Appendix I: The Secretary of Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation
Appendix II: Home Inspection Checklist
Appendix III: Bibliography
Appendix IV: Periodicals
Appendix V: Booklets, Brochures, Pamphlets and Information Bulletins
We live in older homes for various reasons--their
complexity or simplicity, hidden nooks and crannies, tall ceilings,
original woodwork, and histories. And it's no secret that older
neighborhoods often have special charm characterized by interesting lawns
and gardens, sidewalks, and porches where warm evenings are spent passing
time with passers-by. Old-house living is part of what makes life
Many people believe that old houses are plagued with
problems. But this
need not be. The key to a comfortable, problem-free home is keeping up
with maintenance before problems emerge, developing priority lists of
projects and seasonal chores, and understanding the difference between
quality and budget building materials. Interestingly, these same
recommendations pertain to the care and maintenance of a newer home.
Quality home maintenance improves property values, promotes pride in
the neighborhood, and saves you time and money. The enormous popularity
television shows such as "This Old House" and the growth of the
do-it-yourself home improvement market are proof that homeowners want to
know the correct method and materials to use, whether performing tasks
themselves or hiring professional contractors.
The Landmark Society of Western New York is dedicated to preserving
older homes and neighborhoods. Rehab Rochester will support those of you
living in and loving your special older home. This book provides useful
information that has been collected and researched by the Landmark
of Western New York, one of America's oldest preservation organizations.
Every suggestion has been approved and recommended by architects,
contractors, preservation consultants, and people who live in old homes
and understand their quirks. We have not tried to address every problem
encountered in home rehabilitation projects, but have focused on some of
the most common and misunderstood projects.
The nominal price of this book could save you hundreds or even
thousands of dollars in unnecessary or inappropriate home repairs. If,
after reading this book, you have any questions or if you need additional
information, call us. We'll be pleased to answer your questions,
you to our library, or refer you to other professionals specializing in
old-house issues and rehabilitations.
Former Rehabilitation Advisor
Landmark Society of Western New York
Published by the Landmark
Society of Western New York with support of
the City of Rochester
Made possible through a Certified
Local Government Grant of the
National Park Service, Department of Interior Administered by the New
State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation
Chase Manhattan Bank
Rochester Gas & Electric Corporation
Members of the Landmark Society of Western New York
Written by Steve Jordan
Book layout by Dan Malczewski
Illustrated by Melissa Carlson
Web design by Don Baird
This book is dedicated to Rochesterians who
maintain or renovate older
You continue the use of the resources of an
earlier era, save
the talents and labor of those who came before us, and enable your house
to survive for the use of future generations.
You are the
recycler and conserver of energy! You improve the energy efficiency of an
old house, and a house preserved means less construction debris in
You also save the energy needed to make the bricks,
roofing shingles, and other products that would otherwise go into a new
house; an amount of energy that would heat a house for ten years.
add to the vitality of our city, as a positive influence on your
and neighborhood and as a catalyst that spurs additional improvement.
counter the trend towards low-density sprawl that is wasteful of land and
fuel, segregates people economically, and leads to traffic congestion.
everyone, including those who live in houses new or old, and those who
live in the suburbs as well as the city, recognize the benefits of your
efforts to insure that older houses and neighborhoods survive and thrive.
by maintaining an older house you create a wonderful home for yourself,
your family, or for those who rent from you.
We thank you and
our best wishes.
Landmark Society of Western New York
The publication of Rehab Rochester has been made
public and corporate support and individual donations.
ability to undertake this project was made possible by a Certified Local
Government grant. This grant, administered by the New York State Office
Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, was awarded to the City of
Rochester and suported much of the research and writing for this book.
This grant will also enable the City of Rochester to distribute some
complimentary coopies, the support of Mayor William A. Johnson, Jr. and
Commissioner Thomas R. Argust, plus the assistance of Joe Mustico, Laura
Nobles, and other city staff have been greatly appreciated.
The idea for this book developed after 10 years of publishing
"House Notes" in the Landmark Society's newsletter. Ted
Bartlett, former Landmark Society staff person, originated "House
Notes," which were continued by Dorothy Victor and Steve Jordan.
Architect John Bero has been both a contributor and consultant to
Chase Manhattan Bank, our loyal, long-time sponsor of "House
Notes," is a corporate sponsor of Rehab Rochester. Rochester Gas
& Electric Corporation also is a corporate sponsor of this book, and
we appreciate their assistance in reviewing the manuscript.
The members of the Landmark Society, through their dues and donations,
give us the ability to pursue worthwhile projects, and several have
contributed monies specifically for this book: Giuseppe Erba, Jean and
Robert France, Elizabeth Pine, Robert and Pat Place, and an anonymous
In addition, I would like to thank the book's author, Steve Jordan,
bringing a wonderful combination of knowledge and practical skills to
work. For 15 years, Steve worked as a painter and contractor, gaining an
ever-increasing appreciation of older buildings. In 1990 Steve earned a
Master of Historic Preservation degree from Cornell University, and in
1991 he became the Landmark Society's Rehabilitation Advisor.
An important part of this book are the sketches by Melissa Carlson, an
architect with Bero Associates. She completed these sketches while on
maternity leave, in between caring for daughter Molly.
Others have been important contributors and proof-readers, especially
John Bero, Lucy Breyer, Susan Crego, Deirdre Cunningham, Cynthia Howk,
Gerald Klafehn, John Loftus, Blythe Merrill, Flo Paxson, Catherine
Theresa Schwarz, Karen Wolf, and Jim Yarrington.
For everyone who has helped with this book, thank you!
Landmark Society of Western New York
Words of Caution
Maintaining your older home can be pleasurable--even fun, but it is always
important to heed any safety precautions that are related tot he tools or
materials you are using. If you are beginning extensive work, it's a good
idea to buy a good respirator, safety goggles, leather gloves and
chemical-resistant rubber gloves. If you are removing walls or razing any
part of your house, you'll need a hard hat and steel-toed boots.
All safety devices, guards, and protective covers must be maintained on
tools, and power cords must have an intact grounding plug. Each day,
your tools for frayed cords and dull blades, and always check the
retractable blade guard on circular saws. If you frequently use power
build a sturdy work table, or use saw horses and boards at a comfortable
working level. It's dangerous to cut boards supported by the porch rail, on
the steps, or over the fence.
Chemicals and noxious paints require adequate ventilation. Products that
have never bothered you before may make you sick in an enclosed area; they
might make a chemical-sensitive person extremely ill. Some extremely
flammable products might require that all pilot lights are turned off, so
always read label directions and precautions carefully.
If you are living in a construction site, keep your living area clean of
construction debris and dust. You don't want to bring in lead paint dust
asbestos fibers. It's a good idea to change your work clothes before
entering your living space.
And speaking of asbestos and lead-you should read some current literature
about abatement procedures, precautions, and who is most often affected by
exposure. With this information, you can make your own decision about what
to do. Call the Monroe County Health Department at 274-8047 for more
information about lead poisoning and abatement, and 274-8076 for more about
Rehab work can be gratifying and a lot of fun but it's a poor place to mix
alcohol with pleasure--don't drink while working. Keep your work site clean
of construction debris that might cause accidents. And finally, if you're
tired, it's a good idea to put your tools away and do something else.
Continue to Chapter 1 - Learning More About Your House
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