• Floral City is a darling town located in Citrus County with a collection of historic buildings dating from the 1860s and later. The area experienced a large boom during the 1890s as phosphate mining became a major industry, and the town at one point had a population of over 10,000 people. The phosphate industry left by the 1920s, leaving behind Folk Victorian homes surrounded by giant live oaks. Visitors today can stop at the collection of quaint shops, including the wonderful Florida Artists Gallery and Cafe. Historic Shed was lucky to work on one of the early homes in the historic district, built c. 1883. The project was small, and included screening a portion of the wrap-around porch and installing a few wood window screens. Here's how it came out:

  • It’s easy to fall in love with an old house. One look at the high ceilings, built-in cabinets, large windows and deep porches set along grand tree-lined streets and your heart is sold. Unfortunately, it’s not as easy to know what to do when the house you fell in love with is in need of repair. To help smitten old house owners, Tampa Preservation, Inc., presents an annual Historic Homes Workshop to connect homeowners to experts who will share their knowledge of historic home renovation. The theme for this year’s workshop is Maintaining the Old House.  Twelve sessions offer help on topics including Restoring Wood Windows, Foundation and Roof Repair, and Exterior Details related to the structure and design outside the old home (courtesy of Historic Shed).  Other sessions, including Remodeling a Period Bath, offer ideas for inside the historic home. A special highlight of this year’s workshop will be a session at Schiller’s Architectural Salvage exploring the use of salvaged materials in home decor. “We get a lot of calls from people looking for professionals to help them with their historic homes, from design issues to contractors to do the work,” observes Becky Clarke, President of Tampa Preservation. “This event showcases local experts who will share their knowledge and hopefully give away some of their industry secrets.” Historic Shed will have a table in the vendor display area, so please stop by and say hello. Tampa Preservation, Inc., a private, non-profit organization, established in 1973., is dedicated to the preservation of the historic structures and neighborhoods of the Tampa Bay area and Hillsborough County, and to the education of the area’s school children and residents about their unique heritage. What: Tampa Preservation, Inc. Historic Homes Workshop When: April 27, 2013 from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Where: 1706 W. Cypress St., Tampa, FL 33606 Cost: Free for Tampa Preservation, Inc. members, $5 for non-members More Info: To see the Workshop schedule and learn more, please visit the website at www.TampaPreservation.com

  • Below is the slide show presentation Historic Shed president and historic preservation consultant, Jo-Anne Peck uses to talk about making your historic home more energy efficient without destroying its historic integrity. The presentation focuses on practical, affordable things that home owners can do without resorting to expensive high tech or invasive methods. The presentation is geared towards homes in Florida so focuses on keeping the cool air in. Improving the Energy Efficiency of Your Historic Florida Home from Preservation Resource, Inc./ Historic Shed  

  • Historic Shed will be participating in two events next weekend. On Saturday, April 14th, 2012 we will be a featured speaker at the Tampa Preservation, Inc. Historic Homes Workshop. The annual event is free and offers 12 workshops geared towards historic homeowners that want to renovate their home in an architecturally and historically sensitive manner. The workshops will be run three at a time, so you will be able to attend up to four sessions during the day. Historic Shed's topic will be "Improving Energy Efficiency in Historic Homes", focusing on practical, inexpensive ways to reduce energy use. Other speakers will discuss Wood Window Repair, Restoring Wood Floors, Researching You Home's History, Florida Friendly Landscaping and much more. For more information, please see the Tampa Preservation website. On Sunday, April 15th, Historic Shed will be a featured speaker during day 2 of the Tumbleweed Tiny House Workshop in Miami. We will discuss Florida Building Codes in relation to small homes and cottages. These events are very informative and popular, so register soon if you are interested. We are looking forward to being a part of the event and meeting other tiny building aficionados, including author and workshop leader Derek "Deek" Diedricksen and Tiny House blogger Alex Pino. For more information  and to register see: http://www.tumbleweedhouses.com/blog/3-guest-speakers-confirmed-for-the-miami-workshop. Tiny House Workshop press: http://www.sun-sentinel.com/entertainment/fl-tiny-houses-040812-20120406,0,2438495.story?page=1

  • My topic at the recent Historic Homes Workshop in St. Petersburg was on choosing exterior paint colors for historic Florida homes (it seemed more fitting to the theme of the workshop than "History of Outbuildings"). Below is the slide presentation that  was used as a background for the talk. Unfortunately it doesn't have my witty delivery along with the slides, but I am available to give the presentation to neighborhood associations and other local groups that are interested in the topic. Or you can email for clarification on any of the slide information. (Click on the four arrows in the lower right corner to see the slides at full size.) Choosing Exterior Colors for your Historic Florida House Choosing Exterior Colors for your Historic Florida House from Historic Shed View more presentations from Preservation Resource, Inc./ Historic Shed

  • Updated and expanded presentation regarding whether to repair or replace your historic wood windows.Historic Wood WindowsView more presentations from Jo-Anne Peck.

  • Old House Journal has a recent post entitled "Superior Sheds: A Garden Shed Guide for Old Houses" with some great information on rehabbing an existing historic shed in your yard. It also offer tips for designing a new shed that looks appropriate with historic homes.

  • When historic wood windows are in need of repair, many homeowners automatically assume it is time for wholesale replacement of all the windows in the house. This is not only an expensive, disruptive project, but also begins a long term replacement cycle that can be easily avoided while saving money, energy and being environmentally friendly. However, many homeowners are not fully informed about the issues related to replacement windows and the options for repair. Below are some of the factors to consider before making the decision to replace the original wood windows in your historic home:Aesthetics - The original wood windows on a historic home are the architecturally correct style and proper proportions for your historic home. Replacing unusual shapes and historic sash patterns often requires expensive custom replacement windows or replacement with a lesser design. Standard style replacement windows often have different frame and muntin profiles that are oddly proportioned on your historic home as well. In addition, metal and vinyl windows do not hold paint well, and are generally stocked in glaring white which does not look aesthetically pleasing on many historic home styles.Cost - When the original wood windows are painted shut, have broken sash cords, broken glass or a portion of the sash or frame is rotted or damaged, the windows are almost always repairable by a carpenter for a fraction of the cost of replacement windows. In addition, repairing historic wood windows does not require modifications to the existing opening framing or replacement of historic trim, which can add unexpected costs to your window replacement job.Longevity - Your wood windows already have a 75+ year track record of service and are infinitely repairable with standard carpentry tools. Most modern replacement windows have an expected life span of 10-20 years before the springs fail, seals break and the glass clouds. These replacement windows do not have replaceable parts, so when this occurs, the entire factory-made unit has to be replaced, starting a continuous cycle of required replacement.Energy Savings - Energy savings studies have demonstrated that a historic wood window, properly maintained, weather-stripped and with a storm window, can be just as energy efficient as a new window. Windows contribute only 10-12% of overall infiltration to the building envelope. Much more infiltration occurs at roof eaves, foundations and even through wall receptacles, dryer and plumbing vents, and fireplaces. According to studies, it can take 60 or more years to recoup enough money in energy savings to pay back the cost of installing replacement windows, but by this time, the new windows have already failed and been replaced again several times over. For Florida homeowners, opening the windows and limiting AC use during the less intense hot months is a much more effective way to reduce energy costs. More cost effective energy savings ideas include installing awnings, operable shutters or insulating window treatments to reduce heat gain, plus adding wall and attic insulation, caulking/sealing around wall and roof penetrations, and installing solar powered attic fans.Environment - Each year, Americans demolish 200,000 buildings, creating 124 million tons of debris. Every window that goes into the dump adds to this problem. Replacing historic windows discards the embodied energy that was used to create the original windows and requires the consumption of more energy to produce the new windows. In addition, replacement windows that contain vinyl or PVC are toxic to produce, create toxic by-products and are not recyclable.Historic Integrity - Repairing rather than replacing historic wood windows retains the original historic fabric of your home. Once they are removed, they can never be truly replaced in kind.

  • A recent forum post on an old house restoration and renovation website asked what they could do to hide the bright white vinyl replacement windows that the previous owners had installed. They didn't have the money to replace the windows, and the windows were still working fine, but were glaringly inappropriate for their historic home. For situations like this, an affordable solution is to install traditional wood window screens over the windows.Wood window screens can be built by homeowners with some woodworking skills or hired out for a reasonable cost from a local carpenter. They are historically appropriate on most home styles since they were commonly added even to the earliest homes by later homeowners. The best woods for screen longevity are cedar, cypress, or mahogany, although other woods can be used if primed and painted thoroughly. Paintable water repellent preservatives applied before priming are also useful for extending the life of the newly built screens. Screen frames are typically 1-1/2" to 2" wide and corners can be joined by screws, L-brackets, pegs or historically appropriate bridle joints for more accomplished woodworkers. Screening is applied after painting by stapling to the frame, then the edges are covered by screen molding, which is a narrow rounded trim piece.When trying to hide inappropriate non-historic windows, full height screens are recommended set flush with the exterior casing or within the brickmold trim. Using charcoal or other dark color screening helps mute the bright white of the vinyl windows behind the screen. Painting the screens a contrasting accent color also draws attention away from the windows behind and adds an attractive element to your home. Forest green, black, deep brown and burgundy were common screen accent colors. Install the screens with stainless face-mounted hangers and your replacement windows will no longer detract from the historic appearance of your home.Note: This article is an expanded and updated version of an earlier post.