Empty Stairs, Missing History

Empty stairs

All around my town there are remnants of our history hiding in broad daylight. Hints of the past that are overlooked by almost all of us. Too small to be of much consequence anymore they are simply place markers to say that there once was something here. Something grand or something plain. Something we erased from our town’s memory. Stairways that lead to empty lots. Driveways to nowhere. Old addresses stamped on curbs. They evoke both a sadness [...] Read on →

Where to Find Vintage Hardware

Copyright: kiya / 123RF Stock Photo

Vintage hardware is awesome. I could probably try to find more creative ways to say that, but I figured simpler is better. The bottom line is that vintage hardware, whether it is actually vintage or a well made replica, is a solidly constructed, beautiful piece of an old house. Vintage hardware has weight and significance to it. Cheap replicas, and run of the mill hardware today feel cheap and weak and they are. Many are made from plastic [...] Read on →

Invisible Repairs For a Hardwood Floor

Invisible Repairs 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 is floorboard replacement. The most typical reasons we replace boards are due to termite or water damage, pet stains that almost blacken the boards to a [...] Read on →

My New eBook is Now Available!

Living in the Past Book

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 even a passing interest in saving thousands of dollars and learning all about your old house at the same time, you should definitely [...] 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 →

10 Must-Read Old House Books

Living-in-the-Past-Cover

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 of historic homes. I know that you’ll find any of these books a great read and a helpful guide for whatever project you [...] Read on →

How To: Make an Industrial Style Curtain Rod

Our finished bath with my special shower curtain rod

In our tiny guest house project I mentioned that I made a shower curtain rod from electrical conduit for a great industrial feel. Not only did this give a cool style to the bathroom, but it is extremely affordable (under $25!) and can be shaped to any odd sized shower enclosure. Really, this project can be used for any kind of curtain rod. it’s not just for showers. Let your imagination run free! And the best part? Anyone [...] 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 →

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

Tiny House Garage

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 walk you through the whole process of turning an old garage into your very own tiny house. We’ll talk about the nuts and [...] Read on →

Dismantling History

Photo by Scott Sidler

Last week I helped my friends at Florida Victorian Architectural Antiques with the salvage of four early 20th century homes on the banks of Lake Eola here in Orlando, FL. We were busy removing any parts of the home that may be of some value to someone in the future. Old wood windows were removed and sold off to a house in Daytona Beach. Heart-pine flooring was pulled and cleaned before being delivered to a home somewhere in [...] Read on →

How To: Repair Hardwood Floors

How To Repair Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors are synonymous with old homes. It’s almost impossible to find an old home without them. And yet they are disappearing because people don’t realize how resilient and long-lasting they are. Unknowing homeowners and contractors rip out or cover up these amazing floors when they could be saved and used for another 100+ years! Other than refinishing hardwood floors, the most typical repair we run into is board replacement. It may seem daunting to remove a tongue [...] Read on →

Review of Handmade Walls {22 inspiring ideas on bringing your walls to life}

handmade_walls_sneak_peek

I’m seriously excited to share a new book with you today! Today is the official launch of Handmade Walls: 22 Inspiring Ideas on Bringing Your Walls to Life. It is a fantastic new book by my friends Jamin & Ashley Mills over at The Handmade Home. These two are some of the most creative (not to mention good natured) people I know. I have followed their blog for years to get great ideas on decorating with a salvage and shabby-chic [...] 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 . . .

{Guest Post} All About Reclaimed Wood

Reclaimed Wood

A Guest Post By David Morrison – David is an avid DIY enthusiast, renovator and restorer. He has worked on a variety of self-build projects and claims to have helped out every neighbour for ten blocks! The kind of neighbor we’d all like to have. He currently works for UK Tool Centre. Reclaimed wood has become quite popular in homes today. Its patina and age brings a sense of warmth to an otherwise cold house. Learn as David [...] Read on →