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Fact or Fiction 

Many residents in the Historic Overlay District are considering exterior improvements to their homes but may be deterred because they believe that the approval process is too cumbersome. Listed below are just a few of the many misconceptions about the Historic District that we have heard along with the facts. 

"I cannot change the paint color on the exterior of my home without consulting the Village and/or the Architectural Review Commission."

FICTION – Exterior paint colors are not regulated within the Historic Overlay District. For recommendations on historically accurate paint colors, please consult the Historic Overlay District Design Guidelines.

“I cannot make exterior improvements to my home in the Historical District without going before the Architectural Review Commission.”

FICTION – Many exterior improvements including but not limited to window replacement, roof replacement, gutter replacement and siding repairs can be approved administratively by obtaining a standard construction permit. Painting does not require a construction permit. 

“Additions to the front and side of historic structures are not permitted.”

FICTION – The Historic Overlay District Design Guidelines recommend that additions are located at the rear of the building, are in scale with the original structure and do not result in the loss of overall architectural character. However, all additions (including side and front) are evaluated by the Architectural Review Commission under the same set of standards. 

“I cannot replace my original windows.”

FICTION – As of April 22, 2019 all windows in the Historic Overlay District are eligible for replacement with an approved historically accurate window.  All replacement windows must be in the same opening as the original window and utilize the correct window pattern for the architectural style of the structure.  All replacement windows with divisions must utilize simulated divided lites (SDL).  Please contact Jennifer Tennant at (847) 304-3462 or jtennant@barrington-il.gov to discuss window replacement for your home.  PLEASE NOTE: A CONSTRUCTION BUILDING PERMIT IS REQUIRED FOR ALL WINDOW REPLACEMENTS.

“I cannot replace my old wood siding.”

FICTION – As of April 22, 2019 original exterior materials such as siding and trim are eligible for replacement with an approved alternate material.  Smooth, clear horizontal wood siding is the recommended and preferred siding material. Other smooth siding materials that are designed to mimic smooth wood siding with like design, dimension and profile will be considered as they become available.  Smooth siding material that meets the criteria described in this section with a depth or butt dimension ranging from 5/16” to 5/8” is permitted.  The use of vinyl and/or aluminum siding and trim material or other siding and trim material with faux wood grain or other similar textures are not permitted in the Historic Overlay District.  Please contact Jennifer Tennant at (847) 304-3462 or jtennant@barrington-il.gov to discuss siding and trim replacement for your home.  PLEASE NOTE: A CONSTRUCTION PERMIT IS REQUIRED FOR ALL SIDING AND TRIM REPLACEMENTS.   Architectural Review Commission review may also be required for large-scale projects.

The Village would like to hear your questions regarding the Historic Overlay District! Send your questions/comments to Jennifer Tennant at (847) 304-3462 or jtennant@barrington-il.gov.

Jennifer Tennant

Assistant Director of Development Services

(847) 304-3462


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