Old House University

January 28, 2017
Valley Forge, PA
Old House University

Old House University

Join OHJ Editor Patricia Poore and a panel of experts to hear exclusive presentations of interest to old-house owners. Learn about three big projects faced in every renovation; ask questions, bring photos, and mingle with others who share your passion.

Cost: $75 / $125 for two. Includes Special Guest Lecture and Saturday/Sunday admission to the show.

Addressing three major projects you face in every renovation.

Window Workshop
Windows are subject to the elements and have moving parts—thus the need for repair and maintenance: Old windows were designed to be renewed.

  • Pros and cons of repair vs. replacement
  • Hands-on: repair of wood and glazing components
  • Energy upgrades including interior panels and exterior storm windows
  • Best practices for new windows

The Envelope Please
Roofing and siding not only provide defense against the elements, but also define the building’s style, period, and quality.

  • Common roof failures and solutions
  • Availability of historic roofing types and expert contractors
  • Siding overview: Traditional weatherboarding and shingling; attributes and appropriateness of modern materials

What Color Should I Paint My House?
Your exterior color scheme is so important (public! expensive! fraught!) yet it may be the most fun you’ll have during your renovation.

  • Palettes by style, era, and region
  • Choosing color by process of elimination
  • Critical importance of color placement
  • Why and how a simple, two-color scheme may be both historical and beautiful

Building a New Old House
OHU attendees are cordially invited to this Special Guest Lecture created by the Institute of Classical Architecture and Art: Saturday 1:30–2:45 PM

Trumbauer Design Award Projects
See the display of award-winning projects, produced by the ICAA.


Guest Lecture:
The Importance of Precedent in Designing a New Old House

John Milner, FAIA, is Principal at John Milner Architects Inc., headquartered in Chadds Ford, Penn. The firm works in the private, institutional, and governmental sectors. Widely published, John has a lifelong passion for both historic preservation and new traditional design. His particular expertise is historic-building analysis, documentation, and conservation or adaptive reuse. John’s new designs are inspired by an extensive knowledge of historical precedent, and they often respond to sensitive environmental contexts.  John has also served as Adjunct Professor of Architecture at U.P.’s School of Design (1976–2013). 

OHU: Window Workshop

Alison Hardy is owner of the contracting firm Window Woman of New England, and President of the Window Preservation Alliance—a consortium advocating saving, not replacing, old wood windows. Formerly in the textiles business, Alison has an MBA from Boston University, “only some of which is useful when I’m out scraping paint.” She started her company after years of frustration living in old houses with drafty or broken windows and dissatisfaction with replacement options: “Call it Yankee thrift, but it just made no sense to discard old windows with charm and life left in them.” Alison is also restoring her own 1850s farmhouse in Topsfield, Mass.

Bobbie Jean OwensBobbie Jean Owens got her degree in History from Bucknell. After moving to New England, she was selected to join the Window Woman of New England team. In 2011, she moved to Selinsgrove, Penn., establishing her own window restoration business, which spans private and public sectors and offers specialty painting services. Bobbie is conversant with buildings from First Period through Arts & Crafts. She lectures and volunteers widely, and has fun biking, kayaking, and cooking.

OHU: The Envelope Please

Ray Tschoepe, Director of Conservation for the Fairmount Park Conservancy, is also on the faculty of the Bucks County Community College Preservation Program. Philadelphia-born and –raised, Ray got his Masters in Historic Preservation from the University of Pennsylvania. He has worked as an independent restoration contractor; since 2008, he’s been contributing how-to articles regularly to Old House Journal. Ray chairs his local Historical Architecture Review Board.

OHU: What Color Should I Paint My House?

Ken Roginski is Founder of Old House Guy and oldhouseguy.com His company provides design services including “virtual restoration” for client review, paint colors by email, and phone consultation, all to help you visualize your makeover before going to a builder. A graduate of Drew University’s Historic Preservation Program, Ken did a 10-episode TV stint on The Learning Channel’s ghost-hunter show “Dead Tenants.”
He owns a 1910 Queen Anne house in Freehold, N.J., which he restored.

Patricia Poore is the former owner and current editor-in-chief of Old House Journal, Arts & Crafts Homes, and Early Homes. She’s written prodigious numbers of articles on old-house restoration techniques, period design, and historic kitchens and interiors. A “Brooklyn brownstoner” in the 1980s, Patty later took on the rescue of a 1904 Tudorbethan/Shingle-style former summer cottage in Gloucester, Massachusetts. She lives there with college-age sons, her feisty mom, and a golden retriever named Loki.