The Advisory Service

The Advisory Service is a group of volunteers whose purpose is to assist home owners in identifying architectural styles, methods of construction and types of decoration observed in their buildings.

House Visits

Upon request,  Advisory Service members will visit a home owner’s property and respond to the owner’s queries on the style of the structure and identification of features that are later additions. Emphasis is placed on establishing the approximate date of construction, identifying original details and what should be preserved.

Following the visit, a written report is prepared and sent to the owner and includes descriptions of the building and its details, with attention placed on what is intact, important to preserve, and unusual.  Recommendations for general preservation and maintenance are included in the report or accompanying cover letter.  These visits and reports do not take the place of consultation with architects, interior designers, or professional tradespeople.

To request a visit, please complete the request form contained in the Advisory Service Brochure.
House Visit Fee: $40/members   $100/nonmembers


The Advisory Service is a completely voluntary group which contributes to various Landmarks' activities. Members of the Advisory Service meet monthly and develop their own fields of interest, such as brickwork or timber framing. In the past, members have compiled data they've collected into two volumes Living With Old Houses and Living With Newer Old Houses. A major activity is house visits. Two or more members will visit a house upon request to answer owner questions and offer advice on how to preserve original features. 

Needed are individuals with a little knowledge of old houses, plus a desire to learn via reading and experience. Participation in monthly meetings (first Tuesday of each month) and availability for house visits is important.  If you are interested in learning more about the Advisory Service, let us know at



Top 5 Restoration Recommendations

  1. Choose contractors and tradesmen who are experienced in restoration.  For example, a builder, an electrician, or a plumber may specialize in new construction and know little about restoration techniques.  Ask for references, follow up on them, and see examples of the firm’s work.
  2. Get a second opinion before beginning massive demolition and reconstruction work.  It may not be necessary to totally replace an original element such as a chimney.
  3. Do less rather than more.  Preserve old material.  Repair rather than replace whenever possible.  Respect the evolution of the building, including later additions that are sound and appropriate.
  4. See advice and instruction from qualified sources.  Check the town library and historical society.  Look at other houses in town that are similar in style and period.  Talk to elderly neighbors.  Read a lot.
  5. Document everything that you do.  Take photographs before, during, and after work is carried out and keep a log that includes workers’ names, dates of work, cost of materials, etc.  Preserve papers including bills, contracts and receipts.  Write dates of installation directly on building parts (out of sight).