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"Preservation" is defined as the act or process of applying measures necessary to sustain the existing form, integrity, and materials of an historic property. Work, including preliminary measures to protect and stabilize the property, generally focuses on the ongoing maintenance and repair of historic materials and features rather than extensive replacement and new construction. New exterior additions are not within the scope of this treatment; however, the limited and sensitive upgrading of mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems and other code-required work to make properties functional is appropriate within a preservation project.

The James House reveals much about a Hampton family and the Town of Hampton at various periods of history. Our preservation plan seeks to make the minimum modern permanent alterations to the James House, and avoid reconstruction of previously removed features, which would have to involve some degree of conjecture about the appearances of those features.
Reconstruction has only been necessary in the ell section, where deterioration had made it impossible to preserve without alteration. Further, for the sake of consistency and appeal, our plan has been to present the James House exterior with most, if not all, of the Federal Period alterations shown in the 1892 picture.

Where evolutionary changes that have acquired historic significance in their own right were removed, they have, when possible, been saved and displayed as evidence of changing taste and technology.

Click on the images to see up close examples of the preservation and restoration process:

Loose rubble cellar wall rebuilt by hand as in original
Horizontal beveled pine sheathing, weathered before clapboards were first applied.
Braced frame of wall between chamber and ell showing
replacement sheathing and use of epoxy.

Preserved chimney post and wall studs with replacement braces
and sheathing.
Preserved rafters, plates and attic joists with replacement pins.
Replacement roof sheathing and original purlins and rafters.
Replacement roof red cedar and hand-planed trim.
Corner in re-constructed ell showing deteriorated girts and replacement corner post.
Removed wall between chamber and ell showing epoxied corner post, replacement brace, sheathing.
Replacement ell windows are entirely hand-made using hand-planed muntins, sash and casings, and hand-made nail.
Completed ell exterior with quarter-sawn hand-planed clapboards and trim, and foundation of ell prior to being joined to house.

Come tour the James House and see what we have done to preserve and restore the property.

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