Owning a historic house on Nantucket is a wonderful privilege, but many homeowners claim they aren’t sure how to properly protect and preserve their old houses.
NPT’s free House Interview (below and in PDF) can assist with determining what is important and how to complete appropriate renovations. This program, conducted by NPT staff and preservation architects and/ or contractors, is available to all owners of historic properties on Nantucket. The hour-long consultation provides the homeowner with a fi rsthand opportunity to learn more about the building’s style, character, defining features and evolution. We hope you will call on us for a house interview this year.
- Complete maintenance on a regular basis. Routine maintenance, such as cleaning and painting—especially on your building’s exterior—will help minimize rot and the need for costly repairs. Maintenance on Nantucket is especially important because of the sea air and damp winters. Consider developing a maintenance schedule and set goals and priorities.
- Limit the scope of repairs and keep original details. Some of the historic trim, around windows and doors and along the cornice or roofline, may need to be replaced from time to time due to rot or infestation, but replace only the portion of the wood that is damaged. This saves wood and money as well as the historic fabric of the house. If an entire element needs replacing, be sure to take detailed photographs prior to removing, and duplicate the molding profile or shape to retain your building’s historic character.
- Maintain the historic windows. Old windows (dating from the early twentieth century or earlier) were made to be repaired, not replaced. There is a lot that you can do to make old windows more energy efficient and be green in the process.
- Take special care in repairing masonry. More and more of Nantucket’s old brick is disappearing because of past mistakes. The main culprit is inappropriate use of Portland cement. Portland cement is usually not compatible with historic brick, and its use can lead to damage to the brick and structural issues. The weight of cement can also bring down an old chimney, so take care when considering chimney repairs and relining options. Repairing mortar with the correct lime mortar and cement ratio (if appropriate) is essential and should not increase the expense. It is critical to hire a mason who understands the importance of matching the mortar to the brick.
- Build new wings or remodel old ones with “Nantucket in Mind.” If you plan to add to your historic house, design the new addition so it is fully compatible with the main core and does not overwhelm it. Oversized additions affect not only your home but the neighborhood. Don’t build to maximize ground coverage—green space is the new luxury.
This article was taken from: https://www.nantucketpreservation.org/resources/preserving-your-old-house/ten-steps-for-preserving-your-house