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Is There Such a Thing as Energy Efficient Glass?

energy efficient glass

Last week I had a blast destroying a bunch of glass samples in my shop for Part 1 of this glass series. This week I’ll reveal the results of my thermal testing to see if there really is such a thing as energy efficient glass. I’ll preface this with the fact that I am not a scientist and this test is not scientific. I’m just a historic restorationist and this anecdotal test gets me close enough to see how […] Read on →

Breaking Glass in the Name of Science

understanding glass

Today I get to spend the afternoon breaking glass in the name of science and I’ve recorded it on video so you can benefit from my tests without the clean up. Back in the day glass used to be simple. There was a limited supply and variety that you could find for windows and doors. Picking the right types of glass was all about finding the right size to fit the opening. Today that’s no longer the case. Just […] Read on →

Hurricane Preparedness For Old Houses

hurricane preparedness for old houses

Hurricane preparedness is no joke here in hurricane country. Having just finished the storm clean up from Hurricane Matthew here in Orlando my mind can’t help but focus on ways to keep us all safer. We dodged a bullet in Central Florida, but the coast and islands like the Bahamas and Haiti were not so fortunate. There isn’t much you can do to a building to help it survive a direct hit from a Category 4 or 5 […] Read on →

How To: Remove Glazing Putty

how to remove glazing putty

Whether it’s steel windows or wood windows removing glazing putty is one of the more frustrating things to do in my opinion. How hard the work is depends on a lot of factors like how old the putty is and what type putty was used. There are a few tricks to remove glazing putty without breaking the glass that I can show you. Mainly it comes down to being patient and careful. No matter which technique you use […] Read on →

10 Worst Building Materials Ever!

10 worst building materials

The way we build things has come a long way over the years. Technology and innovation have helped us build taller and grander structures than we could have imagined just 75 years ago. But it has not all been rainbows and butterflies. Our race to the top has been running simultaneously with a race to the bottom. The race to find the cheapest, easiest, and worst building materials ever.  And we pawn these off on unsuspecting homeowners as amazing […] Read on →

How To: Revive Old Wood w/ Boiled Linseed Oil

how to revive old wood with boiled linseed oil

Wood is an extraordinary building material that can last hundreds of years, especially old-growth wood, when given a little care. Just like any material when exposed to the elements it can slowly degrade. But you can bring old wood back to life by using boiled linseed oil and prepare it for a few more decades of service life. Don’t let grey, weathered wood convince you to replace it when all it needs is a little TLC. Other than […] Read on →

How To: Get Historic Tax Credits

how to get historic tax credits

Let’s face it, paying to repair a big old house can get expensive. A lot of us roll up our sleeves and end up doing a lot of the work ourselves to help make things more affordable. Doing it yourself can be fun, but for major projects it’s not always feasible because of the time and skills required. That’s when historic tax credits can help. There isn’t a free money window at the government, but if you know […] Read on →

Review: Wagner Flexio 890 Paint Sprayer

Flexio 890 paint sprayer

It’s Labor Day and it’s time to finish off those last projects before Fall. If you’re in the market or thinking about buying a handheld paint sprayer then this post is a great place to start with your research! I recently had the opportunity to test drive a brand new Wagner FLEXIO 890 paint sprayer. The folks at Wagner provided me a test model and I put it into action on a large barn door project we had […] Read on →

4 Hacks For Re-roping Windows

re-roping windows

I’ve discussed how to re-rope double-hung windows in a previous post, but folks are always looking for more ideas on how to make roping easier. So, here are four simple hacks I’ve developed to make re-roping windows a whole lot easier. Click here for more help on restoring your old windows, and if you need some top notch sash rope you can always buy some right here.   Hack #1 The Piggyback If you’ve still got a rope poking through the pulley […] Read on →

Quick & Easy Wood Floor Repair

wood floor repair

I’ve written about how to replace damaged individual floor boards previously in Invisible Repairs For Hardwood Floors, but sometimes you just need a quick wood floor repair for little problem spots. This type of repair doesn’t require any carpentry skills and takes only about 10 minutes to fill in soft spots or missing chunks of wood. You don’t have to remove whole boards and make a big mess either. With the tutorial in this post you can repair […] Read on →

Protecting Your House From Your Landscaping

landscaping ivy on brick

Landscaping makes the outside of your house beautiful. It can add so much to the appearance and curb appeal, but it also comes with some potential hazards if you’re not careful. Here’s some good tips to keep your landscaping from taking over your house and ruining all your hard work.   Trim Back Trees Big shade trees are a great thing to keep your house cool in the summer. In first rung neighborhoods there are a ton of […] Read on →

9 Ways Houses Kept Cool Before AC

9 ways houses kept cool before AC

In the summertime most of us go from an air conditioned office to an air conditioned car to an air conditioned house. Sure we brave the heat for the brief moments we get out of the car, but our lives are mostly sparred from the heat by the cleverness of our own ingenuity and the invention of air conditioning. But what if you didn’t have air conditioning? Would you know how to stay cool? How did previous generations […] Read on →

Modern Plaster Techniques (Video)

modern plaster techniques

I posted a while back about my aversion to drywall and how I feel it has absolutely no place in an old house. I mentioned a technique that my company uses called ‘Modern Plaster’ to repair and re-coat old plaster walls and new sheetrock to make them look and perform like a brand new old plaster wall. Well, I’ve finally gotten around to making a video to show you some of the techniques that we use to attain […] Read on →

Understanding Single-Hung Windows

understanding single hung windows

Depending on the part of the country you live in and the style house you own you may have either double-hung windows or single-hung windows. Theses two types of windows can look very similar if you don’t know what to look for, but knowing which you have is important. The operation of the bottom sash is almost always guaranteed in sash windows, but in a single-hung window the top sash is stationary. It can be removed easily, but […] Read on →