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How To: Tune Up Your AC

how to tune up your ac

It’s summer time and and the heat is here! We Americans are pushing our air conditioners to the max as our utility bills are pushing our wallets to the max. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Modern AC units are extremely long-lived and efficient, but just like anything they are not completely maintenance free. A little care each year will help your AC not only keep everyone cool but also keep us from busting our budgets. […] Read on →

The Wood Filler & Epoxy Test (Year 2)


It’s that time again! Time to check the results on my wood filler and epoxy test and see how five of the most popular wood repair products are doing after 2 full years of exposure to the harsh Florida weather. Every year I detail how these popular wood fillers and epoxies are doing to help you find better choices in what to use to patch and repair wood. The five products I tested here are Abatron WoodEpox, MH […] Read on →

8 Things You Didn’t Know About Independence Hall

independence hall

This 4th of July before you light off those fireworks, learn just a little bit about America’s birthday. Independence Hall is one of the most iconic buildings in America and has quite a history that most of us know little about. Many people will vaguely recognize the building as having something to do with the American Revolution, but not much more than that. Here are eight facts about Independence Hall that you probably didn’t know, but will give […] Read on →

10 Ways to Paint Better

10 ways to paint better

Painting is one of the easiest things a DIYer can do. Without much practice most people can do at least a halfway decent job of painting a room or some trim. But with a few tips you can turn that passable job into a job you can be proud of. I’ve written extensively about painting on this blog, but felt that putting some of the best tips I can think of in a single post would create a […] Read on →

5 Ways to NOT Electrocute Yourself

5 ways to not electrocute yourself

This week’s post is a guest post by Spencer Blohm about electrical safety. Since the National Safety Council, has designated the month of June as National Safety Month I thought it was a fitting post as we crank up the AC and start pushing hard on our home’s electrical service. Be safe this summer and follow these easy tips to NOT electrocute yourself! Summer is also prime time to get going on home renovation projects, and a significant percentage of […] Read on →

All About Wavy Glass

all about wavy glass

Lots of us appreciate the wavy glass we find in our old windows. Some don’t even know what they have, but for those of us who have taken note of the unique appearance of wavy glass the new stuff just won’t cut it. Old glass has bubbles, waves, inclusions, varying thickness…all kinds of beautiful imperfections and that’s exactly why we love it! I’m sure I’m not the only one, but to me modern float glass is too perfect. There’s […] Read on →

Practical Preservation

practical preservation

Historic preservation may seem to some like a high brow art form only suitable for the nation’s architectural treasures. The artisans and craftsmen working to restore George Washington’s Mt. Vernon or an immensely talented artist restoring some Renaissance age frescos. These things are all well and good and an important part of the preservation movement, but they are not the bulk of the work being done today. There is a huge part of the preservation world that is […] Read on →

Oil vs Latex: Which Paint is Best?

oil vs latex which paint is best

“Should I use oil or latex paint?” It’s a question I get asked a lot. Oil vs latex, the two paints are very different and each has their strengths and weaknesses. In this post I’ll try to help you figure out when and where each type of paint will excel so you can make the right decision for your project. The landscape of painting has been changing quickly since the introduction of latex paint by Sherwin Williams in 1941. […] Read on →

The Real Economics of Preservation

The Real Economics of Preservation

I get lots of questions about the economics of preservation. What’s real and what’s white noise. While I’m not an economist or even remotely math-centric a big reason why I do what I do is because of the economic reality that historic preservation is good for our communities. Historic preservation improves property values, helps with density, is beneficial to the environment, as well as a myriad of other benefits to both residents and local governments. I’m going to throw […] Read on →

Is Vinyl Ever a Good Idea?

is vinyl ever a good idea

Vinyl is everywhere these days and in many different forms when it comes to construction. Replacement windows, siding, gutters, flooring, trim, soffits, it’s everywhere! The vinyl industry will tell you this is a good thing. After all, vinyl products are relatively inexpensive and maintenance free. Isn’t that what we all want these days?   Maybe so but at what cost? In the race to the bottom vinyl has taken over huge swaths of the building industry and it […] Read on →

Bring Back the Front Porch

bring back the front porch

I think it’s time we brought back the front porch. For too long our garages have been growing while our porches have been shrinking. We insulate ourselves and our homes to keep the outside world out and the inside world in and we become more reclusive and less social in the process. Even going back as late as the 70s and 80s in my childhood we would play outside with the neighborhood kids until the sun went down. […] Read on →

Preservation Month: One Month to Save America

Preservation Month

May is Historic Preservation month in America so it’s time for us preservationists to fly our freak flag. It’s true that Historic Preservation Month has to share the spotlight with National Barbecue Month and Lumpy Rug Day (May 3rd), but that doesn’t mean we can’t do our part too. Why does historic preservation need a month? It’s simple, we’ve already lost too many of our nation’s architectural treasures, and one month a year to remind us of why […] Read on →

No Joanna, That’s Not Shiplap

What is Shiplap

My wife and I like most all old home owners are fans of a lot of the restoration themed DIY shows these days. Rehab Addict, Barnyard Builders, American Pickers and of course Fixer Upper. Their designs and passion to keep original elements of old houses is so rare in the renovation game that I can’t help but root for them to succeed. One of my favorite shows is definitely Fixer Upper. Partly because I’m from Texas and partly […] Read on →

1st Annual Sash Revival

sash revival 2016

May is National Preservation Month and there are all kinds of events planned around the country to raise awareness about historic preservation. The Window Preservation Alliance (WPA) decided to get in on the act too! Throughout May our members nationwide will be hosting free local workshops on restoring wood windows. We’re calling these events Sash Revivals because we’re hoping that is just one month we can revive hundreds if not thousands of window sash. Here’s your chance to […] Read on →