Old-house owners— we know what you’re up against! The Decatur Old House Fair presents a full program of seminars on a variety of topics. Our experts will share their insights and answer your questions about everything from historic wood-window restoration to researching your old house to kitchen and bath solutions to energy efficiency . . . and so much more.
1-2:30 pm, Mary Gay C
Heather Shuster, project development director, Renewal Design-Build
Does your kitchen desperately need a makeover? Creating new space or remodeling existing space in old houses can be a challenge. Choosing fixtures and cabinets is just one part of the puzzle. Learn from Heather Shuster of Renewal Design-Build, one of the top-ranked design-build firms in Atlanta, how to transform your kitchen into one that accommodates your lifestyle and fulfills your every need.
9:30-11 am, Henry Oliver F
Bill Clark, architect, Stevens & Wilkinson
If you think all storm windows are alike, you need to come to this seminar. Storm window technology has changed dramatically in the last 50 years. The options are many, and the quality and looks are amazing. Learn from a formerly frustrated homeowner who created his own storm window system and cut his heating and air conditioning bills in half. These aren’t your grandmother’s storm windows. This is one of the most well-attended seminars offered so come early to get a good seat!
2:45-4 pm, Mary Gay C
Scott Reinblatt, Big Blue Sky Landscaping
Landscapes have adapted to architectural and lifestyle changes for centuries. Learn what options you should consider for designing hardscapes, plantings and landscape features that will marry your lifestyle to the unique architecture of your historic home.
1-2:30 pm, Henry Oliver F
Joe Thomas, home performance consultant, general manager, Renewal System Solutions
Many deficiencies in your old house have simple, cost-effective remedies to increase energy efficiency and comfort. Taking a holistic approach to your home means identifying and correcting problems and ensuring you’re making the right energy efficiency improvements. This seminar focuses on home performance improvements that make your old house feel as good as it looks – without breaking the bank.
1-2:30 pm, Mary Gay D
Phillip Raines, master craftsman
Every old house needs a working fireplace. Nationally-awarded mason and author Phillip Raines shares his 30 years of experience, explaining methods and procedures to bring an old chimney and fireplace back to life. Phillip will describe restoring chimneys and fireplaces built between the mid 1800s to the late 1920s. “Masonry repair can be like archeology,” says Raines, “discovering the motives and means of the past.”
10-11:30 am, Mary Gay C
Buddy Wofford, Aqua Guard Foundation Solutions
Learn the causes, signs to look for and repair options for basement leaks, the crawlspace epidemic and foundation settlement. All attendees will receive a free book on basements, Dry Basement Science: What to Have Done . . . and Why, by Lawrence Janesky, a $14.95 value!
2:45-4 pm, Henry Oliver F
Pam Dooley, Plants Creative Landscapes
Interviewing contractors can be intimidating and overwhelming. When taking on a home improvement project, whether it is a small project or a more extensive renovation, it is important to choose the right contractor for the job. Not just the contractor with the best price, or the one who guarantees immediate availability, but the best fit for your vision. Historic homes often have historic gardens that not just any contractor would be qualified to work in. This seminar will provide information on what you should look for, and what you should expect, in a professional landscape contractor.
2:45-4 pm, Mary Gay D
Carole Moore, tax incentives and grants coordinator
Two state programs give significant tax incentives to historic home owners who complete a certified rehabilitation on their house. Heard the expression “Show me the money”? We do just that in this session. Come learn why preservation really does pay.
10-11:30 am, Mary Gay D
Dan Curl, licensed home inspector
Find out the whys, whens, wheres, and hows of upgrading older homes. Learn when new standards apply and when they don’t and how to improve safety, improve comfort and reduce maintenance costs. The best time to reassess your home is before you renovate! See real homes, real problems and real solutions.
11:30-12:30 am, Henry Oliver F
Otis Clark, Sherwin Williams
Bring your lunch and get great advice on best practices for painting and how to select colors for the inside and outside of your home.
10 am-noon and 2-4 pm, Swanton amphitheater
Sandy Crowe, Master Craftsman, Crowe Development Corporation
Did you know that a properly restored historic wood window has higher e-value than most new windows on the market? Save your windows and the huge, unnecessary expense of buying replacement windows by attending this hands-on demonstration of wood window restoration techniques. You’ll learn the anatomy of historic windows and what are the best tools and products for restoring your windows. Wear old clothes and bring a “can-do” attitude. The number of hands-on participants may be limited but anyone can watch.
9:30-10 am, Henry Oliver E
Peter Michelson, Renewal Design-Build, certified aging-in-place specialist
Will you or a family member be living in your home long-term or throughout retirement? Adapt your home to meet the immediate and long-term needs of your active lifestyle and maintain your independence comfortably, without sacrificing modern style and design.
10:15-10:45 am, Henry Oliver E
Paul Guldenshuh, AMR Electrical Services
Electrical systems in old houses are a real challenge. Learn from an expert on what is required by code and what the most common electrical issues are in vintage homes.
11-11:30 am, Henry Oliver E
Michelle Cary, M.Cary and Daughters Plumbing
Low-flush toilets are required by federal law. Are there any that really work? Learn about the mechanics and the choices of toilets by the plumbing firm that has installed them all.
11:45 am-12:15 pm, Henry Oliver E
Melissa Cary, M. Cary and Daughters Plumbing
Back by popular demand! Find out about tankless water heaters, including advantages, rebates, and benefits.
1-1:30 pm, Henry Oliver E
Mark Livingston, Arborguard
Historic homes are surrounded by historic trees. Learn from an expert arborist on the best practices for feeding, maintaining, and protecting your precious canopy.
1:45-2:15 pm, Henry Oliver E
Kenneth Thomas Jr., Professional Historian and Genealogist
Learn how to research the history of your house, including how to look for building records, census data, and photographs in local, state and federal archives and libraries.
2:30-3 pm, Henry Oliver E
Michael Purser, Rosebud Floors
Learn about wood floors and the best way to restore, refinish and maintain them to extend their life and beauty.
Find out more about these popular home styles and the best ways to add on while being true to the style of the home.
9:30-10 am, Clairemont Room
Stacie Monroe, designer, Reform Architects
This ubiquitous type and style of home became popular during the 1930s housing shortage and after WWII as the men came home from the war and VA loans were available. Find out about this well-designed, well-built, affordable, small single-family house.
10:15-10:45 am, Clairemont Room
Stacie Monroe, designer, Reform Architects
This uniquely American type and style of home is found all over the United States. Its simple design and roomy interiors grew out of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Prairie Home style of small city lots. It was also one of the most popular catalog houses offered by Sears and Montgomery Ward.
11-11:30 am, Clairemont Room
Brent Drone, Antiquity Architecture and Design
Everyone loves the bungalow. But what makes it a bungalow versus a cottage or a Victorian? Find out the unique features of this Asian-inspired style.
11:45 am-12:15 pm, Clairemont Room
Nelson Brackin, architect
The ranch house is hot and we know why! Its retro styling, simple lines, and open floor plans create wonderful living spaces. Find out about this post-1950s home that took our country by storm and why it is so special to today’s home buyer.