This Week’s Historic House Puzzle! Neglected Stick Style Beauty.
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This beautiful but neglected Stick Style house has not been repainted for a long time, and portions of it have lost nearly all their paint. Additionally, the shrubs and trees are overgrown, preventing the sun and wind from drying the house after rain. Wet wood for a prolonged period is an invitation to rot.
In spite of these issues, a close examination suggests the house would need minimal repair before repainting. Old-growth wood can withstand a good deal of neglect. This would not be possible with new wood. The wood used in historic houses grew slowly in thick forests and consequently is resinous and has a dense cell structure. It is naturally tough and resistant to rot.
Today, wood is grown in managed forests, where trees are spaced apart to allow maximum sunlight for fast growth. This growing condition produces wood with little resin and an open, light cell structure. It is not tough and is prone to rot. Fast growth equals faster profit for the lumber company but poor quality for the consumer. This is why retaining old-growth wood is a priority in historic preservation.
Learn more about the “why” of historic preservation as well as the “how” in Restoring Your Historic House, The Comprehensive Guide for Homeowners.
Signed and personalized copies of the award-winning and bestselling 720-page hardcover book are available from the author in our shop, YourHistoricHouse.com/shop/.
Select preservation and restoration titles by other authors are also available in our shop!