It has been too long since we have posted an update on progress. We have been busy with a visit from our daughter, son-in-law and granddaughters from Canada and a trip to DC area to visit my brother, Bruce and his wife, Barbara (from whom we were gifted with some wonderful recipes!). MAJOR progress has been accomplished over the past few weeks on the B&B. (If you don't want to read through this detailed post, I have added a short project to the video gallery that illustrates what has transpired).
In our last update, the siding and the front porch and back decks had been installed or were under way. The windows and shutters were in. Shakes had been added to gables. At this point the outside doesn't look a whole lot different except for the addition of some temporary front stairs and the handicap ramp landing, but the inside has seen major transformations and a few small design changes.
After the structure was completed and the building "dried in," the plumbers and electricians worked their magic. Water heater requirements were adjusted to two tankless gas units with continuous circulation for baths, and one gas unit specifically for the kitchen. Rooms will have hot water with no waiting.
Electrical and digital infrastructure were approached with an eye to today's techno traveler. There is an abundance of outlets in each room, with quad outlets flanking the beds. There are two wired internet ports (1GB) in most rooms, along with access to WiFi (100K) throughout the building. The conference room has been wired for full internet access, video conferencing, digital presentation options, surround sound audio and includes a 65-inch UHD TV. (TV to be installed later.)
One of my favorite detail changes occurred at the hands of the HVAC engineers. With some wonderful design solutions, we went from having a two zone (upstairs and downstairs) system with no control over individual room temperatures to having a highly efficient 10-zoom system, with each guest room having its own thermostat. Thank you, Stone Heating and Air. We love it and believe guests will, too!
I wired internet, TV, and security camera systems, trying to stay out of the way of all the other crews working feverishly to move us forward.
Two other systems that went in were the fire sprinkler system, providing for the protection of both people and property in case it is ever needed. (We pray we never see this in use!)
Enhancing that system, a remote and local fire alarm system went into place to alert the proper authorities and guests to any incident related to fire in the building.
The first major visual and acoustic change followed with the installation of insulation batting in the exterior walls, walls between guest rooms, walls surrounding baths, the ceiling of the first floor, and under the first floor in the crawl space. It seemed odd that adding this visual barrier to the interior of the house made the rooms start to feel larger. The batting helps block a lot of exterior and interior sounds in addition to its temperature insulating function. It looked like a brown cave, but what a change for the better.
Sheetrock went up by the hands of two wonderfully talented and hardworking gentlemen. I never saw one mechanical device anywhere to help them put up sheetrock for the 10-foot ceilings on the 1st floor and 9-foot ceilings on the second floor. It was fascinating to watch these to artists work in almost continuous motion efficiently "hanging the rock."
To be installed later, the foyer, library/conference room, stairs, and upstairs hall will be a dark antiqued hardwood to complement the various shades of tile in the building.
Next the kitchen cabinets were installed. The natural-finish, hickory cabinets are beautiful and quite functional. We will be adding an island workstation, triple sinks, and the appliances soon.
Most recently, Larry the Trim Guy installed single-highhandedly all the door and window casings, the doors, baseboards and some other wood detail areas. He will soon do the stairs, railings, and some additional custom trim areas. I put in all the shoe mold / quarter round in the rooms with tile, excluding the baths, since they have tile baseboard. It was a learning experience.
Painting prep started this last week and we hope to have most of the painting done by the end of November. It's looking good. A small, but significant change was the placement of the fireplace in the Great Room.
I've been working on the custom vanities for all seven and a half baths. Six of the baths will have re-purposed furniture as the base for the vanity with added tile, custom staining, vessel sinks and waterfall faucets. Vanities for the two ADA compliant baths (Room 5 and the Powder Room) are being built from scratch with modern glass or stone vessel sinks and all the required clearances for wheelchair access. It was a challenge to meet the requirements and still have something a bit more stylish.