There are several great articles and technical guides that can help you make informed decisions about maintaining and retrofitting your heritage building.
Please note that all the sources below are suggestions only. Be wary of any article or resource that encourages removal or alteration of character elements such as windows, wood-burning fireplaces, or ventilation systems without discussing options for improvement with retention. Every building is different and any project may require the expert advice of a hired professional. Exercise caution when taking on any maintenance tasks including proper safety equipment and appropriate tools. VHF also recommends always obtaining appropriate permits for any work on your building or home.
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Electrical work should always be handled by a certified electrician.
ENERGY ADVICE & SUSTAINABLE RETROFITTING
- Canadian Mortgage & Housing Corporation: Energy Efficient Retrofit Options for Your House
- City of Vancouver: Green Home Renovation Guides
- National Park Service: Improving Energy Efficiency
- Online Sustainable Conservation Assistance Resource (OSCAR) guides you through the process of designing sustainable retrofits that best suit your home
- City of Vancouver: Waterwise Landscape Guidelines
- Canadian Mortgage & Housing Corporation: Insulating Your House
- Homeowner Protection Office: Best Practices for Insulation & Air Sealing – note this is a general guide & certain practices will not be appropriate for heritage buildings, e.g. the removal of lath & plaster to install spray foam insulation
- For more articles & case studies check out VHF’s page on Heritage & Sustainability
Looking for a grant to help with the costs of making your heritage home more energy efficient? VHF offers a Heritage Energy Retrofit Grant to aid with the cost of energy evaluations and sustainable retrofits.
HERITAGE BUILDING EXTERIORS
- Your Old House: Wood Siding
- Your Old House: Masonry Advice
- Heritage BC’s guides & tips on signs, awnings & building illumination
- Also check out the great articles on exterior elements such as masonry, roofs, siding, doors, awnings & porches provided by the National Trust for Canada, & the National Park Service
Planning on restoring exterior elements? See VHF’s Heritage Conservation Grants terms and conditions to verify if your project qualifies for funding.
HERITAGE BUILDING INTERIORS
- National Park Service: Rehabilitating Interiors
- Repairing Flat Plaster Walls & Ceilings and other articles on interiors by the National Park Service
- Old House Online articles on interior & decor
- Building Conservation articles on interiors & features
- Vintage Interior Design Catalogues 1910-1960
- Vintage Millwork Catalogues
LANDSCAPES & GARDENS
- Sharon Rempel’s Guide to Researching & Restoring Heritage Gardens
- National Park Service: Cultural Landscapes
- Antique Home: Herb, Japanese & Rose Gardens
- National Park Service: Restoring Vine Coverage
- Old House Journal: Shrubs For Every Old House
- Building Conservation articles on gardens, ecology & landscapes
- Wooden Fences by George Nash – available at the VPL
- Your Old House: Paint
- This Old House: How to Strip Years of Paint off a House
- Antique Home: Paint Brush Facts
- Also check out the articles on painting provided by the National Park Service
Considering painting your house? You can apply for a Heritage Conservation Grant through VHF to restore the original paint colour scheme to the exterior of your heritage home.
- Your Old House: Wood Windows
- Fine Home Building: Should Your Old Windows Be Saved?
- Canada Home Builder Report: Heritage Window Restoration
- VHF: Wooden Storm Windows
- National Trust for Canada: Maintenance & Repair of Historic Wood Windows
- Check out the National Park Service’s articles on historic wooden windows, steel windows, stained & leaded glass
- More window articles from the National Trust for Canada
Considering restoring windows or installing storm windows? You may be eligible for a grant to help with the cost. Review VHF’s Heritage Energy Retrofit Grant and Heritage Conservation Grants terms and conditions to see if your project qualifies for funding.