Tips from homeowners

The information below has been shared generously by fellow homeowners in Marlborough.  Follow them at your own risk.

Send in your tip to share with other homeowners.  Other restoration resources, including information on local architectural salvage suppliers, is here.


Cedar Shake and Shingle Bureau has resources online, including this roof installation manual, that were used by Michael and Faith when they took on the job of installing cedar shingles on their Mansard roof themselves.  (Detailed information on their project is here on Bob Vila's site.)  As you can see in the picture, it turned out beautifully.


How to fix up a wood floor without sanding out hundreds of years of “character"
-- Michael and Faith, owners of a c1860 Mansard roofed house in Marlborough
  • Wash them thoroughly with a strong mixture of Lysol, or similar cleaner.

  • Dry them thoroughly with towels.
  • Use a razor or scraper to scrape off paint splatters or other marks that didn't come off with the washing.
  • Re-set any popped nails.
  • Fill only the large holes or splits that really bother you and not the spaces between boards.  (Note: If you fill the holes with a stainable filler and then stain the wood filler once it's dried so that it blends with the rest of the floor, any holes filled will be less noticeable when your project is completely.
  • After the filler dries, sand the floors lightly, by hand, using medium grit sandpaper attached to a paint pole with a sanding attachment.  Sand it enough to dull the existing finish.
  • Clean the floors with a shop vacuum and then a tack cloth (a sticky cloth to pick up dust, available a paint stores and home centers).
  • Apply several coats of a polyurethane. We used three coats of a water-based polyurethane. After the last coat of poly we noticed the wood filler patches kind of stuck out. So we bought a set of “Furniture Markers” that are made to hide scratches on furniture like tables and etc.  Using these made the fills much better. Almost invisible. We were amazed at the result using these steps.  It really brought out the character, patina and color of the old floor.