Historic B&B Renovations

July 24, 2012

Owning a 249 year old bed and breakfast means there's no shortage of maintenance / renovation projects to keep us busy.  We tend to schedule them during the winter months, when we're slowest with guests.  This winter we had our hands full, and basically have only JUST finished up the main projects we had slated for this year.  We took on some biggies with the hopes of improving both our guests' experience, and our energy efficiency.

Here's a look at some before and after pics of this year's projects:

Historic B&B Renovations, Historic Smithton Inn
Top window shows "before", bottom is "after"

(1)  New Windows & Trim:  This was by far the biggest project and we were VERY grateful for the mild winter.  We've replaced every window at the Inn, which improved energy efficiency while reducing (practically eliminating) street noise.  The trim is Azak, which looks great, still has the historic look, and is practically maintenance free!  Our contractor was Eby Exteriors.


(2)  New Siding and Insulation:  The siding on the side and back of the house was wood shingles that was rotting and falling down in places.  We replaced it with Hardie Board siding which again maintains the historic look but is SO much better for maintenance.  We also spray-foam insulated all the walls where we replaced the siding.  Our contractors were Eby Exteriors and Foam Tech Insulation


Historic B&B Renovations, Historic Smithton Inn
The OLD shutters, and flaking paint
Historic B&B Renovations, Historic Smithton Inn
Spiffy NEW shutters

(3)  New Shutters:  Our old shutters were literally falling off the house.  We were lucky enough to find a wonderful local craftsman (Rick Ruth) who built all new shutters for us based on photos we took of shutters we liked in Philadelphia.  He cleaned up and used the original hardware and built the shutters from 100 year old reclaimed redwood casks.

(4)  Exterior Painting:  We painted our new shutters and the brick on the Tailor's cottage... which had gotten to a stage where it was more "shabby" than "chic". It looked particularly bad once those new shingles were up!!  Our painter was McGovern Painting.

(5)  New paint in the Crimson Dove Suite:  While most of the work was going on outside, we did do a bit of sprucing up inside as well.  The Crimson Dove Suite is an absolutely lovely room, but the walls were all white and it lacked "warmth".  We brought in our favorite interior designer, Ashley Tagle, to help us pick colors, and then our friends at McGovern Painting made it happen!


(6)  New curtains in the Dining Room:  With white walls, our old white curtains were OK, but not what we wanted for the long-term.  We brought in Ashley Tagle to design some custom drapes which frame the windows perfectly now!

Historic B&B Renovations, Historic Smithton Inn  
(6)  Spiffed-Up Landscaping at the Driveway Entrance:  There were a number of scruffy trees that lined our driveway.  We always parked our own car there to protect guests from dropping sap.  Now with the trees gone, our car stays clean and you get a better view of the back of the property as you drive in.  Our landscaper is Texter Mountain Nursery.

Historic B&B Renovations, Historic Smithton Inn (7)  New Vegetable Garden:  Our landscapers also built our lovely raised beds and then fenced them in to protect the garden from our resident bunny rabbits.  We grew everything from seed and it's been a definite learning experience.  It's very gratifying serving up Zucchini Muffins grown from our own garden!!


 (8)  New parking lot:  The grand finale was re-paving our parking lot.  We were able to make the lot a little bit bigger and allocate more space to each parking spot, so now we have 9 spots that are all big enough to park an SUV in, without dinging any doors!  Plus, no puddles!!  Our contractor was Brooklawn Paving.

Sure, there a few more projects still in the works:  new curtains for the living room, new signs for the Inn, new interior decor for the Tailor's Cottage... but lets face it, if I waited until we were "done", I'd never get to share our progress... we always seem to be doing SOMETHING!

One last thank you goes to our photographer, Christian Giannelli for making us "sparkle"!  Our "after" story is so much better with his help!!

Historic B&B Renovations, Historic Smithton Inn
Professional Photography by Christian Giannelli

Again, a HUGE thank you to all our contractors for doing such excellent work at our historic inn, and an even bigger THANK YOU to our guests, whose visits, repeat visits and excellent reviews are helping us pay for all these wonderful projects!!!  If you've stayed with us before, we hope you'll come back soon so we can show off the new projects for you... if you haven't ... c'mon :o)!!  We look forward to meeting you!!