Restoration of the Building
The Christensens spent the better part of three years updating the structure. A new Duro-Last commercial roof was installed and repairs to various roof support truss beams were completed, including new insulation batts. A new commercial gutter system was installed to handle storm water run off. New flooring was installed throughout the building both upstairs and downstairs.
Because of the proximity to the the Gulf and the threat of water damage from hurricanes, the couple opted for a handsome antique vinyl plank product rather than wood. The upstairs was repainted and both bathrooms were updated to a period look with antique fixtures and accessories.
Besides remodeling upstairs, the dropped ceilings of the downstairs offices were removed and all air handlers and ducts were removed. A custom-designed air and heating system was installed, allowing for the highest efficiency while preserving the historical integrity of the building.
All air handlers were installed in closets to provide proper isolation. The system provides 4 tons of cooling to the downstairs offices and storage areas and 1.5 tons of cooling for the Guest Suite.
All the downstairs rooms were framed up with drywall to nine and ten foot ceilings, as would be common in a building of the period. One of the downstairs offices was converted into a two room Guest Suite with street level private entrance. A full bath with shower was installed.
Both downstairs offices had bathrooms which were remodeled with the installation of beadboard and wainscoting, as well as period sinks and fixtures. An additional double Men’s bathroom was converted to a storage area. The two room west entrance area was converted into one large room after proper support beams were installed.
The area, now called “The Vestibule,” serves as an additional entrance and sitting area, with all four walls lined with book cases.
The wooden portions of the building that frame the entrances downstairs were replaced with HardyPlank to extend their life. Extensive reworking of various walls and other areas were undertaken to strengthen the structure. This included removing termite damage, mold and rotted timbers.
Extensive mortar repair and tuckpointing were undertaken to the exterior brick, a process that because of cost and timing, is on-going. Future plans include the installation of a metal antique fence and replacement of all upstairs windows with versions that utilize the curved structure of the Romanesque decorative window design. The building you see today is 95% completed.