Old-house lovers are a distinct breed of kooks. We drool over a large front porch, worm-holed floors, and the wavy glass of vintage windows. Attracted by a bit of hand-carved woodwork, bedrooms without closets, and the unusual traffic pattern you get when a house has been expanded by adding bathrooms onto the rear, we throw rational concerns out the window and decide we’ve found the perfect place for a bed & breakfast. We collect a bit of cash from here and a few dollars from there for a down payment*, then set about making our dream come true.
The only problem with this fantasy, like all fantasies, is reality. That gorgeous porch is wood exposed to the elements, so the paint peels and the floorboards rot. Vintage windows leak conditioned air at such a rate you might as well leave them open. Roofs age and develop cracks, holes, and leaks. Utility costs go up up and up as the AC and furnace fight to keep even with the elements.
After ten years of operation as a B&B, it was time to address some problems.
2010 is the Year of Improvements at Rosemary House.
First, we hired Home Performance NC to do an energy audit then weatherization. The B&B was so leaky that the audit results were off the chart. Post-weatherization (lots more insulation, many many many tubes of caulk and expanding foam, and closure of chimneys), our equal-payment gas bill was reduced 27%. If the electric bill reduction is the same – we’ll see, come June, July, and August – then the weatherization cost will be recouped in 18 months.
The porch roof was replaced. A couple of cracks had led to rotted wood then leaks through the ceiling. The rest of the roof was repaired where needed. A patch of tin roof (I didn’t even know we had one – I don’t get up on the roof much) is being repaired and resealed.
Electrical circuits were updated.
We expanded the parking area and spread ten tons of gravel.
A painter is scraping and painting the porch columns and the three sides of the house that need it.
Rosemary House is going to be efficient and refreshed.
This Old House is the object of painstaking labor and love, resulting in renewal.
Thank you, Capital Bank, for making it possible!
*Joke: How do you make a small fortune running a bed & breakfast? Answer: Begin with a large fortune.