The Office of Archaeology and History Preservation and the Department of Housing and Urban Development issued a set of guidelines for rehabilitation of older buildings in the 1970s.

However, learning from mistakes can often be more helpful than attempting to follow the best practices.

This leaflet outlines the eight most common mistakes in restoring houses.

Each mistake is followed by an explanation of why it commonly occurs and ways to avoid or fix it. Mistakes include destroying the material evidence of a structure, over-restoring with new materials or to the original form of the building, making a building appear like it never did, scraping, sandblasting and destructive repointing, assuming something can be fixed, using poor recreations of a missing piece, and continuing restoration without research or consultation.

Technical Leaflet #118 (1979)

For more information on similar topics, please refer to Technical Leaflet Bundle 2, Historic House Restoration: Getting Started.