How much does the service cost?

The service is $550. More information on the different levels, including “Rush” and additional “Extra Services” such as roof color consulting and porch repair/replacement is available on the Pricing Page.

How long does it take?

We can get started the day I have your materials in hand. That can be as soon as today if you can email me photos, complete the on-line data form, and pay via credit card.  The time it takes to complete the process depends on your schedule and the amount of consideration and testing of the colors I recommend. The final step in the process, the preparation of the Color Placement Map pages somewhat depends on how long my queue of projects is at the time you are ready for that stage. I attempt to be very responsive in getting the Color Maps to you promptly. Rush fee clients have preference in that queue. I have completed the entire service from start to finish for some clients in as short a span as ten days. However, most clients take several weeks or longer to ponder, test and work through my suggestions. Knowing when you can get a painter in to start, if you are rushed, is the most important timing issue.

What kind of paint/stain will you recommend?

My color selection suggestions will be for nationally available brands from major manufacturers. I have taken the time to match my historical documents (paint brochures and swatches) to the modern “fan-decks” to allow me to recommend colors that are historical but locally available and that don’t have to be custom mixed.

How many color options will I receive?

Unlimited! — Unlike some color services I do not have a limit on color suggestions. We work through suggestions and your reactions to them to develop a set of colors you are happy with. That can happen in the first set of suggestions or it could take several iterations. My goal is a great looking building and a satisfied customer.

I’m not very good at picking colors. Can you pick them for me?

Yes, with a little assistance from you I can develop a complete color scheme for  your home.  I also provide detailed visual instructions for your painter as to  exactly where each color goes on the homes facades, and details. I’ve been researching American architecture for over 40 years and have a vast knowledge of historic colors and how they were placed on the buildings when they were  built.


What if I‘m thinking of changing my roof at the same time I’m painting?

Painting time is often a great opportunity to change a worn or oddly colored roof. I can work with you to develop a color scheme that incorporates the new roof color. I can also suggest manufacturers, shingle types and specific colors for your new roof that are more architecturally accurate for the house than the roofer or the sales rep. at the home center. For example, the George Barber designed house seen in my “Completed Projects” section has a roof color and shingle pattern design I recommended that was drawn directly from the Victorian age architect who designed the house.

I want to restore or alter my porch, can you help?

I’m often asked to assist with this task. I can supply you, your contractor or your architect with actual period images of porches and porch details that can be adapted or copied to fit your home. Often the most difficult task in porch renovation is knowing what the final product should look like. My images, drawn from such sources as period millwork catalogues and house plan books, can show you what you need. Be sure to check the appropriate box on the Customer Data Form to receive this service.

I know my house is old but don’t know what architectural style is it. Can you help identify it?

I would be happy to ID your homes architectural style and even its sub-type within that style.  I.e. Victorian Queen Anne, Italianate Villa, Bungalow Double Front Gabled, etc. I’ve been researching, teaching, and writing about American historic period architecture for nearly forty years.  And I’m happy to put that knowledge to good use assisting you with acquiring a better understanding of your homes style.  After all it is important and useful to know that you have a Dutch Colonial Revival or a Victorian Gothic or an English Tudor Revival home.

What types of photo images can you use?

Today just about everyone has a digital camera, phone or tablet with a built-in camera. These take great pictures so feel free to send me [via email or your favorite drop box] your digital photos.  If you are still using film, when you have it developed have your photo service place the images on a cd. Then you can either mail that to me or send me the images in emails.

For more information see the Photo Hints page.

If you have questions about digital or photo images just drop me an email at robs@umich.edu.

What photos should I take?

I have compiled a Photo Hints page that will assist you in taking the right photos. But don’t worry too much about the photos, I will let you know if I need any additional images once we get started.

Do you take credit cards?

YES – you can pay for the service with any major credit card.  I use the PayPal service and you can make your selections for services by using the Payment Options page.  This feature costs slightly more than paying by check.  Because I try to keep the costs down, I pass on the credit processing fee to those who wish to use that service.  You an always pay the ole fashioned way – by check.

Do you consult on more modern homes and buildings?

Yes, modern architecture needs appropriate colors to looks its best just as historic buildings do. I’ve consulted on Retro Ranch style homes and even modern subdivision houses. I also work with new home construction projects, condos and appartment complexes.

I’m not a client but could you tell me the colors you used for a specific building in your book, "Bungalow Colors," or on your web site?

Choosing a color scheme involves time and effort and the results remain with you for a long time. Just picking one from a book or because a house you see looks nice is not always the best choice. I prefer to work with the building owner to develop the right set of colors that will enhance their particular property. There are many items I take into consideration that that have an impact on the colors you paint your house. To develop a really good color scheme you need to keep a lot things in mind. Your house is unique and I’d prefer to treat it and you accordingly. However, if you are just interested in my supplying the colors for a particular scheme I’ve already completed, the charge is $80.  

FAQ didn’t answer your question?

Here are several ways to contact Historic House Colors

Contact Rob

You can contact Historic House Colors via email at: robs@umich.edu or by calling 734-668-0298 [eastern time] You may also use any of the “Contact” forms accessible at the top of page.