About The Blog & Scott

Hi, my name is Scott Sidler and I’m addicted to old houses. There…it feels good to get that off my chest!

Scott & Windows

Just me, right at home with a pile of old windows

But really, I’m crazy about these old beauties, especially when it comes to the incredible craftsmanship that went into building them.

I haven’t always felt like this. I grew up in one boring American suburb after another until my parents bought a beautiful 1759 Colonial house in Highland Mills, NY when I was a teenager.

The wavy glass, weathered clapboards, and wide plank wood floors drew me in and sparked my curiosity and creativity.

Of course, it wasn’t until later in life, and quite by accident, that I stumbled into this career working with my hands on old houses.

Years down the line I somehow ended up in Orlando, FL where I met my wife and as luck would have it she liked old houses too. So, we took the plunge and bought a 1929 Bungalow that needed a little TLC.

We started fixing it up on weekends as we had time. Slowly, we started making improvements, some I’m not particularly proud of, but I’ve learned a lot since then.

Soon my DIY weekends turned into me taking time off from my real job to work on the house. That’s when I knew there might be something more to this historic restoration thing.

I could get lost in my own little world reglazing a window or painting baseboards. It was hard work, but strangely soothing. So, in 2010 I started blogging about my experiences right here. Kind of acting like the crash test dummy of old house improvement, I’d try things, some stupid, and others that amazingly worked out.

Craftsman Bungalow

Our cute little bungalow in Orlando, FL

That same year I started my own company to start restoring other historic houses around the area. In just 4 very quick years that little “historic handyman” company I started has become Austin Home Restorations, a well respected (I hope) 10-person team of fantastically talented individuals who make restoring houses fun everyday!

The Craftsman Blog is my laboratory, classroom, playground, and favorite place to be other than with my family because I get to help people like you understand and learn to fix your own old house.

I’m also the author of the #1 Amazon Bestselling book, Living in the Past that covers almost everything you need to know about understanding and repairing an old house.

In addition to writing The Craftsman every week and my books I’ve also written articles for FineHomebuilding Magazine, The National Trust for Historic Preservation and our work has been featured in This Old House Magazine.

I post regularly on the blog, but we all get busy and you never know when the post you are looking for will show up so go ahead and Subscribe to get posts by email so you don’t miss a thing to help you on your own projects.

Often I’ll link to products that I personally use and find very helpful in working on old houses. Many of these products are affiliate links which means if you decide to purchase one of these items through my link I get a small commission (at no extra cost to you!).

The purpose is not to just make money, which is always nice, but to help you find products I know will really help you take care of your historic home. You can shop all things restoration in my Old House Store.

If you’re interested in getting to know me better and seeing what this blog is all about then you should definitely visit my Getting Started page.

Glad to have you visit, and looking forward to getting to know you!


  1. Deliteyjo on said:

    Hi Scott, I’m looking for the Date my House on Hibiscus Ct. in Eola Heights was built. I know the year was 1925, but I’m wondering if there is anyway to find out the month it was completed in 1925.

    • The completion month is almost impossible to find but you can find the date the permit was pulled and by whom it was pulled at the Orange County History Center 65 East Central Blvd. Orlando, FL 32801 (407) 836-8500.
      Ask for the archives department and you can make an appointment to go thru the old maps and permit books. You’ll probably have to search a few years worth of Sandborn maps because with a built date of 1925 that is likely just an estimate.
      The city didn’t have adequate records for years and when they finally got their act together they went thru and guessed about the date of a lot of old houses. If it looked like it was built in the 1920s they slapped a 1925 on it. The 1930s became 1935 and so on.

      You can find a lot of info about all the folks who lived in your house in their archives. Best of luck! Let me know what you find. 🙂

  2. Liza Taylor on said:

    I am looking for help with a new roof on my 1928 craftsman bungalow in the historic district of Ocala, Florida. My husband and I would like put a metal roof, like we have seen on many other homes in the area, but we are running into difficulty with the Historic Board of Ocala. They prefer the roof to be “original” to 1928, and we have no way of knowing what that would be, as there are not good historic pictures or records in Ocala. Can you give me any advise?
    Thank you,
    Liza Taylor

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