turn of the century victorian

I may be rehabbing a 1890’s victorian home.
The siding is wood and the city has told us that we need to scrape and paint or replace the siding altogether.

I would love to rehab it properly to the best of my ability, however realistically, we may flip or use it for a rental.

I have been researching the repair of wood siding and have been lead to believe that stripping the wood via a infared warmer is the best method.

My question is, is this the best method? And it sounds VERY time consuming. Is it worth the time and effort for a rental? Would you just reside? I do want to be true to the history of the house but must be true to my budget as well.

Large victorian mansions are my favorite houses. Unfortunately for rehabbing’s sake, they aren’t always the best investment. You don’t rehab or renovate these houses, you restore them. Often times they are painted many different alternating colors which is ‘VERY time consuming’ and expensive. On the interior there is usually just as much molding and millwork to repair/ replace/ paint. They can still be profitable but don’t expect to make a killing.

Not quite sure how I’d have the paint removed. Finding authentic siding to redo it will be very expensive (MUST BE WOOD). I would try to remove the paint and replace the damaged or rotted pieces individually.

In my opinion, these projects (when done correctly) can make the absolute best finished products and are the most rewarding of all rehabs.

Dannythe Great,

Thanks for your response. Fortunately its not a large Victorian!
Some of the interior original wood work is still intact, enough to let me know where I’m going.
But again, would you do all this in a rental. A flip I can see because a specific type of person would be buying.

My next visit I will pay more attention to how much exterior wood needs to be replaced.


Fortunately its not a large Victorian!

Well that just sucked the fun out of it! I’m not into renting SFH’s but if I was it would be something to consider. I would be rehabbing and selling this place. That’s for no reason other than that’s just what I do.

All of the wood work that is so expensive and takes so much time to repair are what makes victorian houses so appealing to buyers/renters.

Good luck with it.


The only thing that matters with rentals are the numbers. What can you really get for rent? What is the purchase price? Rehab costs? Where are you located?

While it may be rewarding to rehab a historic house to it’s previous glory, you are in business to make money. I would suggest making your decision based on the math.

Good Luck,



If the paint is “lead-based”, burning it off is actually one of the worst choices, beaten only by sanding it off…the fumes generated by heating the lead-based paint release toxic lead fumes that are very easily inhaled…unless you can talk an ex-spouse to do it for you



Lead-based paint never killed anybody!

…It’s always the brain damage, comas, and blood poisoning that come after inhaling or eating it!

you guys are great!!! Talk about a grin, and actually I do have an ex that offered to help hmmm… :-X
This infared technique suppossedly is suppossed to be safe w/ lead paint as it just kind of melts while you scrape.
It will take more investigation but thank you Mike I know in my head its the no.'s that count. You had given me advice about a week ago that I appreciated and I actually had an offer for 6,000. Couldn’t let it go for that little though.
Some of these investors geeeezz… oh yeh thats us.
Any way unless I get closer to asking price looks like we’ll rehab and flip or rent.
I’ll do the best job I can to restore but will also keep in mind that renters can be cruel, and their pets even more cruel.
Thanks guys,

Hi Wendy,

Another consideration is the final decision down the road. Real estate is an investment that, while we may rent it today, we may decide to sell it tomorrow for any number of reasons. So, while you may use it as a rental now for a period of time, you wouldn’t want to do anything that will actually cause a decline in it’s value. I have purshcased, appraised and managed so many properties where the owners had done schlock work which then either took way too much money to mitigate or they had to give it up on the sale. Whatever you do, make sure it’s good quality. If it’s too expensive, don’t do crap work. You will pay for it one way or another.

And as a rental, crap work usually gets a crap tenant.

Hope this helps. Good luck.