Caring for your California Historic Home

Aug 23,16 Karen Zieba
Caring for your California Historic Home

If you are lucky enough to own a historic home, then you know how important it is to preserve its original charm. Proper maintenance is vital to sustaining a long-lasting, beautiful space that can be appreciated and loved for years to come. In this blog, we will look at three popular architecture styles in Southern California and demonstrate ways to maintain their beauty.

Tudor Revival 

Common themes of this style include:

  • Steeply pitched roofs that hang down almost to ground level 
  • Stucco exteriors with brick 
  • Decorative exteriors 
  • Stained glass windows 
  • Embellished doorways 
  • Decorative entryways 
  • Elaborate masonry chimneys 

Although Tudor homes may take the most work when it comes to upkeep, their quaint charm and cottage-like feel make the efforts worth it. Intersecting roof lines can often cause leaks, so it is important to check your home regularly for water damage. Inspect your roof for strength and integrity annually, in addition to checking all woodwork inside for dampness. The exterior stucco should be inspected for water damage as well, but fortunately, it can easily be repaired a little at a time. The original windows on Tudors have small panes of glass and can be poorly insulated, leading to leaks and high energy bills. Since the original Tudor look relies heavily on the style of windows, you do not want to replace them with new, modern windows. Consider hiring a window expert to look at your home and suggest alternatives that compliments the Tudor style while improving the insulation. With regular inspection, you can make your enchanting Tudor home last for generations.

Spanish Bungalow 

This style of home has:

  •  Low sloping roofs or flat parapets 
  •  Ornamental ironwork 
  •  Generous-sized yards 
  •  Painted tile 
  •  Balconies 
  •  Curves and arches 
  •  White stucco on exteriors 
  •  Terracotta roof tiles 

Spanish Bungalows are a staple in Southern California. If your home is located in a wet climate, the stucco on Spanish Bungalow homes must be carefully maintained to avoid cracks. As mentioned above, repairing a stucco wall can be done in small sections, which will save you time and money by not fixing the entire wall at once. Landscaping your yard with a beautiful garden will complement the Spanish Bungalow look, and is easily attainable with their generous-sized yards that Bungalows are known for having. Thanks to the large yard size, you should also have plenty of room for adding an extension to your home. We suggest extending out rather than up to maintain the original look of the exterior and to keep the cost down. The Spanish Bungalow style allows room for changes and interpretation, so have fun adding on to your historic home.


Themes of a Craftsman style home include:

  •  Natural materials like stone and wood 
  •  Beamed ceilings 
  •  Stone details 
  •  Tapered columns 
  •  Low pitched gable roof 
  •  Large windows with divided details 
  •  Wide-open layout 
  •  Front porch 

Originated in California, Craftsman homes were created with simplicity and large open floor plans. The rustic look of the wood both inside and outside creates a warm and homey feel. If your Craftsman home happens to come with rafter tails (the end of the beams that hold up the roof), be sure to showcase them. If you decide it is time to replace the roof, be careful to protect the rafter tails from being shorn off. They provide an important design element to the front of your home that you do not want to lose! If you would like to play up the beautiful dark wood color from the ceiling beams or stairs, stick to a neutral color palette for the walls. It will brighten up the home and compliment the dark wood. Also, the floor plan of Craftsman homes tends to be very open, so break up the space using furniture and decorative rugs. The options are endless for Craftsman styles homes, so make it your own.

Whether you are looking to update your current historic home, or add elements of these styles into your residence, call Zieba Builders Inc. to get started on your next home remodel. 


Zieba Builders has the experience, expertise, and passion to make your next home project a success. Ready to get started on your design & build project? Give us a call or email us today!