Historic homes can seem like a bother to maintain, but make no mistake: many of these properties are often still sound investments that just need a little TLC. So strap yourself in as we take a look at restoring and preserving these old homes for new households. In this episode, Katharine MacPhail sits down for an interview with Hugh Siler, President of Historic Home Row and a historic home enthusiast. Hugh discusses finding and buying your first historic house, finding the right people to restore it and looking for those hard-to-find items to fix up your new home. Curious about restoring your own historic home? Tune in and pick up some pointers from Hugh. 

About our guest:

Hugh Siler’s innovative historic home restorations have been profiled in numerous local and national publications including the National Trust for Historic Preservation which said this:

Hugh Siler has been making waves with his innovative restorations of homes in the Old Towne Historic District of Orange, California located five miles from Disneyland. Working with a variety of artists and artisans, Hugh infuses these cottages and homes with an undeniable cool-factor and rents them out to ecstatic tenants.

In all, Hugh has restored a few dozen homes and his approach is quite unique: he finds the properties, figures out how to pay for them, handles all of the design, and even serves as the general contractor/owner builder by overseeing every aspect of the restorations – then he turns them over to discerning tenants with an eye for architectural uniqueness.  And yes, there is a waiting list to rent his homes.

His two most recent projects were: restoring a city block of 5 homes that ultimately won the local preservation association’s top award for restoration excellence. And, earlier this year he finished converting a 1920s dilapidated carriage house into one of the coolest tiny homes you’ll ever see. Ted’s Garage in Old Towne as it is known is 256 square feet of sheer uniqueness.

You can find Hugh’s projects on Instagram and Facebook by searching “Historic Home Row.” Hugh likes to say, “he’s made just about every mistake in the book so that you don’t have to.”


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Music at the beginning and end of the episode is The House Maven’s Jig, written and performed by Neil Pearlman, www.neilpearlman.com

Show Cover Art by Sam White www.samowhite.com

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