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Old House Handbook


A Practical Guide to Care and Repair

Written by
Roger Hunt
Marianne Suhr

A completely authoritative guide on how to look after your old house - whether Tudor, Georgian, Victorian or Edwardian, authorised by the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings.

Architecture, Art and Design

204 pages
267x250 mm
Add to Cart
Pub. Date:
23rd October 2008

Here, for the first time, is a completely authoritative guide on how to look after your old house - whether it's a timber framed medieval cottage, an eighteenth century urban terrace or an example of Victorian or Edwardian speculative development. 

Taking their lead from the conservation approach of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (who have approved and authorised this volume), the approach is one of respect, restraint and repair rather than 'restoration' which can so easily and permanently destroy the rich historical legacy of any old building.

This book provides richly and deeply informed practical guidance, with sections including:

  • Breathability and Damp
  • Structural Movement
  • Roofs
  • Timber and Carpentry
  • Windows Doors and joinery.

It will be essential reading for anyone with an old house in need of any kind of repair or maintenance.

‘For any of us working on or living in old buildings, this brilliant and properly illustrated volume is the manual we’ve been waiting for. Thank you SPAB.Kevin McCloud, Presenter of Grand Designs, Channel 4

ROGER HUNT, co-author (with Marianne Suhr) of Old House Handbook, is an award-winning writer and blogger with a particular interest in sustainable and vernacular architecture and the materials and techniques used in construction. He is the author of Rural Britain: Then and Now, a celebration of the British countryside, Villages of England and Hidden Depths, an archaeological exploration of Surrey’s past.
He lectures on building-related issues, is a judge of annual awards for new housing and serves on the editorial board of the SPAB magazine. His latest renovation project is a 1900 house on Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, USA.

MARIANNE SUHR is a Chartered Building Surveyor specialising in the repair of historic buildings. After a scholarship with the SPAB, she worked for seven years in architectural practice, then full-time on hands-on repair projects including three very different old houses. For the SPAB she has run over 40 homeowners’ courses and numerous ‘limedays’. She is co-author (with Roger Hunt) of Old House Handbook, and has written and lectured extensively. A co-presenter of three series of BBC2’s Restoration, she recently set up the Old House Consultancy, advising on repairs and alterations in the Oxfordshire locality.

Provides richly and deeply informed practical guidance to preserve the rich legacy of any old building.

Scottish Sunday Mail

A sumptuous, yet immensely practical book which should inspire legions of people foolish enough to dream of buying an old, rundown house during a property slump.

Oxford Times

A starting point, rather than the complete answer. It shows what is possible, when to seek help, and how to carry out minor repairs of your own… It will provide the inspiration to make the rundown house they have just bought into the home they always wanted.

Ham & High

Anyone who works on old buildings or who lives in one must buy and then use this book. It is immensely practical, properly and helpfully illustrated and is a fitting up-to-date summary of SPAB scholarship and current thinking. This brilliant volume is the manual we've been waiting for.

Kevin McCloud, Grand Designs

This book is exactly what it says on the cover - a Practical Guide to Care and Repair of Old Houses, and it is a good, well-written beautifully illustrated book based in deep experience and passion for the subject. To produce something so complete and accessible is rare. I can only say to the authors: well done indeed.

Building Limes Forum Newsletter

"Location, location, location" used to be the rally cry when it came to property but this year we want people to think "maintenance, maintenance, maintenance!"

Loughborough Echo
Frances Lincoln
Other books by this author
  • Old House Eco Handbook
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