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Renovating Old Houses: Bringing New Life to Vintage Homes (For Pros By Pros) Paperback – December 1, 2003


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Renovating Old Houses: Bringing New Life to Vintage Homes (For Pros By Pros) + Renovation 4th Edition: Completely Revised and Updated + What Your Contractor Can't Tell You: The Essential Guide to Building and Renovating
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Product Details

  • Series: For Pros By Pros
  • Paperback: 410 pages
  • Publisher: Taunton Press; First Printing edition (December 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1561585351
  • ISBN-13: 978-1561585359
  • Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 9.3 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #21,062 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Plain talk for restorers, from soup to nuts (and bolts). Here's thorough, practical advice that's sensitive to both history and budget."

About the Author

Nash is a renovation contractor and fencebuilding enthusiast.

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Customer Reviews

This is the book I've been looking for eight years.
The Hairy Optimist
People who should read this book are; house lovers, real estate agents, restoration contractors, and anyone thinking about buying an older home.
John Beowulf
It was clearly written, informative and filled with lots of colored photos.
Ellie S.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

123 of 125 people found the following review helpful By Zendicant Pangolin on July 27, 2005
Format: Paperback
I got this on a recommendation from somebody who does work on interior walls of houses when I asked for an information source for stripping old wall paper and rerairing lathe and plaster walls. If you've ever looked at 'how to' books on home repairs or re-models, you doubtless have found them either overly technical, unrealistically involved, unreadably boring or way off-topic. If you own an old house and would like to do repairs on it but don't know where to begin or what to do, this is a great reference for pointing you in the right direction and getting you started on your project. The really cool thing about this book is that the author has a knack for explaining things succinctly yet simply and then illustrating what he means with excellent photographs in a way that causes one to realize right away whether the project one proposes to do is realistically undertaken or better left to experts. You can't imagine the disappointment one feels when one has begun a project that some flimsy how-to book (perhaps written to sell product) has promised to guide one through, only to discover too late that the problems covered are not at all the same ones being encountered. Usually this occurs because the authors presuppose that they are dealing with an audience trying to fix their mid-60's home, mid-1960's that is, and not something about twice as old. The the beauty of this book is that nearly every problem and project discussed is going to have you saying, "Wow, I've got that problem," or "Man, I wish somebody had shown me that before," or "What an excellent, elegant solution." Most of the other books I've consulted had me instead running off to a hardware store or a contractor to get the problem 'fixed' by simply getting rid of it and replacing it with something 'NEW.Read more ›
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79 of 84 people found the following review helpful By houseinprogress on January 8, 2004
Format: Paperback
Nash is a classic author who joyfully shares his experience in restoring old houses. While there have been a lot books we've enjoyed, no book has been more useful regarding issues specific to old homes than THIS ONE. The book is published by Taunton Press, known for other high quality publications like Fine Homebuilding and The Not So Big House. It's been critical for helping us to figure out how to do everything from fixing a smelly basement to removing a load bearing wall. What it has done the most is helped us to think of our house as a system (not just as the sum of it's parts). While it's true that construction and engineering have come a long way in 97 years, you can't always slap on a new [insert any product here] and assume everything will be better. Nash emphasizes how old houses are different in many ways, including how they circulate air, keep in heat and even stay standing. We never knew a balloon from balloon framing until we read this book. Finally, Nash shares our own values for design integrity. We know that his heart is with us and other old house owners trying to "right the wrongs" brought upon a house which has been 'remuddled' one too many times. We never lend this one out!
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74 of 80 people found the following review helpful By David Swanson on July 4, 2004
Format: Paperback
I have 5 books that are "Old house" oriented. I have an old house as well, "1765". Well, that's the oldest part of my house with which I most cherish and protect.

This is by far my most looked at, referenced, used book period. I have the last edition. This edition has been improved. Mine is just starting to have that used/broken in feeling.
It's my favorite in terms of depth and breadth of coverage.
Whether doing the work yourself or highering specific contractors familiar with what it is that needs doing. This book may help familiarize you with a great many things you're likely to encounter owning an old house.

It also gives a nice explanation of the difference between Restoration, Renovation, and Preservation. As in religion and politics, those are very, very, different things.
I'm preserving the 1765 end while renovating the damaged/shabbily repaired sections.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 29, 2000
Format: Paperback
Don't touch your old house until you read this book. Its an eye opener about what to do and what not to do to renovate an old house and keep it from looking like you did. Didn't notice how many remodels in my neighborhood had been "remuddled" until reading what Nash has to say about keeping architechtural integrity. I live in a historical district, and this book has helped me maintain my 1860s house and given me insight as to how it was built, and how to fix it. Get this book FIRST!
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Heather M Hine on January 4, 1998
Format: Paperback
From the moment you open the cover, you are reassured of your decision to buy this book. It offers an overview of many options of renovations. From Basement Casement walls, to roof-top peeks, this book supplies you with the information to base your projects on. Before YOU start a renovation project, or are just in need of ideas to creating additional living space in YOUR old house, get this book. You will not regret it.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 24, 1998
Format: Paperback
Having renovated 3 houses, I am always looking out for good books on the topic. Sadly, many of them are very superficial. This book is the exception. The information and attitude that Mr. Nash puts forth in this book is deep and highly informative. A must read for old house nuts.
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