For those interested in renovating or restoring an older property, whether an amateur or experienced, whether you want to do it yourself or hire someone else to do the work for you, the 2015 Restore Omaha Conference provided a wealth of resources.
With 29 vendors in attendance, visitors had the opportunity to talk with professionals about everything from plumbing and windows to wood and hardware.
Some of the products that were shown gave homeowners a window into the future with technologies that allow you to both heat and cool your home remotely. And did you know that the science exists to let you lower and raise your blinds or open and close your windows, even when you’re on vacation? Well, it does!
Five neighborhood associations attended as well as the state historical society and the Omaha Public Library, which have access to documents, blueprints, photos and books that provide a look at the past for historical accuracy and inspiration in the present.
For those who prefer a hands-on approach to renovation and restoration, choosing to do the work or at least part of it themselves, Restore Omaha offered a slew of demos.
Guests learned about Landscapes for Historic Properties, Historic Mortar and Brick Repointing and Restoring Exteriors. There were also tips for working on the inside of the home including Window Restoration, When and How to Finish a Basement and Paint Techniques.
Then there were the sessions that focused on the background of preservation, from The Evolution of the Preservation Movement to the best ways to Research the History of Your Home and Neighborhood.
Bernice Radle, Preservationist and Developer, gave the keynote address. She and her husband work through Buffalove Development, taking properties slated for foreclosure or demolition and creating urban spaces out of them that are affordable and sustainable.
One of the most popular aspects of the conference by far is the Restoration Jam, which takes place at the very end. Everyone who comes to the conference is invited to talk about the restoration project they are currently working on in front of all the professionals in attendance, sharing before and after photos.