Asbestos

What to Do About Asbestos?

Asbestos is that persnickety little thing that can be hiding anywhere in an old house. From siding to plaster, vinyl floor tiles to insulation it can be almost anywhere. What makes matters worse is there is no simple way for the average homeowner to determine if they have asbestos in their house. You can’t tell [...] Read on →

How to remove paint from hardware

How To: Remove Paint From Hardware

Old hardware is just like everything else in an old house, covered with decades of paint. Antique hardware can be some very attractive and beautifully crafted pieces of art that is well worth restoring. To restore that hardware you don’t want to just start scraping the paint off with an old screw driver. You’ll gouge [...] Read on →

Invisible Repairs Hardwood Floor

Invisible Repairs For a Hardwood Floor

My company is featured in the April/May 2014 edition of Fine Homebuilding Magazine for the unique way we repair historic hardwood floors. Here is a large portion of the article available for free only to The Craftsman Blog family. Enjoy! Other than refinishing hardwood floors, the most common repair my restoration company gets called to do [...] Read on →

Historic Steel Window

How To Restore Steel Windows

Historic steel windows are all across America. They became popular in big cities to combat the fires that were so common around the turn of the 20th century. Then from the 1930s until the 1950s they were a popular choice in residential housing due to the decreasing availability of quality lumber. Many steel windows sit [...] Read on →

Storm Windows

3 Ways Storm Windows Can Save Your House

Historic windows can be a real conundrum for some people. Sure they are a gorgeous part of every old house, but they can be a real energy waste if they haven’t been properly maintained and weatherstripped. But just because they aren’t energy-efficient now doesn’t mean they can never be efficient. If you have the means [...] Read on →

Living in the Past Book

My New eBook is Now Available!

Today is a big day at The Craftsman Blog! For the past year and a half, I have been toiling to write my first full-length book about historic homes. Today that book goes from idea to reality! I’m doing a HUGE one week only sale for all my readers and their friends. If you have [...] 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 →

Elephant

How To: Save an Old House

Q: How do you eat an elephant? A: One bite at a time. The logic is simple but the feat impressive. The same goes for how to save an old house. There is no easy solution, especially when you’re dealing with a neglected piece of history that has been sitting and rotting for decades. Neglect [...] Read on →

Old Window

How To: Paint a Wood Window Sash

After all the hard work is done restoring a wood window there is one final step, painting your window sash. Painting a window is by far the most important part of the process because it protects all the work underneath. It keeps sun, rain, dirt, insects, air and anything else from harming your window. Without [...] Read on →

Dip stripped windows

Dip Stripping Windows: Don’t Do It!

One of my first large scale window restoration jobs was to fully restore all 38 sashes on a 1950s Colonial Revival. I had restored close to 100 old windows by the time this job came around and had gotten pretty good. My glazing putty had nice clean corners and I had developed a pretty good [...] Read on →

Alligatoring Paint

4 Common Paint Problems & How to Fix Them

If you own an old house you have paint problems…somewhere. It may be from a poor paint job at some point or a paint job that is just too old. Keeping your house painted properly, especially the exterior, is imperative to the long term care of your house. Exterior elements deteriorate quickly without a protective [...] 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 →

Custom  Carpentry

The Cost of Doing it Right

I get crazy looks from clients when I tell them the price for some of our services. I’m not oblivious to the fact that historic preservation is sometimes expensive, but it seems that the cost of doing it right offends too many people today. “Why would I spend $600 to have you restore my old [...] Read on →