The Oldest City in America

Oldest School in America

Recently, my wife and I went on vacation to the oldest city in America. Luckily, I have a wife who loves old buildings (almost) as much as I do! I wanted to share some of the history and pictures with you since it truly was an incredible experience. What is the oldest city in America, you ask? Surely, it has to be in New England near the oldest house in America somewhere around Plymouth rock where the Pilgrims [...] Read on →

Selecting The Right Wood Finish

Wood Finishes

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 get you pointed in the right direction. Finishing wood is as much an art as it is a science. Each finish can come [...] Read on →

How To: Prevent Termites From Taking Over Your House

Termite damage

Termites have been keeping carpenters annoyed and employed for millennia. These sneaky little creatures can turn a solid wood structure into a pile of toothpicks in short order. Each year, termites and similar pests cause an estimated $30 billion in damage to crops and man-made structures in the U.S. alone. So, knowing how to prevent these little buggers is important. There are a few tricks you can do to ensure your old house is as safe as possible. [...] Read on →

How To: Cut Antique Glass

Image credit: server / 123RF Stock Photo

The title may say, “how to cut antique glass,” but it’s really the same process for any kind of glass you would find in windows or doors. The easy way is to bring your measurements to the local glass shop or hardware store and ask them to do it. They’ll do it perfectly and it will only cost about a buck a cut if you bring your own glass.   But for some of us DIYers, there is [...] Read on →

How To: Restore an Antique Door

Image credit: nuttakit / 123RF Stock Photo

This is a Guest Post by Mike Zook. Mike has been writing about home improvement topics for many years. Click here to find out more about door retrofitting. As anyone who’s ever owned or loved an antique home knows, their beauty and uniqueness are only exceeded by one thing – the number of problems that need to be fixed. This can be tough and costly enough in a modern home, but at least you know there’s probably an [...] Read on →

Reclaimed Wood Farm Table Project

Finished Reclaimed wood farm table

I’ve got a fun reclaimed wood project for you today that we recently made for a local winery. They wanted a rustic, natural wood feel for their tasting room that was soon to open near downtown Orlando. You can check out the winery at www.quantumleapwinery.com So, here’s what we did . . .

How To: Open Stuck Windows in 4 Easy Steps

Historic Window

If your house is old enough to have needed a new paint job in its life then you might have a couple windows that have been painted shut. If your house is as old as mine (1929) you’d be lucky to find a window that still opens. Over the years numerous coats of paint by lazy painters have typically sealed shut most windows on a historic home. But you don’t have to live with that anymore. If it’s [...] Read on →

The Dutch Door: A Breath of Fresh Air

Dutch Door

The Dutch Door has been around since the 17th century. And through the centuries its iconic design has been found in homes across the globe. But this door has a special relationship with the earliest American colonies where it was almost a necessity of colonial home design. History This unique piece of architecture became popular in the American colonies of New York and New Jersey, which were originally settled by the Dutch before the English took over. This [...] Read on →

Ideas For Decorating With Salvage

Photo courtesy GoodHousekeeping.com

Shabby-chic, French country, vintage, repurposed, picking, salvage..there are tons of names for taking old materials and incorporating them into your home. It can be as easy as getting a great deal on a piece of furniture at the local antique fair, but to create the truly eye-catching conversation pieces it requires re-thinking the materials you have into something unique and special. So we’ve put together some salvaged projects to get your creative juices flowing. And if you need more ideas you can always follow our Pinterest board “Salvage Projects We Can Make For You” which is updated almost daily with new repurposed ideas for your home.

Historic Trim & Moldings

Molding and Trimwork

The trim installed in your home has gone through a lot of changes over the last couple centuries. On the simple frontier homes of early colonial America there wasn’t much need for the fanciful trim and moldings present in European homes at the time. It was a wild country and the focus was on survival. But as the country matured so did its stylistic tastes in molding.

Why I Love Old Houses

Bungalow

There is something special about an old house. The incredible craftsmanship, the quality materials, but most precious is the history and story they tell. It’s easy to get caught up in the nuts and bolts of how to cope a joint properly, or cleanly refinish wood floors, but sometimes I need to remember why I do what I do. So I thought I’d share with you why it is that I love old houses. When I was a kid [...] Read on →

How To: Restore Old Hardware

Rusted and painted window sash pulleys circa 1894

After a century of paint jobs and humidity a lot of your home’s hardware can loose its original luster. It’s a small detail in a historic house, but properly restored hardware on windows, doors, and elsewhere gives a house that extra oomph that adds to the overall vintage feel of the home (whether people consciously realize it or not!) You can restore old hardware easily and put them back into service with just a little elbow grease. Step [...] Read on →

10 Best Old House DIY Websites

Hammer and Wrench

There are countless old and historic house blogs scattered across the Internet. Some of them focus on How-To subjects, others discuss the history of old houses, and some are an online diary of people’s journey to fix up there own historic house. Some of these blogs are great for learning the step-by-step of certain projects while others are fun to read the cautionary tales of hapless homeowners. All of these blogs can be a great source of ideas [...] Read on →

Before You Buy A Historic House

Gothic Revival Tower

So, you’ve decided to buy a historic house. Congratulations! Purchasing a historic house is more than just owning a beautiful piece of history. It’s a labor of love that can require a lot of work and an extra serving of patience. Historic homes line the streets of almost every town from Maine to California, and there is no dearth of variety when it comes to an old house. There are Craftsman Bungalows, Queen Annes, Colonial Revivals, Greek Revivals, [...] Read on →