Completed Projects

Life in Historic Homes

The project which took place between September-December 2020, aimed to address the lack of guidance for users of historical homes in Turkey, which is home to a large number of such historical buildings. It was based on KMKD’s extensive experience on delivering training in cultural heritage preservation to the general public and the expressed need for advice on historic building maintenance. It also aimed to advise historic house residents about their responsibilities towards these buildings, increase their awareness of cultural heritage and develop their knowledge and skills to look after their homes.

 In this context, a survey was conducted in different historical districts of Istanbul in order to determine the problems experienced in historical houses as well as their needs. Data from online and face-to-face surveys were analyzed and 18 topics that were considered important or urgent for historic home residents were identified. Multiple videos were created to address these issues, including topics ranging from the importance of historical houses, their maintenance and repair as well as subjects such as earthquakes and legal procedures. The content of these videos were prepared by experts from different disciplines, and all videos are available online. These videos can be viewed on the project’s webpage, or on KMKD’s youtube page.

These videos provide an invaluable free resource for historic home residents who need theoretical as well as practical advice on living in and maintaining historic buildings including but not limited to:

  •   The importance of living in a historical house or city and the values that historical houses represent
  •   Funding available for restoration of historic houses
  •   Liabilities of living in historical houses
  •   Potential risks in historical houses, most common problems
  •   Basic principles for historical house repairs and annual maintenance tasks in historical houses
  •   The categories and permit processes of interventions that can be done in historical houses
  •   Common energy problems in historical houses, energy-efficient solutions compatible with the historic fabric (including increasing the U value of the buildings, decreasing carbon emission and paying less for fuel)
  •   Alternative materials and methods for prevention of heat loss in historical houses
  •   DIY Historic window repair and insulation, including making cheap and easy draft-excluders
  •   Determining security risks in historical houses used commercially
  •   Visitor communication in historical houses used commercially

As a second, more detailed resource to complement the videos, an e-book titled ‘Handbook for Historic Homes’ was prepared. The book contains information needed to keep a historic home in good condition and adapt it to modern needs while respecting its unique character. It covers subjects including the maintenance of historical houses, common problems and solutions. It touches on many practical issues ranging from selecting a historic home to potential sources of fundings, from cleaning methods to paint selection. It answers many questions about insulation and energy efficiency, tips on saving time and money for home owners and users. It is a comprehensive guide for anyone looking to buy a historic home, or who is already using such a building and wants to learn how to identify various problems in a historic home and know their remedies as well as how to prevent them in the future.

The book is interactively designed, linked to the videos in the related chapters. The book is accompanied by a maintenance calendar and a historic house checklist (to be used before selecting a historic building), which are also downloadable as separate pdf files from the project webpage. You can access the book in the Publications‘ section of the website.

FunderGoethe Institut

Project Coordinator: Mustafa Akçaöz


Living in a Historic House

Why are Historical Houses Important

What is the Register of Historic Houses

Researching the Past of Historic Houses

Financial Supports for the Restoration of Historic Houses

Annual Maintenance in Historic Houses

Repair Categories of Historic Houses

The Conservation Problems of Masonry Houses and the Recommendations

The Conservation Problems of Historical Timber Houses and the Recommendations

The Simple Maintenance and Repairs of Historical Timber Houses

Energy Efficiency in Historical Buildings

Professional Energy-Saving Solutions for Historic Houses

What Can You Do to Insulate your House

Professional Repairs to Improve Insulation in Historic Houses

Window Repair and Insulation in Historic Houses

Historical Masonry Houses and the Earhquake Risk

Communicating with Visitors in the Historical Houses that are Used for Commercial Purposes

What not to do in Historic Houses


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