Old House Handbook – a new edition

It’s hard to believe that Old House Handbook has been part of my life since Marianne Suhr and I signed the contract for the first edition in April 2006. Little did we imagine then that, over 17 years on, we would witness the publication of a second edition in association with the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) and our publisher Frances Lincoln. What a journey it’s been and what changes we’ve seen: the urgent need to make buildings energy efficient, drones used to inspect structures, the hot lime debate; the list goes on.   

We’re proud that this second edition of Old House Handbook is much more than a quick reworking of the old, so I hope that all of you who have found the first book useful – and have helped make it a bestseller – will find this new edition even more so. This piece, which I wrote for the SPAB Magazine on updating the original, gives a sense of what the new Old House Handbook has to offer:

Practical guide to care and repair

Old House Handbook spread in The SPAB Magazine

IF THE POPULARITY OF Old House Handbook is anything to go by, there is an incredible thirst for knowledge when it comes to understanding how to care for old buildings. The book has been a bestseller since it was first published in 2008, has been reprinted multiple times and has achieved worldwide sales. It has helped guide an ever-increasing number of homeowners, building professionals, craftspeople and local authority staff working on numerous projects, big and small. Flatteringly, according to at least one online review, ‘it’s the SPAB bible’.

When Marianne Suhr and I originally set out to write Old House Handbook in association with the SPAB, our goal was to provide a highly practical approach with simple ‘nuts and bolts’ guidance based on experience. We were keen to help readers get it right the first time around rather than having to live with the consequences of potentially irreversible mistakes that prove damaging to both their pockets and the building. Read more ->