Oldest House in America

The Oldest House in America

  What is the oldest house in America? Is there any way to really tell? The answer is yes, we really can tell what the oldest house in America is…we think. When you go back centuries to colonial times records are not quite as complete or straight forward as they are today, but there are [...] 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 →

Image credit: greggr / 123RF Stock Photo

Quality or Quantity (Which Does Your Home Have?)

I grew up in Texas so I like everything big. Big sky, big acreage, big pickup trucks and big steaks. There’s something about a 36 oz steak called the “widow maker” that appeals to me. Maybe it’s the challenge. Maybe it’s just the idea of seeing a steak that size. Whatever it is I’m intrigued. [...] Read on →

Living-in-the-Past-Cover

10 Must-Read Old House Books

Books are possibly the greatest resource for anyone looking to learn something new. There is something extremely satisfying about sharing a great book with a friend. So, this is my way of sharing my 10 must-read old house books. These books are the most helpful and enjoyable books I have come across on the topic [...] Read on →

Tiny House Garage

Transforming an Old Garage Into a Tiny House (Part 1)

Tiny houses have recently become a huge grassroots movement focused on scaling back our cluttered lives and living more simply. Quality over quantity is the theme of the movement, and I’m a big proponent of that. Over the next few weeks I’m going to share an exciting project we’ve just finished here in Orlando. I’ll [...] Read on →

Photo credit Scott Sidler

Why Does My Old House Have Two Front Doors?

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. [...] Read on →

Old Home Infographic

Why Should You Save an Old House?

The law of supply and demand is a basic economic principle of a free market that goes like this: As demand for an item goes up the price goes up. This attracts new suppliers who increase the supply bringing the price back to normal. The laws of supply and demand are constantly in motion in our economy [...] Read on →

Historic Home Tips

Tips For Historic Homeowners {#6 Be a Detective}

Every old house is hiding some pieces of its past, and it’s up to you to figure them out. Many folks want to restore old details that have been removed or covered up over the years. And while some remodels may have completely wiped out any signs of the past there may still be ways [...] Read on →

Historic Home Tips

Tips for Historic Homeowners {#5 Start Outside}

So many folks go a little crazy with the seemingly endless list of repairs they inherit with their first old house. It can be overwhelming. There is too much to do and too little money and time that they freeze up and don’t do anything! Well, don’t become one of those people. There is a [...] Read on →

Old House Personality Type

Personality Types (Old House Style)

Personality types are a fantastic way to learn a bit about yourself. There are countless tests like the DISC or Myers/Briggs. And there is one test you’ve probably not heard of. The reason you may have missed it is because . . . well . . . I just invented it. The “SPA” test is [...] Read on →

Lake Eola Historic Homes

Save the Historic Homes on Lake Eola

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 [...] Read on →

Cross Gabled Folk Victorian

Folk Victorian Style

The Folk Victorian style is one of the most often found styles of historic homes in America. Folk Victorians can be found in almost every state and chances are you’ll find an example somewhere in your own town. Next to the Craftsman Bungalow this is the style most often associated today with being a “historic home.” [...] Read on →