Posts Tagged ‘renovation materials for historic homes’

10 Tips On Great Places To Buy Renovation Materials For Historic Homes In Virginia

Friday, March 11th, 2011

Unlike most coastal areas, the Eastern Shore of Virginia is a treasure trove of historic homes,  indeed entire little  Eastern Shore towns consist almost completely  of  well-loved old  homes.  And buying a historic home that needs renovation is an addictive process.  At Blue Heron Realty Co.  we  get a lot of calls  from people who are just starting to think about the possibility of acquiring  a historic home in Virginia ,  be it waterfront,  in a quaint coastal town like Cape Charles or a home out in the country, maybe even on acreage along the Chesapeake Bay.    At first blush,  dealing with an old home may seem somewhat  overwhelming,  scary even.  But then curiosity sets in, a Stage I desire to at least get out there and explore what’s  for sale,  see what  homes are available at what price,   investigate what architectural styles  are most appealing to one’s own aesthetics—  Colonial ?   Federal ?   America Four Square ?  Arts and Craft ?   Possibly the very popular  Victorian style home, one of my personal favorites  ?   Stage 2 involves falling in love with a particular home, seeing one’s self  living and loving  life there.   Stage 3 involves the  home inspection,  a through review of the home from roof to crawl space to assess the condition of the home  in preparation for Stage 4,  which is the evaluation of the costs of the renovations that the inspection showed were necessary.  Which brings us to the really fun part,  Stage 5,  which is the evaluation and pricing of the renovations that your aesthetics say are necessary.

Stage 5  is so much fun because it involves the selection of items that will make your old house come to life again using authentic  restoration products that maintain the historic ambience that attracted you in the first place.  What could possibly be more fun than that,  short of Stage 6 which is  moving into your  historic home and beginning the actual restoration process  ?   So from plumbing to hardware,  here are 10 categories of  places to help you find  great reproduction or renovated  products to use to your restore your very own Eastern Shore historic home.

  1. Plumbing- Affordable Antique Bath &  More, Inc.   Lots of choices for bath redos, including claw foot tubs, pedestal sinks and more.    Also  Sunrise Specialty Products,,  which has interesting rolltop tubs with pedestal bases as well.   Also Signature Hardware, ,  which is a family owned restoration products business dating back 75 years.
  2. Roof – Preservation Products,Inc. Products for restoring and beautifying  roofs and masonry walls on historic homes.
  3. Siding– Ward Clapboard Mill-  Historical vertical grain clapboards for restoration projects. Also Carlson’s  Barnwood Company,, suppliers of antique building materials including antique wood beams. The Conklin  Barnwood Co., specializes in barnwood for various uses.
  4. Porches and Stairways– Cinder Whit & Company. , Specializes in products to restore porches and stairs, lengths up to 12 feet.
  5. Lighting Restoration Lighting Gallery, specializes in vintage and reproduction lighting and lamps including repairs.  Also Barn Light Electric, ,  vintage reproductions. as well as Pully Lights, , turn of the century light designs.  Authentic Design Co, ,  handcrafted period chandeliers, sconces, etc.
  6. Kitchens– The Kennebec Company, , which designs and builds  period-inspired kitchens for historic homes. Also Crown Point Cabinetry, , which designs and builds period cabinetry.
  7. Kitchen Appliances– Elmira Stove Works, , which sells vintage styled appliances.  Also Good Time Stove Co., , which sells restored antique kitchen ranges including electric conversions.
  8. Flooring-Carlisle Wide Plank Floors, , premium wood flooring for restorations.  Also Craftsman Lumber Co,, custom milled flooring, paneling and wainscoating.
  9. Hardware– House of Antique hardware, , reproductions of classic American design hardware  from Federal style to Art Deco.  Also, Van Dyke’s Restorers,, a huge selection of reporduction hardware. The Historic Housefitters Co., specializes in hand-forged iron,  pewter and tin, Williamsburg Blacksmiths Co. ,, specializes in reproductions of early American hardware.  Londonderry Brasses, Ltd., offers reproduction brass hardware  which are made from  lost wax castings of  period originals. Kayne & Son Custom Hardware, ,  crafted custom hardware for interiors and exteriors.
  10. Miscellaneous–  Decorator’s Supply,, specializes in reproduction ornamental plasters and woodwork for period remodeling. The Bendhein company, ,  specializes in creating restoration window glass.  Nest & Company, , specializes in items for  Arts and Crafts period homeowners. The Persian Carpet company, specializes in reproduction designs for carpets for homes from the Arts and Crafts period. Bradbury & Bradbury,,  offers  Persian styled wall and ceiling papers for Arts and Crafts homes. Historic Houseparts, , is a company which sells various architectural salvage and restoration supplies. Classic Gutter Systems,, offers old world stle heavy duty gutters in copper and  aluminum. The Americana company, offers authentic Colonial period wooden blinds.  Vintage Fans, , offers sales and restorations of vintage fans made in the US between the 1890’s and 1950’s. And the Vintage Door Co., , offers handcrafted vintage doors in any design in any wood you choose.

With a treasure trove of companies selling everything from claw foot tubs to electric conversions of  kitchen wood ranges and all things in-between it ceases to be so scary or overwhelming to contemplate buying a historic home here on Virginia’s  Eastern Shore.    With a real sense of adventure and a can-do spirit,  Spring is a great time to set out to purchase  the perfect historic home to call your  very own and get started on the exciting path of restoring  it to its original beauty.  ( Check out the historic homes for sale on,  some terrific opportunities are available now. )