
Download the Property Improvement Resources brochure or the Housing Assistance Programs Chart for a brief overview of assistance programs. Additional information is available on the Home Repair Loans and Programs page. For more information about the City's programs, contact Neighborhood and Housing Specialist This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. at 216-491-1333.

Home Repair Resource Center
DIYers can take advantage of the City's partnership with the Home Repair Resource Center (2520 Noble Rd.), which regularly offers classes at the Stephanie Tubbs Jones Building (3450 Lee Rd.). Check the City calendar for details. HRRC also offers a Tool Library of more than 1,000 tools available for borrowing; Shaker residents may join the Tools Library for $25 a year. Call HRRC at 216-381-6100 for more information.

Contractor Resources
If you decide to hire a contractor, you will want one who is registered with the City. Lists of registered contractors are updated regularly. The City cannot recommend contractors for you, but always suggests that you:

  • Check references
  • Look at prior work
  • Get at least three bids

The Heritage Home Program can also assist homeowners by locating reliable home repair contractors. Visit the Preservation Toolbox for a guide to hiring and working with contractors, as well as a checklist of questions to ask.

To identify other local contractors, contact the Heights-Hillcrest Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Residential Permits and Architectural Review Board


The next important question to ask is:

Will this project require a permit?

There isn't always a simple answer to this question. Because certain repairs may or may not require a permit, it's best to check with the Building Department, 216-491-1460. In general, if the project involves adding or changing something to your home that might be subject to building code review, it will need a permit. Certain common household projects do not require a permit.

To make sure the project is performed to the State's building codes, licensed building officials will inspect the permit work. This enforcement ensures that the work meets Shaker's standards for safety and quality.

Do I need approval for any exterior alterations?

Architectural review and approval may be needed for exterior projects even when no permit is required. To determine whether review by the Architectural Board is required, see the guide to common residential permits and required approvals or contact the Planning Department, 216-491-1430.

Buildings that are located in an historic district or that have been designated local landmarks will require review by the Landmark Commission. Contact the Planning Department for additional information, 216-491-1436.

Commercial Improvements


Zoning and Permitting Process
The Planning Department (216-491-1430) and Building Department (216-491-1460) will help as you prepare to build-out your new space, renovate your existing space, start new construction, arrange signage and make other capital investments. Economic Development Department staff (216-491-1334) can also assist you with these processes by ensuring that you contact the appropriate department at the right time.

Saturday, December 15, 2018


fall 2018

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