This site has
always been about understanding our old houses in the UK. If you have
visited us earlier in our twenty year history you'll notice that all
the articles, FAQs and links have now gone. This is a temporary home page
and we're due for a re-fresh.
Until that happens you'll find that just about all the useful information that
was ever here is still readily accessible in our books, which we have developed,
written and illustrated alongside the website...
Our physical books can be ordered online from the publishers, Crowood or Routledge
(touch/click cover pictures below - and please see the
note * at the foot of this
One book is also available as an e-book - Country Cottage Conservation
(which introduces general principles, not limited to cottages) - available
online from the publisher
Crowood, and also from
its own Kindle
format. Those should each be fairly instant purchases, if you're in a hurry!
(physical) books each include lots of information on damp, decay, movement and
old-house-friendly repair and decoration:
Old House Care & Repair was our first book, which set out to
de-mystify the world of old house ownership and the benefits, to both house
and owner, of appropriate conservation. Maintaining & Repairing Old Houses,
and then Country Cottage Conservation, continued our mission to share
our experiences of old houses. These last two each include 'green pages'
which address sustainability in old houses, including insulation.
books look more closely at the features of particular periods: Victorian
and Edwardian Houses again does this from the perspective of useful
conservation, while The Fixtures & Fittings of Period Houses is an
old house lover's album of practical and decorative construction details
that have survived to inspire and be admired:
was established in 2002 by building conservationists at a time when there
was less public awareness of the special technical needs of older
The contributors to this site have long been producing magazine articles and
books - in between saving, nurturing and living in real old buildings -
while also tracking developments in building conservation techniques.
Now, two decades on, more owners of older properties are likely to be aware,
for example, of the need for many older construction types to be able to
'breathe' to manage dampness.
And more people will have heard of the benefits of traditional materials
such as lime-based mortars and plasters, which were used to help with that 'breathing' and also
to help accommodate natural movement in many types of old buildings.
So is our work here done?
We are very pleased if the seeds of knowledge that we have been sowing,
alongside many other individuals and organisations, have taken root.
But we can still see building owners innocently making depressingly
familiar, misguided 'improvements' to older properties that risk damaging or
Twenty years ago older buildings were at risk from things like insensitive
alteration or inappropriate use of some modern paints and some other
'routine' materials. Those pitfalls still exist, even if they are now better
understood by more people.
Present and future threats to our old houses are likely to be increasingly driven by society's
reaction to climate change and energy conservation: probably including
misapplication of insulation - potentially leading to dampness and decay,
and sometimes creating fire and vermin risks. Climate change also looks
likely to attract migrations of new timber decay pests to more parts of the
The future of this site - interested in being involved?
Our original funding model was that the site was supported by its direct digital sales of
our early e-articles, offering information aimed at familiarising the lay owner of
an old house with some of the problems and solutions that might come their
way. That ended around 2015 when the EU imposed an administratively complex
VAT regime on digital sales, effectively halting some sites like ours.
Advertising sits uncomfortably with a website that, by definition, prefers
natural, generic, inexpensive (or even free) materials that can also be
long-lasting. Also our aim has been to show that, with proper understanding, basic, sound techniques are
often reasonably accessible to all and are not exclusive to 'high-end'
operations. Some of the products and tradespeople we might wish to advertise
probably don't have advertising budgets. And then, not every good product, ancient
or modern, cheap or expensive, is good
for every situation.
If you are aware of any organisation or individual having sympathy with our
principles and a love of old buildings and who might wish to support and
help develop the site for the future benefit of our built heritage, then we
would be happy to hear:
Old House Info Ltd 2022
has always referred to our understanding of conditions relevant in the UK.
Our books were likewise aimed at the UK, and conditions there at the time of their
first publication. Books and websites such as ours offer generic information that can
greatly help in understanding old buildings and their problems. They are not
a substitute for on-site experienced professional advice as every real-life
situation will be a unique blend of factors.
The proprietor of this website and owner of the intellectual property rights
and the oldhouse.info logo and trademark in all its forms and the
oldhouse.info domain name is Old House Info Ltd a company registered in
England. The law governing this site shall be English law.
We are not aware of any cookies associated with this page other than the
software which keeps the site together on your screen. We do not have the
ability or desire to collect any personal information from visitors. Linked
websites will have their own cookie and privacy policies for which we are
about finding our books:
The publishers' websites
have been preferred in the links shown on this page
unless the publisher was out of stock at the time of writing this, in which
case links are to Amazon. This is a temporary webpage but if the links here
do not work we suggest a title search, then if necessary track back to the
publisher's own site.
books are advertised on a number of other websites and have also been
available in specialist bookshops. The older books especially may be
available second-hand online. Some titles are held by public libraries, or
might be requested.
generally for our titles online, be warned that "free PDF downloads" sometimes
crop up but as these should not be legitimately available, to our knowledge,
they are probably scams such as are known in the publishing industry: the
offer of whatever is being searched for can result instead in a download of
something digitally very unpleasant. We cannot accept any liability for
such scams, miss-selling, fraud or general problems with retailers and other
third parties - these
are unfortunately outside our control. Please select booksellers with due
Our books are
all about de-mystifying the responsibilities of old house ownership and
helping understanding of maintenance so that people can enjoy living in
these special buildings. Happy reading! Love your old house!
Return to booklist at top of page