One of the benefits of being in a business that has been in the family for generations is expertise. You can avoid some common mistakes and errors simply by consulting the wisdom of your elders. While this can sometimes be overbearing, it’s more often than not very useful.
This is particularly the case when we have to do delicate work. Say, for example, you’re called on to help restore a historic house or one that qualifies as an antique in and of itself.
Cleaning the place is one thing. Maintaining it is another entirely because these old houses can be tricky. Age and time do a lot of stuff to the structure. Some things become very different, which you should keep in mind.
Water is going to be everywhere, for example. To be specific, you will find signs of water damage.
Old houses did not have modern insulation. This means that water damage, dry rot, and bugs are going to be much more persistent problems. Areas like the sill plate will see the most abuse because it tends to sit close to the wet soil. A rotten sill plate leads to crooked floors, which affects the rest of the house.
When planning to restore anything in a historic home, start small.
One of the biggest mistakes people make is getting into it too deep at the onset. You could waste more money than you need to, making mistakes you could have avoided. Start small first and spread from there. This way, you can also reduce the risk of ruining the entire house in one bad move.
Finally, during maintenance or restoration, I recommend starting with the roof and windows.
These are going to need the most attention to bring up to something resembling modern standards. The roof is essential, and the windows are unlikely to cause a disaster if you get it wrong. While you’re at it, work on making the house as watertight as you can.