Repairs & How To

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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. 

brownstones

How to Repair Brownstone

Brownstone-faced buildings reveal their years readily. Many brownstone owners fight these ravages of age by giving their home's facade a facelift with patching techniques and, in a few cases, replacing the stone in kind.

Field test of 6-inch random orbit sanders

Tested: 6-Inch Random Orbit Sanders

Sanding is boring—and a lot of work. Depending on the project, you might be attached to a vibrating, dust-generating machine for hours on end. But it’s so important to success on certain projects—furniture and wood floor repair, paint prep—that once I get started, it becomes (sort of) fun.

bat in old house

How to Get Rid of Bats

Forget mothballs, aerosols, and ultrasonic deterrents. They don’t work, particularly if you have an established colony of bats in your house. The easiest way to get rid of bats is through a process called exclusion.

Lopi Stoves’ Flush Wood Plus woodburning fireplace insert comes with a patented ignition system that starts the fire without the need to open the door, helping reduce smoke buildup.

Quick Energy Fixes

Thick walls, deep eaves, and high ceilings are all reasons why old houses feel cooler in hot weather and warmer in winter than more recent buildings do. Even so, many old houses lack insulation and central HVAC systems, making it hard to retrofit them with the latest in technological advances.

Products of the Week

vermont verde

Vermont Verde Antique

Vermont Verde Antique is an acid resistant, stain resistant, hardy, durable, low maintenance rich green serpentine stone perfect for kitchen and bath counters, shower enclosures, fireplace surrounds, and floors.

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Unico System

A central heating and cooling system using "aspiration" technology to warm and cool homes evenly and quietly with flexible small ducts that weave through ceilings, walls, and even floors.