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

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).