New Hampshire Old House & Barn Expo
House and barn preservation tips, hourly lectures, demonstrations and even a scavenger hunt for adults and kids – here is a fun event that you won't want to miss
There is something for everyone at the New Hampshire Old House & Barn Expo. Old home and barn enthusiasts will have fun learning from experts about appropriate and affordable solutions for their own old houses and barns. You will also be able to create your own show “itinerary” and explore preservation strategies, architecture, craft and history, visits with high-quality exhibitors, demonstrations, a scavenger hunt for kids and adults and “Old House and Barn Doctor” sessions. It will also feature workshops, notable speakers and tips on sustainability. The best part? You don’t need to own an old home or barn to enjoy this event – the show is about style, ideas and decoration too.
The sessions and workshops at this expo are nothing short of unique. During a discussion on mid-20th century architecture on March 25 and at exhibits on the show floor, folks will be talking about the newest “old” buildings. According to Sally Zimmerman of Historic New England, “mid-century homes can offer an affordable alternative to first-time homebuyers in established suburbs: Younger buyers appreciate the open floor plans, retro look, and smaller footprints of 1960s ranch houses and often they’re the least pricy options in desirable neighborhoods.” The Pope Memorial SPCA of Concord-Merrimack County will also be at the show to inform attendees about barn cat adoption and care. Preservation Alliance members who are barn cat owners report that their daily routine of barn cat care helps them keep track of barn maintenance issues. The cats also help control rodent population, and are just fun to have around too!
Participants will also be able to connect with the best in the business. Experts include Tom McLaughlin, the new host of NHPBS’s "Rough Cut with Fine Woodworking"; Howard Mansfield, author of "The Same Axe, Twice," "Dwelling in Possibility" and "In the Memory House"; Dr. James Garvin, architectural historian and award-winning author of "A Building History of Northern New England" and his latest "Summer Over Autumn"; and Kevin Gardner, teacher, stone mason and author of "Granite Kiss" and his new "Stone Building."
For a large part of the weekend, expo exhibitors and presenters will be discussing the importance of “going local” and working to achieve sustainability in their communities. New Hampshire contractors and designers will also be reporting on an uptick of client interest in local materials. Sue Booth of Vintage Kitchens in Concord notes that her customers like to use local lumber for floors and millwork, and that native plants are popular for gardens. She adds that it's easy to source local talent in addition to local materials. “We are also lucky to have so many talented craftsmen who can make hardware, cabinets, weathervanes, murals and more,” she says. She describes the expo as a “big farmers market of old house products and services.”
Preservation guru and Preservation Alliance board member Ian Blackman of Chichester puts it this way: “People who you meet at the expo are passionate about what they do. The exhibitors and presenters are knowledgeable, love their work and care deeply about the historic character of our state.” Don’t miss out on this fun event that will be sure to put you in the spring spirit.
For a full list of demonstrations, education session and ticket information, go to nhpreservation.org.
The New Hampshire Preservation Alliance strengthens communities and stimulates local economies by encouraging the protection and revival of historic buildings and places.
*New Hampshire Home, a sister publication of New Hampshire Magazine, is a proud sponsor of this event.