BY USING THIS SITE YOU ARE ACCEPTING OUR TERMS, CONDITIONS, DISCLAIMERS & COOKIE POLICY - PLEASE SEE OUR DETAILS PAGE


OLD HOUSE
CONSERVATION
 INFORMATION


CARE AND
REPAIR FOR
OLD HOUSES

..

BOOKS TO BUY ONLINE

Click covers for info

A FEAST OF FEATURES...

THE FIXTURES AND FITTINGS
OF PERIOD HOUSES
1714-1939
by
Janet Collings
Crowood Press
2011
Hardback RRPŁ25
"A big compendium of  period styles, details and features."

 

COTTAGE KNOWLEDGE...

COUNTRY COTTAGE CONSERVATION
A Guide to
Maintenance and Repair
by
Bevis Claxton
Crowood Press
2010
Hardback RRPŁ16.99
"Keep your cottage's period appeal and avoid those damaging twentieth century mistakes."

 

VICTORIAN
& EDWARDIAN...

VICTORIAN AND EDWARDIAN HOUSES
A Guide to
Care and Maintenance
by
Janet Collings
Crowood Press
2008
Hardback RRPŁ16.99
"An indispensable guide to appreciation and care."

 

ALL ROUND ECONOMICAL CARE AND SUSTAINABILITY...

MAINTAINING AND REPAIRING OLD HOUSES
A Guide to
Conservation, Sustainability and Economy
by
Bevis Claxton
Crowood Press
2008
Hardback RRPŁ16.99

"...anyone thinking of 'doing up' a house should have to read this first, like learning the Highway Code before getting behind the wheel of a car..."
 SPAB Cornerstone magazine, 2009
"This book does exactly what its title proclaims...Highly recommended..."

Building Design/RIBA 2010
read full review mid-page on this link

 

AN INTRODUCTION TO CONSERVATION...

OLD HOUSE CARE
AND REPAIR

by
Janet Collings
Donhead/Routledge
2002/4
Paperback RRPŁ22.99

"Whether you are planning extensive repairs and alterations to your house, or simply want to know more about it and how to look after it more knowledgeably, this book is a good place to start."
From a review by the SPAB

 

 

 

 

.

.

WELCOME TO OUR HOME PAGE

DAMP     INSULATION     ARTICLES     FAQ & LINKS    CHECKLIST
 


click the dog for energy!

OLDHOUSE.INFO WAS FOUNDED IN 2002 BY CONSERVATIONISTS TO PROVIDE INFORMATION ON OLD HOUSE CARE IN THE UK - BASED UPON REAL PRACTICAL EXPERIENCE WITH BUILDINGS. THE SITE IS NOT SUPPORTED BY ADVERTISING OR EXTERNAL FUNDING. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO SUPPORT US, WE DON'T HAVE A DONATE BUTTON BUT WE DO HAVE PAY-FOR ARTICLES DELIVERED BY EMAIL WHICH YOU CAN BUY HERE.

A different approach for old houses

oldhouse info aims to explain why old houses need a different approach to modern buildings when repairing and decorating. 

Many ordinary modern repair techniques and materials can actually harm old buildings: The right knowledge could not only help save buildings but also money and time.

Conservation is linked with sustainability through the long life, adaptability and reparability of old houses - many of which were built and used for centuries without needing fossil fuels.

 Information about old houses

oldhouse info offers information on a variety of issues that affect old houses in the UK - such as movement, damp and decay, adapting an old house for modern living and period decoration materials.
 

< < Books - For homeowners, fully illustrated

Our own books are shown here in the left sidebar.
You can buy them right here direct from our publishers (discounts available online for most titles). Please click covers for more info and to look inside. They're also available from a variety of online sellers and bookshops. Full range of care subjects in our maintenance titles including damp and decay as well as presentation and finishes. 'Ordinary handbooks just take you to the shed and tell you 'how' -  whether it's suitable for your old house or not - but our maintenance books sit with you on the sofa and gently let you into the 'what' and the 'why.' Pure enlightenment!'

 

FAQs webpage - You are not alone!

These will give you a flavour of other people's quests for knowledge, as answered over the years for a glossy TV tie-in magazine...

 

Damp webpage - Knowledge is Power!

Our influential free article which has been much linked-to on the net over its ten year life.

 

Shop online here - PDF Articles by email...

If you want information quickly, here are descriptions of our list of downloadable articles (they arrive as a pdf file attached to an email) and they are...

please click title for description and shop

Paint article 5
Traditional vs modern - and pros and cons of stripping

please click title for description and shop

Lime article 4
Once the universal mortar, render and paint...'liquid rock' magic stuff

please click title for description and shop

Movement article 3
Some important differences found in old property

please click title for description and shop

Character article 2
Understand some special qualities of old houses

please click title for description and shop

SUPPORT US: We'd like to invite you to spend Ł5 to help maintain this site by buying...

Old House Essentials article 1   ...gives an informative summary in return for your cash...and if you're new to the world of old houses then this could be money well spent!  THANKS!  Other articles and books listed above
 

Owners of old houses really need to have their buildings professionally assessed on site by a conservation-accredited professional such as an architect, surveyor or engineer - as no two houses can be the same and changing regulations and methods might open up new possibilities. But, as a first step, the generic information available through this site can help owners understand many of the important issues.

Different approach?

After hundreds of years of use and experience, there was a thorough understanding of how traditional building materials could be used and how they interacted. Twentieth century industrial progress saw a rapid departure from well-tried methods and threw new products into the mix. Old lessons and skills were forgotten.

Just about everyone thought that all the new innovations were good for old houses too. Sadly, not always so, as some of them could seriously upset the balance that had enabled old houses to survive for hundreds of years. Some of the most commonly used repair and decoration materials might actually shorten the life of an old house and cause unseen decay.

We look at what happens, whether the balance can be reinstated and explore kinder alternative methods and materials.

Good news

Since old buildings originally used relatively simple technology it is often possible to replicate their original mortars, renders, plasters, paints and finishes that may still help to preserve the fabric and the appearance of old houses.

Old house owners may even be able to undo some of the inappropriate work carried out to their houses during the last century and may also be able to help arrest decay that could be eating away at their home and their investment.

Adopting a low-tech and a minimum-intervention approach can sometimes even cost less than a modern response to a problem. And these sorts of approaches can also be 'greener' solutions too. Especially those that use natural and renewable materials.

How does your old house look?

Many old houses were straightened up and modernised in the middle of the twentieth century. As a result they can look not so much 'period' as 'last century'. Looking at an old house like an antique, it makes no sense to try to turn it into something modern: more and more people are now recognising the value and charm of a genuine old property.

Not everyone wants to go so far as to live in all the conditions of the past of course, but many people would like their old houses to at least reflect many of the original qualities of finish and appearance. That is usually perfectly possible and we include information on traditional and modern materials and finishes.

How this site can help

We have a range of information from short general free-to-view items and FAQs to some lengthier technical downloads on a range of subjects  - including paint stripping or the benefits of lime -  that may be causing immediate concern or simply need explaining. The interaction of traditional construction and appearance is examined. There are also links to purchase our books that we feel will help old house owners get a good basic understanding of the types of problems and solutions they may be faced with, as well as exploring the visual attraction of old properties.

The information we offer on this site, in articles and books all comes from the first hand experiences of UK building conservationists and covers topics such as:-

  • why old houses need special care

  • why repairs may involve unfamiliar techniques

  • why some 'problems' may be normal behaviour

  • why some well-meant repairs can be damaging

 

< < If you're scrolling a portable screen, look back at the sidebars too for links, info and our books which contain further information > >

 

 

 

 

 

 © Old House Info Ltd  2002 - 2014

 

 

and our other

.

 

 

 

  oldhouse.info aims to provide old house owners with relevant conservation information 
 
oldhouse.info does not offer email advice on individual buildings or specific problems because individual site conditions cannot always be taken into consideration .

Contact us

info@oldhouse.info

...with suggestions about site content

...with professional and media enquiries on
Building Conservation
Writing & Broadcasting
Talks & Academic

 

.

What works where you are?
This site is about the UK but we welcome information about conservation from other parts of the world

 

SITE SUMMARY

Article index page

Current articles:

Old houses deal with damp by 'breathing'

Insulating old houses and cottages

Old house essentials

Recognising & preserving the character of an old house

Movement in old houses

Lime & old house repairs

Paints & paint removal

Home maintenance checklist

Privacy/details/terms & conditions

.

SITE DETAILS

Terms of Use of this site & Privacy  Statement

 

 

. .

 

.

venetian window © ohi

. 

.

.

Village Design Statements
Villages up and down the UK are being asked to prepare documents to assist the official planning process for the future of their locality.
The oldhouse info article
Recognising and preserving the character of an old house may be useful in helping participants to interpret historic building detail during the assessment process.