Featured Blog Posts (93)

Tiny Guest House Adds Livability to Historic Home

Historic homes have plenty of charm and character, but are often short on space. This is especially true when company comes to town. Ybor City resident Judy Greer has found an affordable solution to that problem: she is installing a guest cottage behind her home. Designed and built by Historic Shed, a Brooksville-based outbuilding specialty company, the cottage complements her historic home and adds to the neighborhood character. The cottage has a bedroom and full bath, and is roughly the…


Added by Jo-Anne Peck on October 4, 2011 at 2:00pm — No Comments

Getting it together

Well, it's been a while since I checked in. We are firmly established in the house! Ive spent most of the last month clearing the brush around the house in order to get to the two fig trees, the two pear trees and the two black walnut trees. I really wanted to harvest the fruits from these trees, so I haven't been working on the actual house that much. Now that the figs are gone, the pears are maturing in the fridge, and the 300 or so walnuts are drying, I'm ready to start the renovation on…


Added by Bobby on October 1, 2011 at 10:22pm — 1 Comment

Finally made the move!

Well, we finally did it! My roomate and I decided we had enough and moved to the old house. We both are looking forward to the task at hand of restoration. I know it will be a lot of hard work, and take a while, but she and I feel we are up to the task. I am wondering if anyone has suggestions regarding upgrading the house while maintaining the character of the house. We want to have the modern conveniences (appliances), but want the house to keep the 1830's character. I want the exterior to…


Added by Bobby on August 15, 2011 at 8:25am — 3 Comments

I can't believe it's almost done!

It has been a long. long road, but I feel (for the first time) that the list of "to dos" is finally coming to an end. Although upkeep is a given, not having enormous renovation projects hanging over my head for the summer feels very nice. I've spent more time rocking on the porch with my Dad (who still spends summers here). All in all, it's been a good thing to put my energy, heart and soul toward. Buying and fixing up an old house is not for the faint of heart -- it tests you in ways you…


Added by Kathy O'Brien on August 11, 2011 at 2:28pm — No Comments

SO Close to Done...

For the last year almost, I've been expecting to move in soon. A few months. A couple months from now. Next month. Next month. Next month. Only to be grossly disappointed by how much work is left, and how slowly it seems to go when I am working full time and only able to get anything significant done on the weekends. But now, it's really true.

You do realize that committing in writing (a blog IS writing, isn't it?) means I HAVE to be done when I say. It's like telling everyone you are…


Added by Karan Andrea on August 10, 2011 at 10:00pm — 2 Comments

Bathroom is coming along

Well the whirlpool bathtub is framed in, and the cement board is up, tiling this week.... woohoo...I am excited. New washer and dryer is set up, however we will have to pull them out and drywall behind them shortly. DH is working on finishing leveling the bathroom ( from the 1st floor...undergoing full house reno) then we will put in the drywall, and then tiles. Found a wonderful deal on the tiles on Kijiji brand new 12x12 tiles at 70 cents each. I then went to the tile store and bought some…


Added by D. Brandson on July 24, 2011 at 11:52pm — No Comments

Heartbreak: Parting w/ your Old House

How many people on this forum have actually *sold* an old/historic/antique home?  I think most people reading this would agree that the bond of old house owners to their old houses is stronger than the sentiments most other people develop for their newer, less unique family homes.  I think old house owners often have a sentimentality for history, an appreciation of unique details, and an investment of time, money, and blood/sweat/tears--- all of which creates an almost spiritual connection…


Added by Michael Emmons on July 21, 2011 at 9:48pm — 4 Comments

Moving laundry from main to up...

Well this week we are moving the main floor laundry upstairs. Bought a couple of front load machines... ( did my homework first and read the reviews) they will go into the new second floor bathroom... a repurposed attic above the one story kitchen. Prior it was just a storage space but DH has dropped the floor and given us an extra couple of feet in the attic... now a spa tub, toilet sink and a couple of good looking laundry pieces. PICs when it is done...

Added by D. Brandson on July 9, 2011 at 9:34pm — 1 Comment

Mainstream old houses?

One of the dozens of emails that regularly clogs my inbox comes from Zillow, an online real estate database that sends me housing updates, pricing information, and statistical background with metronome-like reliability.  But I’ve never seen pictures of any fine old houses in their emails. Imagine my surprise, then, when I opened a message from Zillow yesterday that, in honor of our national birthday, celebrated evolving American house styles.

While they didn’t include very many (nine,…


Added by Demetra on July 6, 2011 at 9:41am — No Comments


So this week we finally got our 60 amp panel swapped over to a 200 amp panel... that in itself isn't news to write home about, however getting the central air working due to the new panel is....woohoo!  We do notice that the upstairs
(that still needs new insulation in two of the three bedrooms) is still about 5-10 degrees hotter than the main floor....but we can rectify that overnight by adjusting the air cooler and then having a good night's sleep. Nice.... very satisfying...

Added by D. Brandson on July 1, 2011 at 4:23pm — 2 Comments

Birds-eye map (1875)

This is a clip from an 1875 "birds eye" map showing my house.  

According to a local historian, the town summoned artists to prepare such a map by lifting them in a hot-air balloon, from which they would prepare drawings of the neighborhood one block at a time.  The original of this particular map,…


Added by A Polzin on June 4, 2011 at 12:11pm — 4 Comments

Econo-Kitchen, Sweat Equity Style...

I mentioned in a previous blog that I had ordered new, unfinished kitchen cabinets for my house. It was the only way I could afford to replace the existing cabinets, which were old and filthy. I would have had to do some major work to get them clean enough to even use, and they were built in place at some point after the house was built, I believe. The back…


Added by Karan Andrea on May 30, 2011 at 8:00pm — 7 Comments

Getting rid of "circa"

So the real estate record indicated my house was built in 1880, as I mentioned in my previous entry...  and I found evidence that the house already existed in 1875, since a local map surveyed that year clearly shows my house at that time.  After speaking to some historians and experts in this particular architectural style, we concluded that the best guess was that the house was probably built in 1874.  Hence, I have always used the notation "c.1874" thus far in describing the…


Added by A Polzin on May 27, 2011 at 1:50pm — 10 Comments

Refinishing Hardwood Floors

I have a circa 1895 wing and gable home with yellow pine floors. The floors in all the rooms are bare where the original owners had a rug then the rest of the hardwood floors were painted brown around the rug. I would like to have all the paint removed so that the whole wood floor can be seen and then have the whole floor finished. There are remnants of a reddish stain under the brown paint so I know that part of the floors where stained. I have heard not to sand yellow pine floors. Stripping… Continue

Added by Jaime Maravia on May 9, 2011 at 10:30pm — 6 Comments

Is That Antiqued, or Is It Just a Crappy Paint Job? :)

As we were putting the finish on the bedroom cabinets, I reminded my dad, who is about as bad a perfectionist as I am, that it's supposed to look kinda crappy, but when it's all done, it will look incredible. OK, well, I was hoping for incredible, but would have settled for 'not bad.'

To review from my previous blog, the finish is done in layers of acrylic 'milk paint'. The first coat was a dark brown. Then we clear coated it to create separation between that color and the next color…


Added by Karan Andrea on May 8, 2011 at 5:53pm — 1 Comment

Colors for 1900's home.

I live in a 1901-02 built house that has a Queen Anne exterior, but  strongly colonial revival, large 1st and 2nd floor foyers.  So you could call it an eclectic house.  Because of the date of construction and the foyer style, I'm not sure if the strong colors of the high victorian era would be appropriate for it's exterior.  Can anyone make  suggestions or give opinions on this?  It's a 3-story house, set back from the street with lots of mature trees, and a brick carriage house in the rear.… Continue

Added by Deborah H. Ostrow on May 2, 2011 at 12:39pm — 2 Comments

Floored! Much Progress...

Last time I checked in, I had just finished the slate tile in the stairwell off the kitchen and was planning to set the kitchen tile the following weekend. There has been much progress since that blog - I finished the tile floor in the kitchen, had the awful, urine-soaked floors in the dining room, living room and sitting room sanded, stained and urethaned. The stairs to the second floor have also been sanded and stained, and we have sheetrock in the kitchen that is now primed and painted.…


Added by Karan Andrea on April 27, 2011 at 2:00pm — No Comments

Wanted - Drain for antique sink

I have this awesome antique sink that I have had resurfaced. My brotherinlaw carried it out of the Canadian bush for me while on a hunting trip. True story! However, it does not have a drain and I have since found out that the drain size it needs is not standard.  We are planning on using it as the sink in the main bath at our log Chalet in Quebec, Canada.  Can anyone help? Desperate in Carp, Canada… Continue

Added by Olivia Nixon on March 28, 2011 at 11:52am — No Comments

Working on livingroom floor

Its seems that sometime in the past 60 years of DIY renovation that plywood was considered a "Wonder product"

as the walls and floors of my livingroom were covered in it. That is until today when I removed the last piece of

plywood from the walls and started on plywood abatement on the floor. I also got to thinking whilst on hands and

knees how many nails does it take to hold down a 4x8 sheet of plywood. The answer in my case was hundreds. I litterally

pulled out…


Added by Frances Reay on March 26, 2011 at 10:00pm — No Comments

Save our History

When I moved from California to Colorado to escape the city, for the last 15 years all my preservation work was with the Colorado State Historical fund.  About one year ago I ventured back into the consumer market.  Since I been back I have meet many homeowners and visited many historic homes.  One common thread I have witness is how unqualified general contractors have severely damage many beautiful historic homes in the Denver metro area.  The horror stories that homeowners have shared and…


Added by Randall Marder on March 15, 2011 at 11:30pm — 3 Comments

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