The reconstruction of the guesthouse
The construction of the guesthouse and garage which is attached to the main house was completed in 1939. It was a modest little apartment, just one room with electricity but no indoor plumbing. A well was located behind the garage and an outhouse was near the house on the opposite side. Hay was piled high on the ceiling for insulation.
Between the garage and the apartment was a little corridor which had been used for a chicken house. We would renovate the apartment by converting the corridor into a bathroom and kitchen.
After getting our permits for reconstruction, we started working on the guesthouse in 2005. Since then we have continued on and off between other projects but have never finished it. The original structure was in terrible shape when we bought the property. The ceiling was rotten from water damage and insect infestation. We hired help to pull down the ceiling and repair the roof. Then new timbers had to be lifted into place. That was the most difficult job of the renovation. One of the beams was more than 9 meters (30 feet) long. We had to knock a hole through the front exterior wall, built a platform outside in the courtyard then with the help of six strong men we inched the beam into place.
Once the roof was safe to work under we opened the wall between the apartment and the corridor, later building arches above the two passages. Then we closed off the kitchen with a low wall and a window and built another wall for the bathroom on the other end of the corridor. The apartment only has windows on the front side of the buildings so we decided to put a window in the kitchen wall to allow light to pass through the corridor to illuminate the hallway on the other side. We also installed three windows in the roof on the back side of the building to have more light during the day. The plumbing was installed in the bath and kitchen, and electrical cables were pulled through the walls before they were stuccoed.
Eventually the walls were finished with a rough coated of stucco. The windows and door frames are now in which was the last thing needed to be done before we could put the finishing coat on the walls. This morning a got up at five to begin work before the day got too hot. We are having unusually hot weather this summer. It is now three in the afternoon with the sun shinning brightly and temps up to 95 degree. I’ve stopped working for the day. The weather man says that cooler temperatures are on the way. This should be the last weekend for us to enjoy the heat. I would enjoy the heat if I could lay by a pool and take a swim when I got too hot but I have work to do so would prefer it to be a little cooler.