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Preserving Original Building Materials

Restore an old house using as much original material over time

guys on stairs

What's the "right thing to do" for an old house? Restore using original building materials or newer materials? Our 1737 home has 75% of it's original heart pine windows and millwork. However, we must replace some rotting 20th century windows and missing millwork. There are no specialists in our area and we just don't have a clue what to do! Help -- heart pine or poplar?

- Ashby, Georgetown, South Carolina


Steve says : The purist in me says to sink your budget by phasing in the restoration over time. Seventy-five-percent original parts is a lot and you would be doing the building proud to get a custom millwork operation to make you some heart pine windows as you can afford them. Sounds like you have a gem and it would be a shame to pass up the opportunity to replace 20th century windows with accurate reproductions.


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