This Spring is an exciting time for us as we have just completed our biggest improvement project yet. As many of you know, three of our guest rooms, The Cottage, The Sapling, and The Lower Lodge, are all on the back side of the Inn at Silver Maple Farm. Because this is the north facing side, it doesn’t get much sun, and nearly twenty years of shade and rain have taken their toll. Some of the siding was starting to go bad, and even a couple of the wooden window sills were starting to show damage. It’s a real challenge trying to do work like this without disrupting our guests, but the timing was right to nip things in the bud and improve the rooms while we were at it. We blocked out the rooms for three weeks and got to work. I think we pulled it off – no seemed to notice – so I figured I’d better take an opportunity to brag about it all here!
First, we replaced all the siding with a product called Smart Side which is specifically formulated for resisting water damage and decay. We also replaced all the windows along the back of the building, eight in total. The new windows still have wood frames on the inside, which we were able to paint to match the existing trim, but unlike the former windows, these are vinyl on the outside – again, a great solution for the north side of the building where rain water might sit for longer periods without the sun to dry it out. The new windows are well insulated and very slightly larger than the old ones.
Lastly, we removed the wall unit air conditioners and replaced them with brand new ductless mini-split air conditioners mounted high on the wall. The old air conditioners were working just fine, and replacing them was an after-thought once the project was started. I’m glad we thought to upgrade them! These new units are more energy efficient, quieter, and also do not let cold air seep in through the ducts during winter. The entire air exchange happens through a small duct that passes through that tiny opening to the outside wall.
All new insulation and a fresh coat of paint in each of the rooms and outside and . . . voila!
This new siding will hold up better than the original wood batten board, and we think it looks great!
We even got our dedicated crew to tackle a couple of other little issues around the place, touching up paint and replacing and repairing some window sills. Have you ever seen anyone balance on a ladder like that?! We are thrilled with the outcome and hope our guests will be too!