Home Maintenance and Repair Programming Announced Providence Preservation Society Empowers Residents to DIY

 Home Maintenance and Repair Programming Announced  Providence Preservation Society Empowers Residents to DIY
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Providence, September 7, 2023 – Rhode Islanders who live in old buildings – nearly 70% of the population in Providence – have a new go-to resource for all their home repair, maintenance, and renovation needs. The Providence Preservation Society (PPS) is launching the fall schedule for Building Works, a new initiative aimed at teaching practical skills, sharing resources, and cultivating community. PPS is the city’s only dedicated nonprofit champion for older properties and the people who care for them. The organization’s advocacy and educational mission are on display with this season’s Building Works programs.


The fall schedule includes a series of themed Shop Nights, hands-on workshops, and informative webinars. Attendees can bring small projects or big ideas to Shop Nights on Thursdays from 5:00-7:00 pm in the Building Works classroom at 50 Sims Avenue. Expert instructors will offer general guidance and tips and tricks, as well as specific advice on topics such as fixing old hardware, tool sharpening, and stripping paint from old woodwork.


Webinars and workshops explore everything from repairing plaster walls to water management, weatherizing old windows, and navigating the State’s new lead safety legislation going into effect in 2024. Workshops are held in the shop and onsite at older homes throughout Providence, where trainees can put their new skills to work completing practical repairs on an existing property.


Programs are offered on a sliding scale, with scholarships readily available, and advance registration is required. More information and registration are available on PPS’s website.


“Our public programming is designed to help both owners and renters in older houses feel more comfortable and knowledgeable,” says Director of Education Kelsey Mullen. “With a critical labor shortage of tradespeople who know how to care for historic homes, many residents want to learn how to do some of their own work. Preservation really is a team effort.”


Rhode Island has some of the oldest housing stock in the country, and in Providence, almost 90% of the buildings are older than 50 years. Keeping these properties safe and serviceable as housing is a key goal of Building Works.


The second purpose of the Building Works initiative is to address the longstanding labor shortage and specialty trades skills gap, and since 2020, PPS has offered paid workforce development programs to train the next generation of preservation tradespeople. To date, this effort has helped 32 trainees from diverse backgrounds to learn new skills and find satisfying, well-paying jobs in the building trades. Building Works grows out of key priorities outlined in PPS’s groundbreaking strategic plan, Democratize Preservation.


About Providence Preservation Society

Founded in 1956, Providence Preservation Society believes historic preservation has a role to play in addressing a range of 21st century challenges. PPS supports and advocates for historic preservation, thoughtful design, and people-centered planning in Providence.

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