If you live in a historic district, or even in an older house, chances are that you’re there because you love the character, the atmosphere, and the ambience of a home from days gone by. As the saying goes, “They don’t make them like that anymore.”
At the same time, you’ve likely found that maintaining an older house can be a labor of love—especially if you’re dedicated to taking care of the unique features that give the house its historic appeal.
Take, for example, wooden windows. Back in the early 1900s, when many of Farmington’s historic district homes were built, there was no calling up Anderson Windows to place an order. Instead, each window frame would be made specifically to fit its opening, and would often be custom installed. Of course, no wood can remain in perfect condition forever, just as no vinyl or fiberglass can, either. After a hundred years, it’s bound to need some help. As with many historic home repairs, the question inevitably comes up: Repair, or replace?
How to repair old windows is the kickoff topic for Preservation Farmington’s new hands-on workshop series, aimed at helping owners of historic homes—and anyone else who’s interested—learn the basic skills for DIY historic house repair.
The one-day workshop, set for late May or early June 2016, will be held at one of the homes in the Farmington historic district, and taught by an expert with the Michigan Historic Preservation Network. Participants will have the opportunity to work on the actual windows original to the house, from removal of the window to stripping it, reglazing it, and repairing cords.
Two more workshops, later in the year, are slated to cover energy efficiency for historic homes and plaster repair. No experience is required for any of the sessions.
Also in the works is a history-related lecture series, aimed at a popular audience of history enthusiasts across the greater Farmington area. Topics will include caring for antiques, researching your historic home, and a photographic peek into the streets of Farmington’s past. More details, including tentative dates and pricing, will be posted at our Workshops and Events tab.
–by Jena Stacey