In historic preservation, there is a hierarchy of how to care for a historic structure. And when you own an old house, it’s a good idea to follow that hierarchy.
- Repair & Maintain – The first step is always to repair and maintain your house as you go along. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Make little repairs along the way, and you’ll keep your house in great shape and avoid the little stuff turning into big stuff.
- Restore – When things have gone a bit further than a simple repair, it’s time to restore. Restoring is a more involved process that may involve rebuilding whole portions of the house in the style of the original house.
- Replace in Kind – If all else fails and your problem area can’t be repaired or even brought back to life with a more thorough restoration, it might be time to replace. But if you replace an item, it’s important to replace in kind. Try to find a replica or construct an item that is as close to matching the original as possible.
Follow this plan for your old home and you’ll not only save a few pieces of history, but add immense value.
If you’ve enjoyed this series so far I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
Founder & Senior Editor
I love old houses, working with my hands, and teaching others the excitment of doing it yourself! Everything is teachable if you only give it the chance.