Old Home Symposium

New Workshop January 30th, 2021… We have created this workshop to deal with the top ten questions and concerns asked by our followers and subscribers.

Off-Grid Living

Saturday, December 12th, 2020 Is it possible to live off-grid? Just ask Kyle, who has lived off-grid for many years

This Warm Olde House

Because you really can save 30 – 50% on heating costs in your traditional or heritage house! Now that I have your attention, this workshop may be for you!

Wooden Scaffolding

When I was young and foolish, I would climb ladders and walk ridgepoles on three-and four-storey houses without a care and without fear.

Making Keepers

I am sure our readership is aware of my passion for antique hardware, to wit, I have become a collector of early Suffolk and Norfolk latches, with a few interesting Tudor and Elizabethan era pieces.

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.

Even More Wallpaper Woes

In our previous article entitled “Wallpaper Woes,” where we gave our best advice to repair plaster walls after the removal of many layers of wallpaper.

A Closet Solution

Many people who own traditional houses have one thing in common, the total lack of closet space!

Water-Based Paints Of Old

Paint has had a very long history as is evident in cave paintings and the Egyptian Hieroglyphs, and in the colourful 200-year-old armoire you purchased while on vacation in rural Quebec.

Architrave Restoration

In a previous article we tackled one of the most demanding projects on an old house – replacing wooden sills. We will continue this series showing a step-by-step restoration of very early window architraves.

For The Love OF Wooden Columns

More and more terribly executed repairs are being perpetrated on original verandah, portico, or porch posts and columns in Canada each day.

A Wooden Dado

In the mid to late 18th century, lath and plaster walls were devised to hang beautiful hand-blocked wallpaper.

The Homestead

Living in a home that has been in our family for four generations has been an interesting and challenging experience.

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.

Circa 1842

Stroll up the path, past some barns and a split rail fence, until you see a clapboard house with a cedar roof, a few feet from the shore of Lake Erie.

The Bedroom

It has taken almost one thousand years for bedrooms to evolve into those which we see today.

Traditions

The earliest houses were an example of the direct outgrowth of architecture from function and materials.

Wallpaper Woes

Many people who live in century houses come across, in some cases, dozens of layers of wallpaper on walls and ceilings.

Belleisle Bay NB Beauty

Nestled in the heart of southern New Brunswick, this Belleisle Bay gem got its humble start in the 1950s.

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

Circa 1835 Ireland House

Exceptional for many reasons, Ireland House is a valuable historic structure – an architecturally intact farmstead – which remained in continued use by one family for five generations.

A Wooden Box Latch

You will find all sorts of interesting things when you dismantle an old building.

Ready For Another 200 Years

Somehow the universe guided us to this old house. Vacationing here as children, we never dreamed that one day we would own it.

Crafted In Wood

The woods of the Colchi, in Pontus, [in modern day Turkey] furnish such abundance of timber, that they build in the following manner.

Antiquities 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!

House Spotting Carpenter Gothic

Originally, the Gothic Revival style was meant to be executed in stone and brick imitating the imposing cathedrals of mediaeval Europe.

All About Hand-Wrought Iron

Wrought Iron conjures up many visual interpretations of the Smithy pounding out horse shoes to keep early Canadians on the road.

A Shaker Inspired Kitchen

The true Shaker kitchen was spotless, ready for hungry workers at 5:30 a.m., and doubtless the epitome of efficiency and craftsmanship among other things.

About Shutters

Shutters are one of the most misunderstood elements on heritage homes and have become, to the majority, nothing but a piece of ornamental trim to flank windows and, in some cases, doors.

Learn to repair and restore your brick and stone!

POSTPONED Pay $200.00 now to reserve your space, payment is through a secure PayPal account Pay with Credit Card or Debit Card Contact us for e-transfer details email Sunday May 24th, 2020 One Day Intensive Workshop 10:30 am – 4:00 pm Without a doubt our most popular workshop ever! – This workshop covers all aspects…

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.

Repair Your Wood Windows

This workshop will take you through the entire documentation and evaluation process – through to the full repair and restoration process of your original wood windows.

Join the Heritage Maintenance Guild

Do you want more work, or better work? Join the Heritage Maintenance Guild and upgrade your skills with our celebrated professional development courses.

Painted Brick? What to do?

Many times I come across houses that have been painted and many of our subscribers ask what to do with the painted bricks and in some case, how you can remove the paint from the brick?

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.

The Queen Anne Revival Style Guide

The Queen Anne Revival house style made its first appearance in North America when the British Government displayed several examples of the style at the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia.

Free Picket Fence Plans

I have created a set of drawings in hopes to inspire the reader to recreate this historic landscape in their own front yard!

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.

Victorian Cottage Make Over

This project is a clear example of what almost any amateur couple can do with a little fore sight and discipline. Money is one of the lesser parts of the equation.

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!

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…

Verandah Valhalla

And now I leave you with these thoughts… there is nothing which better creates curb appeal, character and makes a house a home than a beautifully maintained and loved wooden verandah.

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.