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Restoration Resources FAQ

We have gathered the most relevant and frequently asked questions our professional team receives. If you have a question you do not see listed on our page, please feel free to contact us and we will respond as quickly as possible.

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What should you consider before embarking on preserving an older or historic home?


Before beginning a preservation project, consider if you have the resources, such as time, money, skills, energy, and commitment, to complete it. You’ll need to:


  • Gather a list of necessary projects.

  • Obtain estimates to determine cost.

  • Speak to an expert to decide which tasks you can do yourself and which you need to outsource.

  • Determine a timeline for completion.


If, after this process, you are able and willing to move forward, a preservation project is a good fit.


What are the most common problems that emerge when working on old homes in Maine?


The most common problems when working on old homes are:


  • Outdated systems.

  • Poor maintenance.

  • Unexpected issues even in well-maintained homes.

  • Trying to make an old house something it is not.


Applying new building techniques will often do more damage than good, so always take your time to assess the best pathway to transforming your older space into the home of your dreams.


What kind of planning is needed before starting to preserve an older building?


Don’t expect to plan everything in advance. Create a broad outline of what you will do and the time it will take. Include everyone who will be living in the house in the planning process. Try to go forward only when you reach a consensus. Opportunities and challenges will appear as the project goes forward. Hold back part of your resources to address such unexpected events.


What kinds of preservation efforts need to be done immediately?


Dangerous conditions need to be addressed at once. Everything else can wait for a plan to be put in place. When in doubt, contact our team at Restoration Resources to help determine if something is urgent or emergent.


How do you decide on other priorities for preservation?


Make a list of all the foreseen projects. Then, you can contact our experienced professionals and ask the following questions if you’re unsure where to begin:


  1. What is the project? Is it a problem? How serious is it? How urgent is the need to address it?

  2. Describe the fix. Who will do it? How much will it cost? How long will it take? Are there any underlying issues that will cause the fix to fail and need to be addressed?

  3. What are the benefits of fixing the problem?

  4. Are there any downsides to addressing the problem? Will the cost outweigh the fix?


Hopefully, these questions will help you determine the priority of the project.


What can homeowners do when they must live in the building that is being worked on?


Separate the restoration work from the part of the house you live in. Lead paint, construction dust, and asbestos are all real threats that can be safely mitigated. Seek out education on how to do so. If you have children, make sure they are living in safe conditions. Don’t trap yourselves. Keep your house so it can be sold if your plans change. Whenever possible, this means completing one project at a time.


Restoring the natural beauty and history of a property is a lifelong endeavor. Take time to balance your life alongside this work.


When budgets are limited, how should homeowners prioritize? What is the first thing that must be done? How can homeowners save money?




  1. Health and safety

  2. Structural issues

  3. Systems (plumbing, heating, electrical)

  4. Insulation

  5. Kitchens and baths

  6. Restoration – interior (one room at a time), then exterior


It takes time, money, and expertise to restore a house. While you can sometimes substitute one for another (time for money), ensure you have enough of all three (with a cushion) to complete your project.


What advice would you give regarding maintaining an older home?


Keep at it! The goal isn’t to attempt perfection. Put money and time for maintenance in your budget every year and take your time. Think about how little you can do to maintain your building (you can’t afford everything), and never forget to enjoy the experience. It can be overwhelming to restore an old home, and you don’t want to fall into burnout.


When is it better to hire a professional instead of doing it yourself?


We recommend limiting your work to tasks you enjoy, are safe doing, are efficient at, and have time for. Avoid doing your own insulating as it can be complicated and potentially dangerous and is rarely much of a cost savings. Do-it-yourselfers often underestimate the time, money, and skill required to complete a project, so give yourself plenty of resources to complete a project you are learning to do simultaneously.


What kinds of problems are preventable?


Most serious problems can be prevented by taking the time to think before acting, accepting that you will make some mistakes, being careful and making safe mistakes, learning from your mistakes, and learning how to do a complex project in a logical order.


When you tackle old home restoration, you will often find more complex problems lurking beneath a simple goal. You need the mental, physical, emotional, and resource space to handle these unforeseen situations.




What services do you offer?


As a general contractor specializing in home restoration, our professional team offers the following:


  • Consultations

  • Whole house restorations

  • Kitchens

  • Bathrooms

  • Barn living space conversions

  • New additions or structures that maintain the look and feel of your property

  • Window and door restoration or replacements

  • Exterior and interior damage, including rot

  • Barn repairs

  • Millwork

  • Plaster

  • New structural supports for existing buildings


We are more than happy to discuss customized projects as well on a case-by-case basis. Contact us today to learn more. We also provide subcontracting services for:


  • Sitework, including new foundations, foundation repair, drainage, and landscaping

  • Electrical, plumbing, and heating

  • Masonry

  • Painting

  • Insulation

  • Roofing


All our preliminary estimates are free. Reach out to Restoration Resources to begin an estimate on your upcoming or ongoing project.


Can you help me interpret the findings of a house inspection?


House inspectors rarely have a thorough knowledge of old houses. This means that they may overlook significant issues or magnify minor matters. While we recommend having a thorough house inspection during the home-buying process, we also suggest a review of those findings and an additional walk-through by our restoration specialists. We offer phone calls with questions for free, and you can learn more about in person services by contacting our team directly. 


Is Restoration Resources licensed and bonded?


The state of Maine does not license construction contractors, but we carry contractor's liability insurance and Workman’s Compensation insurance for all our employees. Our work is carried out under a contract approved by the Maine Attorney General’s office. Bonding is typically reserved for commercial work and not for home restoration.


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


There is generally not a conflict when you are working with a contractor who understands old houses. The apparent conflict is the result of inexperience necessary to make energy efficiency and sustainability work for early buildings.  Make sure that you are hiring people who demonstrably know what they are doing. We will always encourage you to speak to our other customers or see our finished projects.


Do you guarantee your work?


Yes, our work is guaranteed. In case of unexpected issues, we will fix our mistakes at no charge to the customer. We always strive to do things right from the first moment we make contact with our valued clients.


My property is outside your service area. Can you help me find a contractor?


We would love to make personal recommendations for our peer companies and workers across the state and beyond, but we may not always know the best solution in your area. If you are looking for a contractor, consider seeking referrals from friends, co-workers, independent trade contractors, engineers, family, building material suppliers, neighbors, home inspectors, and local lenders.


When meeting with a builder, be sure to ask for their:


  • Number of years in business

  • Permanent business location.

  • Proof of general liability insurance.

  • Professional affiliations (if any).

  • Educational designations or training.

  • A list of their last 5 customers

  • Proof of workers’ compensation insurance for employees. 


We recommend you ask any contractor you are considering hiring for several references and follow up on them.

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