Old Home Restoration: Visitor Gets Building Style Help From Community Forum

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Online community support from OldHouseWeb.com helped one woman to identify the style of a historic home so that she could properly restore the property. The online forum contains advice from thousands of homeowners who have completed restorations on homes built before and after 1900.

In a recent posting to the OldHouseWeb.com community forum, a woman purchasing a historic home received important help from experienced old-home renovators (http://www.oldhouseweb.com/newBB/topic-12099.shtml). OldHouseWeb.com, a how-to site offering ideas, articles and resources to old-house enthusiasts, features an interactive forum that currently hosts more than 44,000 postings by homeowners, building trades persons and architecture enthusiasts on more than 7,000 topics.

The visitor, "cupcake," posted to the forum: "...This is our first old home. The listing said it is circa 1820. I am having a hard time figuring out the style of the home, however. I'd like to figure it out so I know where to go with the changes I'd like to make. As much as possible I'd like to keep original details and just restore them. We have some great old floors that the (previous owner) has painted, so I'd like to strip and refinish them. Seems like this is the place to be for questions/support! So, how do I go about figuring out what type of house this is?"

Cupcake uploaded photographs of the house for other visitors to examine and asked forum members for help in identifying its building style (http://www.oldhouseweb.com/newBB/topic-12099.shtml). The same day the woman posted pictures of her historic home at OldHouseWeb.com's forum, visitors helped identify it as Greek Revival/Federal with a style called Adamesque.

Old-home restoration expert Jackie Craven says identification of structure age and style is essential in getting the job done right. "The real estate lady says the house was built in 1962, but one look at the kitchen, and you know they're both wrong. This place is practically prehistoric," says Craven. "Houses often aren't built all in one piece. Rooms are added, additions built, roofs raised, porches redesigned. Written records of construction and renovation can be confusing and conflicting."

Knowing the style can greatly assist not only in identifying the architectural era of the home, reports OldHouseWeb.com, but can lead to searches on the Web site for well-matched restoration pieces and skilled crafts persons who specialize in a particular segment of old home restoration (http://www.oldhouseweb.com).

OldHouseWeb.com is a complete old-house remodeling interactive Web site offering old-house enthusiasts how-to resources spanning several industries from cabinetry to architecture. OldHouseWeb.com includes before and after renovation pictures, feature articles, a product showcase and an active forum featuring thousands of questions, solutions and successes.    

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