The Collaborationfor Common Sense Preservation combines the talents and knowledge of three organizations, each with extensive experience in maintaining and repairing old buildings: Historic New England, Newport Restoration Foundation and Preserve Rhode Island.  Together the three organizations developed workshops and compiled technical information on historic building maintenance and repair.  Established by a grant from the RI Historical Preservation and Heritage Commission and Preserve America, and maintained by the three collaborators, this web site provides a centralized place to get information in the form of annotated web links.  The Common Sense Preservation collaborators have reviewed the content of the links, confirming that they provide practical guidance about how to care for old buildings in Rhode Island.

Buildings, both old and new, need regular upkeep since systems and materials wear out over time.  If the maintenance of historic buildings is more complicated, it likely arises from troubles from routine maintenance that has been deferred or in trying to retrofit old buildings to new uses.  In today’s consumer driven society, it’s often difficult to sort out recommendations from sales pitches. This site doesn’t have a commercial or product bias – but a preservation & common sense bias.  We have sifted through hundreds of sites to compile direct and straightforward advice regarding many issues of old building repair.  Keep in mind the following standards as you consider repair and alterations to your historic building:

  • Repair, rather than replace; 
  • When replacement is required, replace in kind; and
  • Make sure new additions are compatible in terms of size, siting, massing, design, materials and workmanship.