How to weatherstrip wood windows

How To Weatherstrip Wood Windows

There are a lot of different techniques to weatherstrip wood windows. Like anything, some are more effective than others. In this post I’ll show you how to install spring bronze weatherstripping on your old windows. Spring bronze is without a doubt my favorite type of weatherstripping for a few reasons: Very attractive and gains a [...] Read on →

rot resistant wood

Choosing Rot Resistant Wood

Old houses are constantly having to deal with wood rot and insect damage. While the old-growth wood used in houses built before the turn of the 20th Century are a more rot resistant wood than anything available today, no wood is rot or insect proof.  Insects and fungi (aka rot) love soft wood. Preferably soft, [...] Read on →

Wood Finishes

Selecting The Right Wood Finish

You could fill a library with the different ways of finishing wood. There are oils and lacquers, urethanes and stains, sealers and varnishes. Some are wiped on, some are sprayed, while still others are brushed on. I could fill a book on just this subject alone so this post will be more of a primer to [...] Read on →

Balusters in a balustrade

25 Old House Terms Defined

Old houses have a lot of terms that you may not be familiar with. So, having a working definition of those terms will help save you confusion and overuse of phrases like Whatchamacallit or Thingamajig. Save yourself the hassle with this handy guide to 25 old house terms you need to know. Baluster (Balustrade) – [...] Read on →

Choosing the right fastener

Choosing the Right Fastener (Part 2 Screws)

Last week we talked about how to pick the right nails for the job. You can read that post here. This week we’re going to discuss how to choose the right kind of screw for the job. There are tons of different kinds of screws. While you don’t have to deal with pneumatic sizing like [...] Read on →

Choosing the right fastener

Choosing the Right Fastener (Part 1 Nails)

Choosing the right fastener for your home improvement project can be daunting. Should you use a screw or nail? How long does it need to be? Galvanized? Hardened? Brass? So many options means lots of ways to make a mistake. I’ll walk you through the most important points and help you make the right choice [...] Read on →

Clapboards

Lead Paint: The Whole Story

Lead paint and lead poisoning, as it pertains to old houses, have long been a lightning rod of controversy. Some people even refuse to own an old home due to fears of lead paint. But lead paint may not be the national health concern you’ve been told it is. I’d like to start by saying [...] Read on →

Old House Heat Transfer

Understanding the 3 Types of Heat Transfer

Understanding the three types of heat transfer will help you insulate smarter and not just throw money at expensive energy bills like most people. Whether you are in a hot climate or cold climate it’s all about keeping heat in its place. There are three types of heat transfer: conduction, convection, and radiation. All three [...] Read on →

15 lbs. felt paper installed and prepared for siding

Transforming an Old Garage Into a Tiny House (Part 2)

Last week I showed you how we started transforming an old garage into a tiny guest house. This week I’ll tell you about some more of the details of getting this tiny house ready for visitors. This week’s post is a bit more building science as I share about sheathing, insulation and floors. Next week [...] Read on →

Image credit: pilens / 123RF Stock Photo

8 Ways To Improve Efficiency without Losing Authenticity

A Guest Post by Frank Newhouse: Frank is a freelance writer and green technology enthusiast who loves to write about ways that homeowners can save money and reduce their environmental impact. He currently writes for Air Conditioning Florida, a company that helps Miami residents find the efficient AC services they need.   Owners of historic homes [...] Read on →

Image Credit: 100abandonedhouses.com

Preventative Maintenance Checklist

Maintaining an old house can seem like a full time job at times. Old homes were built with materials and in a manner that requires regular maintenance. While this maintenance requires time it is ultimately a more affordable option than today’s home design of replacement rather than repair. Regular Inspections Regularly inspecting your old house [...] Read on →

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Getting Square with the 3:4:5 Triangle

This post may be a bit on the math nerd side, but sometimes in construction a math nerd is the one who makes the difference between a building falling down and one that lasts a hundred years. Old houses are notoriously void of right angles. They have shifted and settled over the years and nothing [...] Read on →

Water Putty

The 7 Best Products to Patch Wood

Sometimes it’s nail holes and sometimes it’s rotten wood, but your projects will often require you to patch wood. In this post I’ll help you determine the best materials (and there are tons available!) to use when the time comes to patch wood projects. The type of material you should use will depend on what [...] Read on →