How to accommodate contemporary life in a historic house.

This book does not repeat basic information that is readily available in many standard DIY books about carpentry, wiring, and plumbing. Rather, it shows how to adapt those DIY skills to the specialized needs of a historic house.

Although there are other books about renovating old houses, this is the first that prioritizes the identification and preservation of the historic, character-defining features of a house as a starting point in the process. That is the purpose of this book: to describe and illustrate a best-practices approach for updating historic homes for modern life in ways that do not attempt to turn an old house into a new one. The book also suggests many ways to save money in the process, without settling for cheap or inappropriate solutions.

Scott Hanson is a historic-building preservation professional and has 40 years’ experience rehabilitating historic houses. He has illustrated this authoritative book with hundreds of step-by-step photos, illustrations, charts, and decision-making guides. Interspersed throughout are photo essays of 13 restored historic houses representing a range of periods and architectural styles: Italianate, Victorian, Queen Anne, Federal, Colonial, Colonial Revival, Greek Revival, Ranch, Adobe, Craftsman, Shingle, and Rustic. With interior and exterior photography by David Clough, these multi-page features show what can be achieved when a historic home is renovated with a desire to preserve or restore as much historic character as possible.

Before and After B&W and Color Photography Throughout



Restoring Your Historic House covers a wide range of projects and house styles, delivering specific and useful information while explaining the why-to along with the how-to.”―PATRICIA POORE, editor-in-chief and former owner, Old-House Journal

“Using hundreds of photos and illustrations and actual project examples, Scott Hanson shares his professional expertise on ways you can update a historic house while respecting its characteristic architectural features―the very details that attracted you to the house in the first place.”―GORDON H. BOCK, architectural historian, educator, and co-author of The Vintage House (

"Restoring Your Historic House is an impressive and comprehensive guide for all those who consider it a pleasure and a privilege to own and preserve a beautiful survivor from the past and to pass it onward to the next generation for enjoyment and shelter.”―GEORGE O. SIEKKINEN, JR., former Senior Architect, National Trust for Historic Preservation, Washington, DC