New Orleans TV Project from 2008
Photo: Julian Wass
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5. Save and celebrate at least one old thing

Most renovations call for removing parts of a house's history, say, crumbling horsehair plaster or an antiquated layout. But virtually every home benefits from hanging onto at least one important feature from its past. In our 2008 New Orleans Rebuilds project, a floodwater-soaked survivor of Hurricane Katrina retained its original double-sided fireplace, hardwood floors, and beadboard ceilings, all of which hold memories of the house's rich history.
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