The Bungalow: America’s Home

Bungalow

Ever since it burst on the scene the bungalow has been an immensely popular style of architecture. You won’t find it listed in many books on architecture though because it is not a true architectural style like the Colonial Revival, Queen Anne Victorian, or its most closely related cousin the American Craftsman. The bungalow is a simple everyman’s house. Nothing too grand or big. No ornate gingerbread trim with extravagant 10-color paint schemes. Of all the historic home styles [...] Read on →

The Under-appreciated Historic Outbuilding

Historic Shed

The following is a guest post by my friend Jo-Anne Peck of Historic Shed in Brooksville, FL. Her company specializes in designing and building historic sheds, garages, and cottages. A couple of months ago my company presented a project proposal in front of a local historic preservation review board in Florida. While we waited for our case to come up on the agenda, we listened to another applicant request demolition of a historic garage within a Local and [...] Read on →

Transforming an Old Garage Into a Tiny House (Part 3)

cozy kitchenette

For the last couple weeks I have been sharing the nuts and bolts of how we turned a 1920s detached garage into a tiny house, a tiny guest house to be exact. Today, I want to share all the detail work we did to really make the house fit that vintage 1920s feel we were going for. After all, what’s the point of having a 1929 Bungalow if your tiny guest house looks like something off the shelf [...] Read on →

Why Does My Old House Have Two Front Doors?

Photo credit Scott Sidler

Lots of old homes have the mysterious second front door. Some were added in renovations over the years, but others are original. The explanations for these original double doors are all over the map. Many folks finally give up hope of finding an answer to this architectural mystery, but I have some ideas for you. If your old house has two front doors there are a number of reasons. Depending on your home’s style, age, location and size [...] Read on →

What is an Old House?

Image credit: gatordawg / 123RF Stock Photo

The bumper sticker on my truck reads, “Please Recycle. Buy an Old House.” It’s not often a company can fit its mission statement on a bumper sticker. A beverage napkin maybe, but we boiled it down to bumper sticker length. Honestly, there is a bit more to our company’s mission, but the real reason I formed my company was to save as many old houses as I could before they are all gone. Too many people today look [...] Read on →

Tips For Historic Home Owners {#13 Keep Period Details}

Historic Home Tips

When it comes to your old home’s exterior nothing is as important as the details. Fish-scale shingles, jigsaw cut balustrades, creative cornices. There are so many things that make your old house unique. And saving them or replicating the missing pieces distinguishes your historic home from its neighbors. If you own a crumbling Victorian or an aging Craftsman what better way to increase not only your own enjoyment of your home but also its value than the restore [...] 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 . . .

Tips for Historic Homeowners {#3 Keep Exterior Proportions Relative}

Historic Home Tips

Your historic home’s proportions were carefully thought out. They were planned by a designer or architect to work together and complement the overall style of the house. An out of scale addition like an oversized dormer or an undersized porch will only serve to confuse the look of your house. If you’re planning a renovation it’s important to keep things in proportion with the homes existing design. Have new windows not only match the style of the old [...] Read on →

Tips for Historic Homeowners {#2 Respect Your Home’s Vintage}

Historic Home Tips

Whether you home is Victorian or Craftsman, Greek or Colonial, plain or elaborate you should respect Its vintage. It is what it is and trying to change it will only lead to trouble. There’s something incredibly jarring about one type of home masquerading as another. Your home has a vintage that is completely unique unto itself and that vintage should be respected. Mixing genres and decades not only destroys your historic home’s intrinsic value but also its financial [...] Read on →

Tips for Historic Homeowners [#1 Keep Private vs. Public Spaces]

Historic Home Tips

This is the start of a new series every Friday entitled “Tips for Historic Homeowners”! These will be short posts every week to help you start thinking about how to maintain, restore and enjoy your historic house. Tip #1 Keep Private vs. Public Spaces The recent trend of large open floor plans in homes today has led to many historic homes having their walls knocked down willy nilly. Historic homes traditionally had a greater separation of public and [...] Read on →

Save the Historic Homes on Lake Eola

Lake Eola Historic Homes

Lake Eola’s last remaining historic homes are in danger of destruction. Yesterday I learned of the City of Orlando’s plans to remove 5 historic (according the Orlando Sentinel these homes are only “semi-historic” whatever that may mean) homes dating from 1915-1930 that border Lake Eola park in order to add what will presumably be green space and expand the park’s existing borders by approximately 1 acre. While I think more and bigger parks are a wonderful part of [...] Read on →

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 →

Why a Tiny House Should Be Your Next House

Tumbleweedhouses.com

The Tiny House movement is a growing trend in home design today. You might be surprised to find that a Tiny House is the perfect answer to living better than you ever imagined. With a focus on quality over quantity the Tiny House makes the finer things in life more affordable and accessible than ever before. The Premise Most people can’t imagine living comfortably in a 700 SF house. And that’s mainly because society tells us we need [...] Read on →

How To: Install Beadboard Wainscoting Like A Pro

Beadboard Wainscoting

Wainscoting is one of the best ways to dress up a boring room. And for a historic home’s bathroom nothing fits better than breadboard wainscoting. We’ll walk you through the best way to install a true beaded-plank wainscoting by highlighting one of our latest projects. Materials Needed: Beaded-plank boards in 3/4″ or 1/4″ thickness. 1×4 select Pine board for the top rail. 1×3 inexpensive backer boards. Cove molding. 1×2 select Pine for cap. (you can use any creative [...] Read on →