• 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

  • 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

  • This Saturday we will be participating in the street vendor portion of the Historic Kenwood Neighborhood's 12th annual BungalowFest home tour. The Saturday tour runs from 10 am-6pm and features 11 restored/renovated historic homes. Some of Historic Shed's window screens and screen doors can be seen on the neighborhood homes (including the home below, photographed before the screen door was installed). Unfortunately, none of our installed sheds will be part of the tour. The tour costs $10 in advance and $15 the day of the tour. There is also a moonlight tour Friday night featuring 5 different homes. Please stop by our booth and introduce yourself between home visits.

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

  • Many historic neighborhoods send out regular newsletters to their members with updates on local events and neighborhood projects. These newsletters are great for fostering a strong community and allowing a dialog about the neighborhood's future. They are generally laid out by dedicated volunteers who often depend on other volunteers to provide relevant, interesting articles. As a volunteer editor of a non-profit historic preservation organization newsletter myself, I know that schedules don't always allow all the promised articles to materialize when promised, and "filler" articles may be needed to make the pages lay out properly. Of course, these articles need address topics relevant to the neighborhood. Due to copyright concerns, suitable articles may be difficult to find even with the great resources of the internet.To help local historic neighborhood newsletter editors, we are now offering a series of historic preservation related articles that can be used through EzineArticles.com that we hope help promote both an awareness of historic preservation issues and encourage neighborhood improvements. The articles on the site are available free for use with a few minor terms of service from EzineArticles (such as crediting the article source). We will continue to write more articles regularly, and welcome ideas for topics you would like to see addressed. We can also provide illustrations for many of the articles (email: design at historicshed dot com). The articles can also be used as blog posts for neighborhood websites.Topics so far include:Benefits of Historic PreservationChoosing a Wood Screen DoorFactors to Consider When Choosing to Repair Or Replace Historic Wood WindowsHow to Camouflage Inappropriate Replacement Windows on Your Historic HomeImproving the Energy Efficiency of Historic HomesPlanning an Outbuilding For Your Historic HomeReasons to Keep Your Historic Wood WindowsThe Solution to Creating the Perfect Home OfficeWood Window Screens For Your Historic HomeAdditionally, you can search the millions of articles on every topic imaginable on the EzineArticles site or submit articles yourself.

  • The Hillsborough County City-County Planning Commission recently recognized 16 projects for their contributions to the quality of life in Hillsborough County at the Planning Commission’s 50th Anniversary Celebration and 27th Annual Community Design Awards. The Florida Department of Transportation, City of Tampa, and the Federal Highway Administration were among the Award of Excellence recipients for the Interstate 4 Historic Preservation Mitigation Project in the category of Historic Preservation/Restoration.Beginning in 1987, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) developed a master plan for much-needed interstate system improvements in Hillsborough County. After every effort had been made to minimize and avoid adverse impacts within the Ybor CityNational Historic Landmark District, 10% of the nearly 1,000 historic buildings would still have to be cleared to widen I-4. After almost three years of research and negotiations between federal, state and local agencies, a Memorandum of Agreement was signed in late 1996. The methods for minimizing the impacts were unprecedented in their magnitude and included the relocation of 64 historic buildings, with FHWA and FDOT being responsible for the rehabilitation of 35 of the buildings within the proposed highway footprint.Twenty-six of the buildings chosen for relocation as part of the Tampa Interstate Study project were located on the north side of I-4 in the most desolate part of the neighborhood. The single-family homes were moved to vacant lots within a five-block area, sited carefully to recreate the historic streetscapes. Design plans were reviewed by both the Florida Division of Historic Resources and the local Barrio Latino Commission and typically included rebuilding of deteriorated front porches, replacement of inappropriate windows and doors, new metal roofs, and structural repairs. Low walls, typical of the area, were constructed at each relocated site with plaques stating the building’s original location and date of relocation. Interior renovations removed modifications that had subdivided many homes into multi-resident units and to accommodate contemporary living requirements for kitchens, baths and closets. Once rehabbed, FDOT transferred ownership of the buildings to the City of Tampa, which then sold the homes to private individuals for appraised value. As a result of the project improvements, there has been a noticeable increase in private investment in the surrounding area, both from long-time owners now choosing to improve their homes and rental units and from outside investors purchasing vacant commercial and residential property.Five historic homes were part of the "Las Casitas" project and moved to land near the Ybor City State Museum, south of I-4, where the 7th Avenue commercial district is located. One two-story “camel back” house was relocated to a vacant lot adjacent to the State Museum and now houses the Museum Gift Shop, giving the Museum a larger street presence and allowing for expanded merchandise offerings. The other four homes were placed on an adjacent vacant block flanking a relocated brick commercial building to replicate a historic streetscape. These retail shops are rented by the Museum’s not-for-profit support organization to generate revenue for Museum programs.Preservation Resource, Inc. has been honored to have worked on this project with FDOT and FHWA personnel along with with project coordinator Elaine Illes of IPI and cultural resource consultants from Janus Research along with local renovation contractors, South-Co, Goldsborough and Semco.

  • 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.

  • Historic Shed recently made a presentation entitled "Why Save Your Historic Wood Windows" at the historic Shuffleboard Courts in St. Petersburg, FL along with City of St. Petersburg Historic Preservation Planner Aimee Angel and window restoration contractor Steve Quillian. Below is the PowerPoint presentation that we used as an outline for our presentation. Please feel free to ask any questions in the comment section below since this is a topic we feel strongly about.Why Save Historic WindowsView more presentations from Jo-anne Peck.