Repairs & How To


Architectural Salvage Projects Construction & Additions  |  Doors & Windows | Floors & Flooring Repair | Gardening Projects | Hardware Guides | Period Paints & Finishes | Plumbing, Electrical & HVAC | Restoration Projects | Roofing, Siding & Gutters | Tool Reviews | Walls, Ceilings, Plaster | Wood Repair & Refinishing

Old House Journal's best advice on fixing, building, designing or restoring an old house, including restoring doors & windows, architectural salvage projects, flooring repair/restoration, plumbing, roofing, painting, wallpapering and more. 

antique feather vase

A Feather Vase

This odd, abused feather vase had sat for years in the seller’s garage.

old house white door

How to Diagnose (and Fix) a Door

It’s a rare door in an old house that swings effortlessly and closes shut crisply.

Sears bungalow, Arts & Crafts house

For First-time Home Buyers

What do you need to know if you're a first-time home buyer?

handmade lampshade

Sew Up a Fabric Lampshade

A fancy shade will dress up a thrift-store lamp.

Haiku UV-C ceiling fan

Smart Upgrades for Old Houses

New products for keeping the house cleaner and tighter.

period house woodwork

Life in a Victorian-era Brownstone

Lessons for living lightly in a historic Victorian-era brownstone restored.

telephone niche

DIY Phone Niche

A phone niche is useful today for keys, tablet—or telephone.

‘Princess’ radiator from Castrads

Smart Houses With Throwback Intelligence

Some of the “smartest” features for managing heating, cooling, hot-water, and other household technologies make room for the best features of the past.

Vintage Suite

Kitchen Vintage Suite

The finishing touch on your traditionally-styled old-house kitchen is restoration hardware.

shed porch roof

The Porch Roof

A porch without a roof is merely a deck. Besides, the porch roof is an important defense against the elements.


Shop Tour: Abatron

We take a behind-the-scenes look at Abatron.

solid Western red cedar knee braces, ProWood

Woodworking Tools

Useful items for building, cutting, sanding, or repairing wood.

1_lead photo SeptemberMorn AFTER_bjk

Painting Furniture

A self-taught artist transforms old furniture into unique, practical art, using paint.

1 or crop final Cattani_Dog_bed_collection_bjk

DIY Dog Beds

How to make your own dog beds out of old chairs.

Square and fancy-butt white-cedar shingles

Refreshing Siding

To refresh siding on your house, look for materials close to the original in cut, grain, dimension, and appearance.

digitally re-created wallpaper

Reproducing Historic Wallpapers

Wallpaper remains the quintessential room decoration. If you’re looking for a historic or specific wallpaper pattern, be encouraged.


A Better Roof

Technical improvements are bringing the roof into the future.

painting exterior

Prepping for Exterior Painting

DIY, or hire a pro? Review these stages, all of which are crucial to a lasting paint job, and then decide.

Kitchen with reclaimed wood

Barnwood in a Cabin

An aesthetically and historically appropriate use of reclaimed wood serves a kitchen.

treads on wide stoop

Graceful Stoops & Entry Steps

Stoops and entry steps are ignored until they fall into disrepair. That’s when it becomes clear just how essential they are to appearance and safety. A stoop with missing or broken steps is not only a hazard, but also affects curb appeal.

Vermont Soapstone

Shop Tour: Vermont Soapstone Co.

Peek inside Vermont Soapstone Company's shop.

Johnson Pocket Frame

Solve Common Old-House Problems

Solve common problems or finish chores quickly with handy devices.

bench alcove

Bench with a Dual Purpose

Found beadboard covers an HVAC return, providing seating and future access.


Resilient Flooring

These floors continue to evolve, adapting recycled and natural materials for resilient flooring that looks better and lasts longer.

Products of the Week


Pewabic Pottery

Pewabic fabricates heirloom quality architectural tiles for public and private installations, gift and commemorative tiles, vessels, gardenware, ornaments and both reproductions and adaptations of its historic designs and offers classes, workshops, lectures, internships and residency programs for studio potters and other artists.