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 definite place to start and that place is outside.

You should always start any restoration project on the outside of the house. Is the roof leaking? The chimney? Does the siding need repair or replacement? How about the windows? Once you take care of the outside building envelope, which protects the rest of the house, you can breathe easy. You don’t have to hurry and fix something before the next storm causes a leak or winter comes too early. Whatever the weather outside, it’s always perfect DIY weather inside.

Fixing the outside first will let you relax and plan the work on the inside to make the house exactly what you want it to be. And that saves you from spending money on quick fixes or having to do a project over again.

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by Scott Sidler

I'm a historic preservationist and licensed contractor. I help old house lovers understand & restore their homes so they can enjoy the history and character that surrounds them more everyday! When not working, writing or teaching about old houses I spend most of my time fixing up my own 1929 bungalow with my wife Delores and sons Charley and Jude.


  1. romanweel on said:

    Plus if you start with the outside, you will probably be increasing curb appeal as you go. Not for the sake of your next buyer, but for you! Every time you pull up out front, return from a walk around the block, or welcome visitors, you’ll feel that pride and joy and fall in love all over again. Amiright?

  2. Jennifer Santos on said:

    This is truly helpful because so many people who decide to restore their homes would think that windows should be done when they are starting on the inside already. Windows should be part of outside renovation. There are just those who think of how their windows would look like inside instead of out.

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