How to accommodate contemporary life in a historic house.
This book does not repeat basic information that is readily available in many standard DIY books about carpentry, wiring, and plumbing. Rather, it shows how to adapt those DIY skills to the specialized needs of a historic house.
Although there are other books about renovating old houses, this is the first that prioritizes the identification and preservation of the historic, character-defining features of a house as a starting point in the process. That is the purpose of this book: to describe and illustrate a best-practices approach for updating historic homes for modern life in ways that do not attempt to turn an old house into a new one. The book also suggests many ways to save money in the process, without settling for cheap or inappropriate solutions.
Scott Hanson is a historic-building preservation professional and has 40 years’ experience rehabilitating historic houses. He has illustrated this authoritative book with hundreds of step-by-step photos, illustrations, charts, and decision-making guides. Interspersed throughout are photo essays of 13 restored historic houses representing a range of periods and architectural styles: Italianate, Victorian, Queen Anne, Federal, Colonial, Colonial Revival, Greek Revival, Ranch, Adobe, Craftsman, Shingle, and Rustic. With interior and exterior photography by David Clough, these multi-page features show what can be achieved when a historic home is renovated with a desire to preserve or restore as much historic character as possible.
About the Author
SCOTT T. HANSON (Topsham, ME) has thought deeply about the renovation of historic homes in his 40 years as a designer, carpenter, municipal historic district regulator, historic preservation consultant, and architectural historian. His own 15-year renovation of a historic house, doing the vast majority of the work himself, has allowed him to put his ideas to the test and to learn from his mistakes while accumulating the library of how-to photos that illustrates this book. Scott is Director of Preservation Consulting Services with Sutherland Conservation & Consulting and has researched and written numerous National Register nominations and Maine Historic Building Record documentation projects. He is the co-author of Homes Down East: Classic Maine Coastal Cottages and Town Houses.
David Clough is a lifelong lover of photography with a special passion for photographing structures of historical significance. His work has been published in Japan and the U.S. He lives in Rockland, Maine.
“Comprehensive” is the operative word for this weighty 712-page volume, as its content spans homes from the early 17th century to the mid-20th century, and covers the technology and trades from the base of the foundation to the peak of the roof. In the introduction, the author notes that unlike other books on home renovations, this book prioritizes the identification and preservation of character-defining features. Its purpose: “To describe and illustrate a best-practices approach for updating historic homes for modern life in ways that do not turn old houses into new ones.”...Not only is the content thorough, but the book is well-produced, packed with hundreds of instructive color photos on its 9.25x10.25 matte-coated pages. This book will reward any historic house homeowner, tradesperson, advocate, or enthusiast with the theoretical and practical insights of a pro.
— Newburyport Preservation Trust Quarterly News
Saving such character-defining features as windows and rooflines, mouldings and woodwork should be a given, even as we renovate for energy efficiency, comfort and modern life. This book (Restoring Your Historic House) is part Vintage Houses by Hewitt and Block, part McAlester's Field Guide, and several parts early Old-House Journal, with a credible amount of true grit in the mix. A lot of information goes into 712 pages!
— Old-House Journal