We provide a wide range of home repairs and services including, but not limited to:
• Air conditioners – install window mount style
• Attic fans - install
• Attic fans – replace
• Baseboard – install
• Cabinets - refinish
• Ceiling fans – install
• Child Proofing
• Christmas Lights
• Corrugated roofing – install
• Crown molding – install
• Decks – fix
• Door hardware - replace
• Doors – install new
*Service rate 2 hour minimum
*Free work estimates
Restoring a Historic Home
Search for photos of the home in news archives at the local library or look for blueprints or other documents at the building department. Sometimes the original paperwork will have details about materials that went into building the structure. Find similar historic homes in the area and take pictures of them. Ask any longtime neighbors about changes or original distinctions of the house. Research the building practices of home construction around the time the house was built.
If practical and not too costly, remove any existing changes that were not included in the house originally; things such as awnings, shutters, room additions, porches and decks.
Hire an architect and/or engineer to inspect the home for structural damage and other hidden circumstances. Have a plumbing and electrical contractor inspect the house as well for problems. It's OK to replace the wiring or plumbing without destroying the integrity of the restoration. (And, in fact, many building departments will require it.)
Paint the exterior of the home with colors that were prominent during the time when your house was constructed.
Look for hardware replacements. Check antique stores for replacement doorknobs and other hardware items. Advertise in newspapers and magazines for replacements or look online.
Restore interior moldings. Some molding types are out of production and cannot be purchased. Use the home's original moldings to finish as much of the main areas as possible. Then use a similar type modern-day molding to finish the less visible areas. If you have the budget for it, you may be able to find a carpenter or woodworker who can duplicate your original molding.
If you want to maintain the original windows, you may need to replace parts. Find original window replacements by driving through older neighborhoods to look for condemned homes of the same era. Contact the owners and try to purchase the windows, doors, hardware and even some plumbing fixtures. Local antique stores or hardware stores may also have the replacement parts.
Keep plenty of patience on hand when restoring historical properties. These projects can overwhelm even the most seasoned of remodelers. Choose your contractors wisely by hiring those who have proven experience in historic home preservation.
Tips & Warnings
Check references of prospective contractors to verify experience and ask them for photos of previous restorations (or check their website).
Keeping or restoring the original windows adds authenticity but keep the costs in mind. Many of the older windows were not energy efficient nor kept out UV rays. Some window companies have architectural series that try to replicate the older styles but have today's efficiencies.
Check with the contractors for the original materials needed for the restoration. They may have contacts for acquiring these materials. Keep a log of the contacts you make that have the materials needed with a list of their prices.
Do not throw anything away until the end of the job. Sometimes that last scrap of molding is needed when least expected.
Take plenty of pictures before and after. This is both for your own pleasure and sense of accomplishment and to document what you did in case you need to do something in later years.