New Hampshire Old House& Barn Expo Offers Practical Fun Solutions to Homeowners for These Times

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Energy savings, window repair, and weatherization techniques will be featured.

With declining house values, all sorts of weatherization incentives, and a tough economy, homeowners are left wondering what are the right investments to make in their homes these days. Experts at the upcoming Old House and Barn Expo will offer advice on renovation projects, effective maintenance techniques and debunk common myths regarding energy efficiency improvements. More than 100 exhibitors and lecturers selected for their skill and experience will be at the New Hampshire Old House & Barn Expo this March 20 to 21 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the Center of New Hampshire, Radisson Hotel in Manchester, N.H.

"Even in good economic times, homeowners want to know how to best protect and enhance their home values," said Preservation Alliance chairman Michael Bruss, who is president of Bruss Construction. "And in times like these, it's more important than ever."

Upgraded kitchens and baths can blend old and new elements, and landscape strategies can complement the historic character of a 1790 farmhouse or a 1920s craftsman style home while keeping rain and snow melt from deteriorating foundations, sills and clapboards.

Expo exhibitors, sessions and demonstrations will also help attendees determine priorities for energy savings with sessions on the benefits of a good energy audit, case studies of deep energy retrofits, and advice about old windows. "While many people believe that replacement windows are an important investment, heat loss around a window is usually relatively small compared to other places in a house," said Beverly Thomas who runs the Preservation Alliance's services for homeowners. "Sealing air leaks, adding insulation in attics and basements, and adjusting your thermostat typically offer much stronger returns." Studies show that adding a quality storm to your existing window can meet the energy equivalent of new replacement windows while maintaining historic features of a home. Demonstrators will offer do-it-yourself techniques for restoring old windows that were designed to be repaired.

According to the Preservation Alliance, this one-stop-shopping trade show helps old house and barn owners and enthusiasts with appropriate and affordable solutions. Attendees will have a chance to meet face-to-face with knowledgeable suppliers of repair and restoration products and services, and gather valuable ideas from hourly live talks and demonstrations.

Event sponsors notes that "this show is for owners of old homes, stewards of civic properties and people who love traditional crafts." Past Expos have drawn people with homes from 1790 to 1960 or have an even newer house but enjoy woodworking and textile arts, stone walls, or Arts and Crafts design," said Sue Booth, Preservation Alliance board member and owner of Vintage Kitchens. Booth notes that in her business and in her volunteer work for the Alliance she welcomes opportunities to help people understand the history of their homes or communities, and match passions to practical solutions.

In addition to advice about energy audits and retrofits for old buildings, other lectures will focus on such topics as researching your house's history, architectural styles, historic paint colors, old and new kitchens, moisture management, chimney care, and much more.

Event sponsors include Bedard Preservation & Restoration, First Period Colonial, Ian Blackman, LLC, Public Service of New Hampshire, and Vintage Kitchens, as well as Bruss Construction, EnviroVantage, Fifield Building Restoration and Relocation, Historic & Distinctive Properties, Innerglass Window Systems, Louis Karno & Company, and Merrimack County Savings Bank.

Additional exhibitors include Ararat Forge, Chimney Restoration Group, Erickson's Antique Stoves, Historic New England, and Iron Horse Roofing, as well as many experienced contractors, weatherization experts, members of the New England Window Restoration Alliance and architectural and old house booksellers. Demonstrators, sponsored by the N.H. State Council on the Arts, will include timber framing, stonewall building, window repair, weaving, and rug braiding.

Discounted advance-purchase tickets with more on the Expo can be found at http://www.nhpreservation.org.

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