Old House Network

WELCOME to the Old House Network. If you own an old house this is the site for you – or you may be considering buying an old house, we are here to help. We offer practical, real-life advice on caring for your old house. And in southwest Michigan, we offer HANDS-ON workshops where you can try out fixing windows or plaster on OUR workshop house instead of your own house.

Old houses, built more than 50 years ago, used materials that are not obsolete, but many people do not know how to work with them. We can teach you about old style lime based mortars, traditional window putty and replacing sash ropes. We also work to learn about and evaluate appropriate applications for updating your old house. New approaches to weather stripping windows, insulating your old house, updating the wiring – and more. We want you to have good solid information to work from.

  • Should I insulate the attic or the walls? (Attic, definitely the attic!)
  • Do I need to update my knob and tube wiring? (Possibly, it depends on how you are using the house NOW.)
  • Do I need to replace my windows? (Probably not – unless your vinyl windows are failing.)

PROGRAMS:

2014 OLD HOUSE EXPO – OHN Programs tab – above – click on OLD HOUSE EXPO for complete schedule …

GREAT UNVEILING - ever wondered what that fake brick  siding or

What's under that old siding? Four hours + 17 people - all the original wood revealed.

What’s under that old siding? Four hours + 17 people – all the original wood revealed.

aluminum siding is covering? OHN has hosted a “Great Unveiling” for three houses in Kalamazoo, stripping off siding and revealing the treasure underneath. Fish scale in the gables and so much more. Check out previous projects under the OHN Programs tab and our upcoming 2014 Great Unveiling!

OLD HOUSE EXPO -

What is the best paint stripper? How can I strip hardware?

What is the best paint stripper? How can I strip hardware?

Starting in 2006, Old House Network has hosted an Old House Expo, devoted to matching up old house owners with contractors and suppliers for the old house market. We offer two to three tracks of programming, taught by experienced professionals on topics ranging from ice dams to insurance, FHA 203k loans for old house owners to stained glass and weatherization. Our last Expo in Grand Rapids at Devos Place drew 1200 attendees. In 2014 the Old House Expo returns to Kalamazoo! Find more info on this year’s Expo and check out previous Old House Expos under the OHN Programs tab.

WORKSHOPS – Over the past decade, OHN has hosted over two dozen

Paint stripping with the Speedheater - we tried 5 different techniques and the Speedheater won hands-down.

Paint stripping with the Speedheater – we tried 5 different techniques and the Speedheater won hands-down.

workshops on paint stripping, wallpaper stripping, window repair, repointing mortar joints, fence building and more. These are all “hands-on” and now we have our own house to work on. Ted’s House in the Vine neighborhood in Kalamazoo was donated by a World War II vet and it needs a lot of work – and most of the projects are perfect for teaching.

WE ARE STILL WORKING ON THE WEBSITE – so watch for updates. If anyone out there is a whiz with WordPress and Bluehost and you would like to help. Contact Us at ohn2003@att.net.

Please be patient with the website update.

And a shout out to these suppliers and supporters – these are service providers and suppliers that have supported the Old House Expo and are helping out at our workshop house:

Eco-Strip – infrared paint remover  http://www.eco-strip.com/

Douglas and Son Paint (Kalamaz0o)and Benjamin Moore Paints  http://www.douglasandson.com/

EcoFriendly Contracting – plumbers and SO much more (Kalamazoo area) http://www.ecofriendlycontracting.com/

Bullard Brothers Electric – http://bullard-brothers-electric.com/