The Trade Show Files: Ask the Experts

So you have an old house - now what?

A while back Greater Portland Landmarks invited five old house experts (Marc Bagala, Les Fossel, Julie Larry, Arron Sturgis, and Peter Taggart - bios after the conversation) to comment on how to prioritize your plan for any major work on your older or historic home. We asked them how to incorporate plans for sustainability and energy efficiency, how to stay on budget, how to prepare, and more. Here’s how they answered.

Peter Taggart, Marc Bagala, Les Fossel, and Julie Larry, will all be at the 2019 Old House Trade Show, March 30-31, where you can ask these experts more questions about your house. Get Tickets.

What is the first thing to consider?

Julie Larry: The first thing is to determine what are the important features of the house that should be maintained as part of the project, so that a home doesn’t lose its special character.

Peter Taggart: Research, to understand the history of the structure, the materials used, and the condition they’re in.

Arron Sturgis: A complete assessment of the home is the best way to increase appreciation and understanding of it. It provides the basis for knowing the condition, the materials within it, how it was built, and what changes were made over time.

Les Fossel: Ask yourself: do you have the resources (time, money, skills, energy and commitment) to take the project to completion? Don’t trust yourself on this, ask for experienced advice.

Marc Bagala: I want to be sensitive to the owners, their love for their home, and what they’re looking for. I try to design my work around that and their budget. My interview process is to ask a lot of questions.

How do you balance historic preservation with sustainability and energy efficiency?