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Old House Repair Annual Cost Guide

Old House Repair Cost Guide 2019

I’m a restoration contractor (state licensed Certified Residential Contractor) here in the state of Florida and I felt it was high time that people across the country could get a sense of what the typical costs are for historic restoration and old house repair.

There are other websites like Home Advisor and Angie’s List that provide cost estimates for home repair projects, but I’ve found that those estimates are largely inappropriate for the repair and restoration of historic buildings. Old house repair costs are completely different from a run-of-the-mill suburban house.

The insurance industry is also way off base when it comes to providing an accurate estimate of costs to repair damage to structures built before the age of mass production home building that began in the 1950s and 1960s. All this to say, we need an accurate way for homeowners and developers to estimate the costs to repair and restore historic buildings for which there are not ready-made solutions sitting on the shelves of home stores.

This guide is specifically focused on historic buildings built prior to 1950. I’ve attempted to outline some of the specific items that are encountered in old or historic buildings. You won’t find things like the cost to install a new asphalt shingle roof or a new water heater because I’ve purposely excluded items that cost about the same whether they are in a new or old house.

These costs were derived from the interviews of dozens of tradespeople across the country who work in historic restoration to see how their numbers line up with my own and provide an unbiased costs basis for you.

I hope this guide helps homeowners budget more realistically and make a better, more educated decision when it comes to restoring their historic home!

Old House Repair Cost Guide

Windows & Doors

  • Wood Windows
    • Full Restoration $975 +$30-40 per additional lite Remove all old paint and putty, sand smooth, repair wood damage, prime, clean glass and replace broken glass, bed glass in new putty, putty glaze and hand paint 2 coats inside and out. Remove paint from jambs and restore mechanicals and hardware. Replace ropes/clean chains. Ensure smooth operability
    • Tune Up $625 +$15-25 per additional lite Remove loose paint, sand smooth, repair damage to wood, replace only damaged or missing putty, prime, install new putty where missing, replace only broken glass, hand paint 1 coat inside and out. Restore mechanicals and hardware. Replace ropes/clean chains
    • Glass Repair $75-125 per piece – Remove broken glass and old putty, replace broken glass with new annealed glass, putty glaze, touch up paint
    • Hardware Repair $25-75 per window Restore or replace hardware and reinstall
    • Weatherstripping (Best) $150-250 per window – Modify sash and jambs and install new integrated metal weatherstripping
    • Weatherstripping (Standard) $85-110 per window – Install new spring bronze weatherstripping
  • Steel Windows
    • Full Restoration $800 +$45-55 per additional lite Remove all old paint and putty, sand smooth, repair rust damage, prime, clean glass and replace broken glass, bed glass in new putty, putty glaze and hand paint 2 coats inside and out. Remove paint from jambs and restore mechanicals and hardware. Ensure smooth operability
    • Tune Up $450 +$25-35 per additional lite Remove loose paint, sand smooth, repair damage to wood, replace only damaged or missing putty, prime, install new putty where missing, replace only broken glass, hand paint 1 coat inside and out. Restore mechanicals and hardware
    • Glass Repair $95-135 per piece – Remove broken glass and old putty, replace broken glass with new annealed glass, putty glaze, touch up paint.
    • Hardware Repair $25-75 per window Restore or replace hardware and reinstall
  • Storm Windows
    • Restoration $225-350 per window Remove all old paint and putty, sand smooth, repair wood damage, prime, clean glass and replace broken glass, bed glass in new putty, putty glaze and hand paint 2 coats inside and out
    • Rebuild $350-475 per window – Build from rot resistant wood using mortise and tenon joinery, prime, glaze with annealed glass, paint 2 coats, install on window
  • Screens
    • Restoration $85-150 per window Remove all old paint and putty, sand smooth, repair wood damage, prime, replace screening with new fiberglass screening, hand paint 2 coats inside and out
    • Rebuild $155-230 per window – Build from rot resistant wood using mortise and tenon joinery, prime, screen with fiberglass screening, paint 2 coats, install on window

Plaster/Stucco

  • Patching $250-375 per 1-2 SF patch – Remove damaged plaster, patch with patching plaster or blue board, skim coat patch to match existing texture
  • Skim Coat $960-1,140 per 10×8 wall – Scrape wall, clean with TSP, apply bonding agent, hand trowel 1 coat gypsum veneer plaster on flat wall
  • New Flat Plaster (3 coat) $1,800-1,950 per 10×8 wall – Install new wood lath, hand trowel scratch, brown, and finish coat of lime plaster on flat wall
  • New Flat Plaster (Veneer) $1,100-1,300 per 10×8 wall – Install blue board base, tape and bed seams. hand trowel 1 coat gypsum veneer plaster on flat wall

Wood Floors

  • Patching $35-45 per board – Remove damaged tongue and groove floor board, patch with similar age/species wood flooring, finish individual boards to match existing floors
  • Refinishing $3-4.25 per SFSand floors 3 levels to remove old finish, apply 3 coats of oil-based polyurethane
  • Staining $.35 to 1 per SF – After sanding apply 1 coat oil-based stain prior to finishing

Siding

  • Horizontal (Bevel, Clapboard, etc) $105-125 per 8′ board – Remove damaged 8′ siding board, replace to match, back prime replacement and touch up paint to match
  • Shingle/Shake $10-18 per shingle – Remove damaged shingle, patch with new shingle to match
  • Board & Batten $115-150 per board & $40-50 per batten – Remove damaged board, replace to match existing size, back prime replacement and touch up paint to match

Masonry

  • Brick Replacement $30-40 per brick – Remove damaged brick, install salvaged brick using new lime mortar to match, tool mortar joint to match
  • Repointing $5-20 per SF – Remove lime mortar to depth of between 3/4″ and 1″, replace with new lime mortar to match, existing tool joint to match
  • Tuck Pointing $8-25 per SF – Apply decorative mortar joint over existing mortar joint

Painting

  • Exterior Paint Job (High Quality) $4-5.50 per SF – Remove all paint with chemical or mechanical means, sand surfaces smooth, caulk vertical joints, clean surfaces with TSP, prime 1 coat wood primer, spray and back brush appropriate film thickness 100% acrylic paint
  • Exterior Paint Job (Standard) $1.75-3 per SF – Remove loose paint by washing and scraping surfaces, sand surfaces smooth and blend edges of existing paint, caulk vertical joints, clean surfaces with TSP, prime 1 coat wood primer, spray and back brush appropriate film thickness 100% acrylic paint
  • Interior Paint Job (High Quality) $2.25-3.50 per SF – Wipe down all surfaces (walls, trim, baseboards, crown molding, ceiling), prime with 1 coat appropriate primer, paint 2 coats 100% acrylic paint on walls and ceilings, paint 2 coats oil-based enamel on woodwork
  • Interior Paint Job (Standard) $2.75-4 per SF – Sand all woodwork to smooth surface, wipe down all surfaces (walls, trim, baseboards, crown molding, ceiling), prime with 1 coat appropriate primer, paint 2 coats 100% acrylic paint on walls and ceilings, paint 2 coats oil-based enamel on woodwork

This guide should give you a good guide to understanding the price differences between repairing historic buildings and new buildings. There are distinct differences between the two and finding the right contractor that understands how to work on historic buildings is key.

If you’re not sure how to find a contractor check out this previous post and if you are looking for help with historic windows specifically try searching the Window Preservation Alliance Directory.

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3 thoughts on “Old House Repair Annual Cost Guide

  1. Hello, thank you very much for this information; we’ve been looking for something like this for years. Can you please give costs to repair wooden soffits, fascia, and decorative trim (dentils) on an historic house (1888)? Much appreciated.

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