Heritage Building Pathology | Professional Intensive Program

There is a critical shortage of heritage professionals who perform Building Pathology on the vast stock of older houses and commercial buildings across Canada and the United States.

9 Common Heritage Masonry Problems

The appearance of brick and stone masonry owes as much to the character of the mortar joints as to the brick and stones themselves. Unsuitable poorly executed repointing can affect not only the look but also the durability of masonry and is amongst the most frequent causes of damage to the character and fabric of a historic building.

Antiques Elixir | “Company’s Coming” Antiques & Art

A Yellow Farmhouse Event “Company’s Coming” Antiques & Art Editorial By: Ellen Vanbeek Berry Photography By: Dr. Christopher Cooper My friend Michael Rowan’s visit (a fellow collector and seller) in October 2021 started the ball rolling to organize a small, personable, intimate and credible showing of antiques and art at the Yellow Farmhouse, just outside…

Start a New Career | Heritage Masonry Repair Programme

“There is a critical shortage of heritage masonry repair professionals who perform small lime masonry repair and repointing jobs on the vast stock of older houses and commercial buildings across Canada and the United States.”

Heritage Building Pathology | Professional Intensive Program

There is a critical shortage of heritage professionals who perform Building Pathology on the vast stock of older houses and commercial buildings across Canada and the United States.

Tin Ceiling Conundrum!

The kitchen has been driving me crazy, mainly because it was in the most miserable condition of all! The tin ceiling had great chunks of lead based paint dangling from it, hmm images of a big pot of stew or soup simmering on the stove with paint chips floating down into it like autumn leaves!

A Heritage Landscape | Neo-Classical Fence

This lovely 18th century house (circa 1716) is located north of Boston, Massachusetts. These images were taken in the early 1930’s and are a record of both the building and this most remarkable wood fence. I would surmise the fence would date from the mid 19th century, but it has a very Neo-Classical flavour to the design so it could even be earlier.

Heritage Building Pathology | Professional Intensive Program

The aim of the course is to provide technical training around the key principles of Building Pathology and provide you with knowledge and techniques in a multidisciplinary role.

A Settler’s Dream

Editorial, Graphics and Photography By: Dr. Christopher Cooper Years ago, we had an excursion to Eastern Ontario with back-to-back workshops being held in Brighton and Kingston.  There was method to-our-madness, we had been down to Perth, Ontario earlier in the summer and fell head-over-heels in love with the area because of the vast stock of…

Floorcloths | A Fashionable History

Floorcloths or “Oylcloths” are first mentioned in Britain at the beginning of the eighteenth century. They were painted by humble house painters and often offered in the classical designs used for marble floors by the fashionable architects of the day.

The Jacobean Revival | Style Guide

During the last two decades of the nineteenth and first two decades of the twentieth century, American and Canadian architects became well entrenched in the British Arts & Crafts movement, with some embracing elements of the Tudor and Jacobean Revival house styles of the time.

Ingledale House | A Hidden Gem

The jewel in the crown of this splendid building is the 12 over 12 sash windows flanking the central door (where in most Neoclassical design would favour sidelights) with the second floor duplicated for symmetry. Usually, Neoclassical houses follow the form of its earlier interpretation, the Georgian (which the original 1815 house in the rear did) with a typical five-bay symmetry. However, in this case the house is decidedly asymmetrical with the central window and door arrangement.

Wooden Soffits (No, you won’t be board)

Wood soffits, they’re boards, with paint.  That’s it.  That’s what they are. That’s all they are.  Pretty simple. Right?  That’s why you don’t read anything really dedicated to them. 

Should You Get Rid of Those Old Wood Windows?

You finally bought that house on the hill.  You know that one.  It’s ‘100-and-something’ years old.  It has that steep roof and those weird, different-shaped shingles.  It has that gingerbread in the eves and multi-pane windows with old-fashioned wooden storms.  Part of the roof is wooden shingles.  The ‘old guy’ used to live there and then his family put it on the market after he died. 

Poison Ivy

To remove existing vines, cut them off at the base of the plant and allow the vine attached to your house to wither and die. This may take several weeks or even months, depending on whether or not the side of the house has direct exposure to the sun.

Michael O’Grady | Restoration Arts

New Edifice Guild Member | I keep my clients informed at every stage of the process and we work together to create the best solution to address the challenges and opportunities that arise in heritage restoration work. I will treat your home as if it were my own and the standard will always be the same — I will give you my BEST work.

Old Home Living Episode One

In this week’s episode of An Architectural Moment, we will dissect the Georgian Sash Window. We hope this will inspire you to keep and restore these fabulous pieces of architectural folk art that are the soul of your heritage home.

Wood Window Restoration eWorkshop

Dr. Christopher Cooper will take you through the entire documentation and evaluation process – through to the full repair and restoration process of your original wood windows in detailed close-up video step-by-step instructions.

Antiquities: Primitives, Design Essentials

I am a personal admirer of primitives. I am not talking about new items that are just made to look old, rather the items that are very old, very simple and of very high museum quality.

How To Choose Furniture For Your Heritage Home

Restoring the “envelope” of an historic building requires many skills. Not only does the restorer need to know about the various trades, but must also approach them from a historical perspective.

Ceiling Level Annandale

When Tillsonburg Ontario’s first mayor, Edwin Delvan Tillson, decided to build his beautiful retirement home, Annandale, he chose a high-gothic brick villa straight from William M. Woolett’s pattern book “Villas and Cottages; or, Homes for All” published in 1876 at the height of the Eastlake movement started by English furniture designer George Eastlake

Antiques Elixir | At The Cabin Fever Show

This winter has been a rough one, colder than I can remember and just plain long and dull! I guess it is true what they say, when stranded indoors during the winter, cabin fever can set in!

Choosing A Traditional Floor

There are many reasons for replacement of a wooden floor in a traditional home. Small repairs to existing floors may be required due to damage from a leak around a hot water radiator, vents that are no longer in use, or a wall that has been moved.

Painting A Raised Panel Door

Recently we restored an early six-panel wooden door. When it came to painting it, we found the task not as easy as one may think. If you paint across the grain, the finished product looks terrible.

Annapolis Royal Beauty

I never intended to buy it. I went to see the Munro house one day with my friend, Leslie, who told me it had a really nice early staircase and an upstairs ballroom dating from the 1820s, complete with original mouldings.

Repairing Antique Hinges

Many wooden doors that have given faithful service for a century or two suffer from sagging because of screw holes which have become, after literally thousands of sharp shocks with closing and opening, too large for the screws. The whole door binds and sags, making it difficult to shut.

New Life for an Abandoned House

On this episode of the Chris Cooper show I will introduce the second of our project houses. A long forgotten farmhouse built in 1837 located in Bright, just 5 minutes west of Cambridge, Ontario.

Living The Dream

On this episode of the Chris Cooper Show… I will be visiting Carla Emin in the Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia – Carla is living the proverbial Canadian dream of living in an old house that has been beautifully restored – with a successful business just steps from her back door.

12 Great Visions of Gingerbread – A Lookbook

The true sense of a craftsman is the quality of their work! We look at architectural millwork (a.k.a. gingerbread) and are awestruck at the intricacy and workmanship that went into these pieces of wooden art!

The Building Collector – The man who saved these amazing buildings that would have been destroyed forever!

There was once a little boy who collected bottle caps and candy wrappers, baseball cards and butterflies. This was followed by stamps, coins and cacti. And later still, antiquarian books, collectibles and antique furniture. And, finally, buildings. The latter being the most interesting by far. Now, at age 60, this same little boy; namely myself…

10 of the Prettiest Antique Cook Ranges – Art Cast in Iron, a LookBook

What is it that evokes so much pleasure of cold winter nights sitting around a cast iron stove? Perhaps it is the memories of your parents or grandparents weaving stories of their past, “when I was a child we would…” or perhaps it’s those memories of the best meals you ever had being cooked on…

31 Fabulous Nova Scotia Doors & Entries – A Lookbook

Old doors have been given a bad rap (excuse the pun) for a long time! The removal of old doors (not unlike wood windows) can significantly reduce or destroy the character and authenticity of a traditional home. The door is the first thing that greets the owner and visitors alike. The warmth and character of…

Lovely Stone House in Athens, Ontario for sale

1824 stone home with 8.8 wooded acres, beautifully preserved, central staircase, elegant perennial gardens, writer’s cabin in the woods.                 For more information and sale price for this lovely home visit Historic Homes For Sale.    

A Summer House – Do we still possess the skills?

We have many resources to our architectural past. This summer house is a beautiful example of a late 19th century garden feature. The Historic American Buildings Survey in 1933 documented this wonderful summer house (located in Mount Holly, NJ, on the Ashhurst Estate) – with a single photograph and a complete set of detailed drawings…

How-To Project One – Prop-It!

Summer is here and it is always nice to prop open your old fashioned guillotine windows (a window devoid of weights and pulleys) and take advantage of cool evening breezes. The problem with this is what to use other than a book (see Image 1). During our visit to the east coast a couple of…

40 Something – A 1940’s Kitchen Make-Over

In Conversation With Lori Gaiardo (Home Owner) – and Nena Wagner (Publisher Edifice Vintage Home) – Photography By: Christopher Cooper Nena: When you bought your house in what kind of condition was the kitchen? Lori: The house had unfortunately not been lived in for almost three years after the previous owner’s death so it was…

Abandoned Island

I have great affection for abandoned houses. I find them beautiful and somewhat sad in their attempt to prop themselves up and not become merely dust in the landscape. Every-so-often I find myself so enamored with a long forgotten edifice that it almost haunts me, as did a little house I stumbled upon during a…

Don’t Be Afraid of Red!

I enjoy exploring older neighborhoods and looking at the older homes. I pay particular attention to the architectural details and the paint colours used, as this is my special interest. Many people have a fear of painting their house a bold colour such as red however red is a fabulous colour to make both a…

Through the Garden Gate – A Lookbook

A garden gate becomes an attractive focal point for curb appeal and a welcoming portal to what wonderful delights await on the other side; a loved and cared for garden or the charming and perfectly restored house.