Being based in Boston, Mark Quigley has learned a lot about historic restoration. “Boston, being one of the older cities in the U.S., has a very old housing stock, a very beautiful housing stock. A lot of it is onsite learning,” he says. Due to the specialized nature of the job, education is important, and Quigley and his staff participate in courses from colleges and other organizations in the area that focus on historic preservation. That may make it sound like he’s operating in a completely different area of expertise, but a house is still a house. “I was educated in how buildings work, how they’re put together. It’s the same with these houses, but it was done with bigger, better materials then.”

On a recent renovation, Quigley was working on a 1920s Tudor and restored about 70% of the wood on the outside of the house, but found a 12-foot-long piece that was rotted at one end. To ensure the client was happy, he had to special order a new beam from Canada that took three months to arrive. “A lot of times you can get lucky with wood that’s available for decoratives,” Quigley says. “The structural and decorative pieces are different; you have to have the right dimensional lumber.”

That cost and time might be intimidating to some, but Quigley says most of his clients are aware of the costs involved with living in an historic home and appreciate the dedication to accuracy. “You’re living in an antique, something that has a lot of value. If it’s done wrong, it can ruin the value of the house. If it’s not done properly or historically correct, you can lose a lot of value.”


- The state of Massachusetts requires remodelers guarantee their work for 12 months, but Quigley offers five years on all of his contracts. “Some of these homes are over 200 years old. Seems on the cheap side to me if I’m renovating it and my work is only going to last a year.”