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 →

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 →

Choosing the right fastener

Choosing the Right Fastener (Part 1 Nails)

Choosing the right fastener for your home improvement project can be daunting. Should you use a screw or nail? How long does it need to be? Galvanized? Hardened? Brass? So many options means lots of ways to make a mistake. I’ll walk you through the most important points and help you make the right choice [...] Read on →

Silent Paint Remover

The Best Paint Stripping Tools

Being in the business of restoring old houses I do a lot of paint stripping. And much of that paint is lead paint so I have to be extra careful to make sure we keep our dust under control. Here are the best paint stripping tools I have used over the years. Some work better [...] 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 →

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 by Scott Sidler

Dismantling History

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 [...] Read on →

How to Pressure Wash Wood Siding

Pressure Washing an Old Home

Using a pressure washer on an old home is not as simple as you might think. While it may be a great way to clean dirty siding and prep for new paint, if not done properly it can cause more harm than good. You can cause damage to wood or older soft masonry and force [...] Read on →

Historic Home Tips

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

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 [...] Read on →

Rotted-Wood-Soffit

My 5 Secrets to Prevent Wood Rot

Learning how to repair wood rot is a part of life when it comes to life in an old house. But what if you could prevent it? Working in a wet climate, like Florida, I have assembled a very specific routine to prevent wood rot on anything I build that will be outdoors. The expense [...] 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 Window and Siding

How To Paint Your Historic House…Properly

In Choosing Exterior Paint Colors For Your Historic House we discussed how to go about picking the right colors for an historic home. Will you choose colors that are historically accurate to your home, historically appropriate for the time period your home was built or will you just wing it and pick your own color [...] Read on →

Vinyl siding covering up original cedar shiplap siding

5 Worst Mistakes of Historic Homeowners (Part 3 Siding)

“No Maintenance.” These two words scare the heck out of me when it comes to home improvement products, especially when it pertains to historic homes. So, let’s dispel a myth… There is no such thing as a “No Maintenance” product for your historic home. Not a one! No car will last very long without an [...] Read on →