Thomasville workshop shows strategies to improve historic properties

The workshop addressed issues with deteriorated windows, and leaking rooves, among other things with historic properties.
Published: May. 16, 2023 at 10:08 PM EDT
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THOMASVILLE, Ga. (WALB) - Thomasville is known for its historic landmarks and many in the City of Roses actually live in historic homes.

Now, preservationists want to help home and business owners with their historic properties and offer strategies to help cut back on energy.

If you’ve ever had a roof, window or door leakage, you’re probably spending more money than you should because of poor energy consumption and usage. That’s why Thomasville Landmarks and the Georgia Trust have developed strategies to help home and business owners of historic properties cut energy costs and become more energy efficient.

Nancy Tinker, director of Thomasville Landmarks, said it’s important for people to know the historic homes they are living in. There could be signs they aren’t energy efficient.

The workshop and training address the issues with deteriorated windows, leaking rooves, air leaking from the basement into main parts of the house and the ways in which these things can be corrected.” Tinker said.

“Homes are designed to have operable windows and to move air through a building. Our training will teach you how to do that,” Tinker said. “How do you prevent a house that doesn’t have an air barrier? How do you install that so it improves energy efficiency and helps maintain the heating and the cooling of the property.”

Georgia Trust has developed several programs to help educate and advocate for historic preservation. Part of that is geared toward sustainability and how historic buildings can be efficient and maintain their historic aesthetic.

“It’s not just education, but an opportunity for a customized and prioritized list based on their individual property,” Director of Preservation with Georgia Trust Ben Sutton said. “It can make significant changes and improvements to the performance of their building without making inappropriate or drastic changes to the actual structure or character of the building,” Sutton said.

Director of Preservation Ben Sutton says, there is a big opportunity to take advantage of lower...
Director of Preservation Ben Sutton says, there is a big opportunity to take advantage of lower energy costs.(SOURCE: WALB)

Sutton said there is a big opportunity to take advantage of lower energy costs, for example, something small as switching to LED lights.

“We use electricity in our own homes can make a big difference in how we can create electricity and how we can improve the environment. The benefit in terms of your electric bill is pretty significant and the quality of that lighting has definitely improved,” said Sutton.

Tinker says the strategy comes in three steps and if tackled all at once, it can be expensive.

“The program is something you can implement over a period of time, so you begin to reduce your cost and don’t have to take a big bite all at one time,” said Tinker.

Architect and board member Bill Edwards says he also learned how to cut back on energy costs.

“I think we all would have liked to have spent less money on our Utility bills and certainly just in terms of usage of our natural resources etc to be more aware of how we can save,” said Edwards.

Larry Poellnitz says his daughter’s home is over 100 years old. On Tuesday, he says he learned how to modernize homes without breaking the bank.

“A certification would be awarded to your property, and I don’t think that there’s any monetary value in that but it’s sort of like bragging rights that your house had gone through the certification, and you’ve completed a checklist and improvements by some real experts,” Poellnitz said.

Historic home and business owners are urged to learn these strategies so they can preserve their properties when upgrading and modernizing their homes.