Historic Homeowner Member Resources

Welcome Historic Homeowner Members

We look forward to getting to know you and your house better in the coming months and to helping you maintain the distinctive character of your historic home. The oldest, largest, and most comprehensive regional heritage organization in the country, Historic New England makes its legacy of stewardship and preservation excellence available to you through the Historic Homeowner membership program.

The Historic Homeowner membership program is staffed by Sally Zimmerman, senior preservation services manager; she can be contacted Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. EST, at 617-994-6645 or szimmerman@HistoricNewEngland.org. The mailing address is:

Historic Homeowner Membership Program,
Historic New England, c/o The Lyman Estate,
185 Lyman Street, Waltham, Mass. 02452-5645

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Historic Homeowner Member Benefits

Get access to expert advice

Major Consultation

Select one major consultation annually, either to choose historic paint colors (Option A) or to evaluate the compatibility of a proposed construction project (Option B).

Consultations are done by email or telephone, using images and documentation supplied by the member. Staff review your information, contact you either by email or telephone to discuss your proposal, and prepare a written report (2-4 pages) including information on:

Option A, Paint Color Consultation:

Is it time to paint your house? Select one paint color consultation annually; choose either exterior (whole house) or interior (two rooms) painting. Complete the Paint Consultation Documentation Form and submit it with photographs (digital or standard prints) at least one month prior to the anticipated start of the paint job.

Based on the documentation and a preliminary email or phone consultation, Historic Homeowner staff will provide you with two potential paint color schemes compatible with the period and style of your old house. A follow-up consultation after paint colors have been sampled by the member is provided to fine-tune the final selection.

Option B, Construction Project Evaluation:

Are you planning a construction project? Select one evaluation of a construction project annually. Complete a Construction Evaluation Documentation Form and submit it with all relevant plans and illustrations (digital or standard prints) at least two months prior to the anticipated start of the construction project. Based on the documentation and a preliminary email or phone consultation, Historic Homeowner staff will provide you with a written evaluation of the compatibility of your construction project for the period and style of your old house including any alternative design or material recommendations to enhance the consistency of the proposal. A follow-up consultation is provided to fine-tune the recommended approach.

Additional Technical Assistance Projects

Wondering how to treat your wide board floors? Where to find hardware for your shutters? Get help locating suppliers or materials, obtaining information on building systems maintenance, or minor repairs to building components. Let our experienced staff provide the answers. As a Historic Homeowner member, enjoy two additional email or phone requests for technical assistance annually; all requests will be answered on a first come, first served basis.

E-Newsletters and Invitations to Members-Only Workshops

Historic Homeowner members receive monthly e-newsletters and invitations to two members-only special programs on house maintenance and resource issues annually.

As a function of Historic Homeowner membership, Historic New England staff will not intervene or participate in local historic district, zoning, planning board, building inspection, or other local, state, or federal regulatory actions, or advocate for particular design approaches or proposals before any local, state, federal, or other governmental body, board, commission, or authority. The Historic Homeowner membership program does not support or recommend the installation of vinyl siding or vinyl replacement windows. Property owners are solely responsible for obtaining all local government approvals, where required, for projects, including, but not limited to, certificates of appropriateness, hardship or non-applicability, building permits, site plans, special permits, or variances.

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Hear what Historic Homeowner members have to say

“Thank you for your time this morning and your thoughtful consideration of our home. The resources you provided will be extremely helpful to us.” – E.D.H., sill replacement and window restoration in a c. 1786 house

“This is terrific, again thank you for your research and expert suggestions.” – M.L., windows in 1936 house

“Thank you for the suggestions, they are very helpful.” – D.M., kitchen and bath installation in a 1777 house

“Thanks Sally, as always I really appreciate your advice. Thanks!” – D.P., exterior paint and storm window color selections in an 1885 Queen Anne house

“I loved the ball knob lock … I thought it was perfect, actually, and the price is right. Thank you for such a speedy reply. I can order in confidence.” – R. G. hardware in Federal house

“Thank you again for all your help this year, you’ve been a godsend.” – K.K., foundation re-pointing and insulation advice in an eighteenth-century house

“I must say I am amazed. It is as if you have been sitting on my shoulder during my discussions with my husband about how to go about things around here. Your instincts are exactly what we see as the necessary & realistic plan … thank you again…you have a great read on the situation, which is appreciated.” – E.A.K., contact information on preservation architects and contractors for barn renovations

More to Explore

Become a Historic Homeowner member today.

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Shop for books on old-house maintenance and preservation.

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Visit Historic New England's museum properties.

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