December 7, 2017

8 Gifts for the DIY Preservationist in Your Life

These gifts may not be glamorous, but they’re a great way to show the preservationist in your life that you care about them (and their favorite places). Whether your child is restoring their first old home, or your best friend is trying to save that special historic building in your neighborhood, the tools on this list are essential to finishing their passion projects with a bang.

For Decorating Your Historic Home: Benjamin Moore Historic Paint Colors

Many paint companies offer historically accurate paint color selections for all occasions. You might decide to leave your walls and floors neutral, or opt for a bold color that might have been reflected elsewhere in your historic home.

For Researching Your Historic Home: A Field Guide to American Houses

If you’re hoping to learn about your historic home’s past, you may first need to learn more about historic architecture. Part of our list of 14 essential preservation-themed books, A Field Guide to American Houses is one of the most comprehensive and widely acclaimed guides to American domestic architecture.

For Retrofitting Windows: Self-Adhesive Foam Weather-Strip

Retrofitting windows might seem like a daunting task, but it can be just as energy-efficient as window replacement and will ultimately save you money—especially if you do it yourself. One high-return installation is weather-stripping, ideal for old drafty windows. Besides being cost-effective, weather-stripping wont's stop you from adding other cost-saving retrofits to your historic windows later.

For Mold Prevention and Removal: Bissell Bagless Upright Vacuum

Mold prevention is essential to preserving old homes and keeping your health in mind at the same time. A vacuum fitted with HEPA filtration systems can not only suck up mold, it can also clear your home of allergens like dust and pollen. But if you’re looking for a more permanent solution, The Unico System's small-duct HVAC is designed to fit inside old homes without ruining their historic integrity.

For Organizing Your Historic Kitchen: Seville Classics Bakers’ Rack

One of the biggest challenges to organizing a historic kitchen is finding enough space without compromising its integrity. A baker’s rack might just do the trick for small to mid-size appliances, dishware, and other objects you don’t mind having visible.

For Lighting Up a Historic Building: 50W LED Flood Light

If you want to draw attention to a historic building in need, lighting it up can be an effective way to do so. Buying your own flood lights (and extension cords) is budget-friendly and can be the first step in helping people remember the structure’s earlier days, inspire new ideas for adaptive reuse, or just show people that someone cares.

For Insuring Your Historic Home: Historic Home Insurance Services

Homeowners’ insurance can get pricey when you live in an old building, but a qualified independent agent or broker will give you sound advice on moving forward with insuring your home. National Trust Insurance Services is one example, designed to offer comprehensive insurance solutions to historic property owners.

For Documenting Historic Places: Sony DSCW800/B 20.1 MP Digital Camera

Having a decent camera is important for a variety of causes related to preservation, including documenting historic buildings. You don’t need anything fancy—just a standard digital camera is perfect for capturing architectural photos. You can also use your camera to document special events related to preservation (planning a building’s funeral, for example) and posting them to social media later.

Did we miss an essential preservation tool on your wish list? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter.

By purchasing any of these products using the links on this page, you'll be supporting the National Trust. Check out other ways you can support preservation as you shop, travel, and play.

Carson Bear was an Editorial Coordinator at the National Trust. She’s passionate about combining popular culture with historic places, and loves her 200-year-old childhood farmhouse in Pennsylvania.

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