En-suite Upgrade

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Highlands John's picture
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Who would have thought putting in a new shower cubical  and hand basin could have been so much hard work. We started Friday, had 5 clear days and it went right up to the wire. We were literally shampooing the carpet and sealing the shower tray yesterday afternoon and the guests arrived for that room at 4.30.

The plasterboard (drywall) had to all come off because it was wet behind the old shower, the vinyl flooring was a pain to put down just because of the shape of the room, but the biggest problem we had was becuase the new hand basin is larger than the old one the pedestal sits further away from the wall, the old pedestal was just a curved with no back, but the new one has a solid back with a whole in the bottom for the pipes, except the pipes and hole don't match up. We couldn't move the pipes so we ended up hiring an angle-grinder and cutting away part of the base of the pedestal.

Oh well, it's all done now, except for the new radiator which I will put in when we have less bookings (Jan/Feb). Hope the guests appreciate it.

Just got to work out how we're going to market these changes to make back the cost.

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Joey Camb's picture
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Im counting down to starting on my top landing building project which will make us all en-suite and 2 brand new bathrooms! It won't be cheap but it will make such a difference! plus save my sanity on the private bathroom conversation! 8th of Feb wish me luck!

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Two years ago we flew into FLA and had to rent a car, the car we rented was not there (Miami) and we were given another one to rent with hand crank windows...I didn't even think they made them like this anymore!

Then we hit all the tolls on the freeway, it was a joy... NOT! Stop every mile and pay $.35 cents, what the heck! We were so ticked. Then the lights were stuck on HIGH BEAM as we went across Alligator Alley in the dark and had every oncoming car BLASTING US with their horn and tossing out obscenities.

Yeah, great trip.

Old ladies driving 25mph on the freeway and young guys driving 125mph in Ferraris on the same freeway.  I was a nervous wreck after that...

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Arks's picture
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In the late 50's my sister and her high school friends would drive around town in the summer with their windows up just to make other people think they had an air conditioned car.

But by my time, in the early 70's, I didn't know anybody here in Arkansas who didn't have an air conditioned home and air conditioned car. I remember being amazed when my Indiana cousins would visit in the summer in cars with no air conditioning, but they explained that it was only hot a couple of weeks way up north so A/C didn't seem necessary. But now they all have it.

Likewise, A/C and automatic transmission and ice in drinks were always pretty much unheard of in Europe through the 90s because of their more moderate climate, but I'm starting to see all those things a bit more common now when I visit over there.

I guess as the world becomes more prosperous and advanced, they're all finally getting the things we "prosperous, advanced Arkansans" had in the 1960s! We, who've always ranked #49 or #50 in all ratings of wealth, education, and every other measure of civilization except A/C, automatic transmission, and ice!

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Hillbilly's picture
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Arkansawyer wrote:

In the late 50's my sister and her high school friends would drive around town in the summer with their windows up just to make other people think they had an air conditioned car.

But by my time, in the early 70's, I didn't know anybody here in Arkansas who didn't have an air conditioned home and air conditioned car. I remember being amazed when my Indiana cousins would visit in the summer in cars with no air conditioning, but they explained that it was only hot a couple of weeks way up north so A/C didn't seem necessary. But now they all have it.

Likewise, A/C and automatic transmission and ice in drinks were always pretty much unheard of in Europe through the 90s because of their more moderate climate, but I'm starting to see all those things a bit more common now when I visit over there.

I guess as the world becomes more prosperous and advanced, they're all finally getting the things we "prosperous, advanced Arkansans" had in the 1960s! We, who've always ranked #49 or #50 in all ratings of wealth, education, and every other measure of civilization except A/C, automatic transmission, and ice!

But you guys are the most down to earth carrying people. Im just a few miles from the top of your state. Plus everyone says you guys make the best Moonshine! So they can throw that ranking system out the window! Cheers to great people!

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Arks's picture
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Bob wrote:

But you guys are the most down to earth carrying people. Im just a few miles from the top of your state. Plus everyone says you guys make the best Moonshine! So they can throw that ranking system out the window! Cheers to great people!

Thanks. Your kind words help soften the impact of the Razorback's poor football season.

Have never had moonshine, that I know of, but it is certainly a tradition of some here, passed down from original settlers who came to these old hills over 200 years ago.

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Arkansawyer wrote:

Bob wrote:

But you guys are the most down to earth carrying people. Im just a few miles from the top of your state. Plus everyone says you guys make the best Moonshine! So they can throw that ranking system out the window! Cheers to great people!

Thanks. Your kind words help soften the impact of the Razorback's poor football season.

Have never had moonshine, that I know of, but it is certainly a tradition of some here, passed down from original settlers who came to these old hills over 200 years ago.

 

the first time I ever tasted moonshine the uncle of my prev was offering it to the prev. It was in a vodka bottle and I had heard vodka had no taste (I thought it WAS vodka). When it was refused, it was offered to me and I said sure, I would try it. Being ignorant of booze, I took a drink and headed for the nearest faucet I could suck!! Since then I have sipped moonshine at our local distillery. You feel it all the way down and when it hits, start looking for MORE!!! It really IS good!!

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The first time I ever tried some, it felt like it had warmed the ends of my hair! And I was looking for more-- goooood stuff... Smiling

Joey Camb's picture
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AC is becomming more comon in cars in europe due to the fact it clears the windows very quickly if you steam up - it is about 5 days a year in the UK where you actually use it for keeping cool in the car!

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Arkansawyer wrote:

We, who've always ranked #49 or #50 in all ratings of wealth, education, and every other measure of civilization except A/C, automatic transmission, and ice!

I don't have A/C or an automatic. We just got an ice maker for our fridge. My philosophy always was 'one more thing to fix'. The fewer things I owned the less I had to worry about figuring out how to fix them. I do have a college degree, tho! And the wealth of good friends! And I'm happy. Can't ask for more than that.

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gillumhouse's picture
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I got my first car with A/C in 1989. DH kept saying we did not need it. I had said the right thing to the wrong boss and got transferred to a facility 26 miles from home (instead of 13) and this put me on the Expressway 6-lane parking lot in construction season. I informed DH I was NOT going to commute without A/C - the only time I ever put my foot down about a car!

Arkie - we here in WV understand your rankings. Mississippi, Arkansas, and West Virginia seem to always be in contention for the bottom of the barrel with good stuff BUT we are right at the top if it is the bad stuff.

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gillumhouse wrote:

Arkie - we here in WV understand your rankings. Mississippi, Arkansas, and West Virginia seem to always be in contention for the bottom of the barrel with good stuff BUT we are right at the top if it is the bad stuff.

It often amazes me how our little states are represented here on Innspiring, but so many states with huge populations have not a soul here. Just shows that high quality folk can live anywhere! Smiling

Can we say that this topic has officially been hijacked now?

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Speaking of upgrades and updating website/room pix, I just saw this for a B&B about an hour 30 from us and it made me chuckle

"All rooms have televisions and VCRS."

NO KIDDIN'? YA GOT VCRS! Wow...in 2012 in a world where most people can stream movies on their phones...this may be one of those times to either be 100% country, ie no tvs or get with the program. I thought it was funny.

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Even with cable and HBO & Showtime available here, the guests did watch the complimentary DVDs and movies that were available to them.  Streaming movies can be slow and have problems if you have a good number of folks sharing a WiFi network (happened when we stayed at an inn this Fall and I was watching something on Netflix). 

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Joey Bloggs wrote:

Speaking of upgrades and updating website/room pix, I just saw this for a B&B about an hour 30 from us and it made me chuckle

"All rooms have televisions and VCRS."

There's a motel near here that still advertises "Air Conditioning" and another one that has "Color TVs" on their sign, as if those are still out of the ordinary.

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Arkansawyer wrote:

Joey Bloggs wrote:

Speaking of upgrades and updating website/room pix, I just saw this for a B&B about an hour 30 from us and it made me chuckle

"All rooms have televisions and VCRS."

There's a motel near here that still advertises "Air Conditioning" and another one that has "Color TVs" on their sign, as if those are still out of the ordinary.

Just had a guest tell me they were in Montreal last summer during the heat wave. Where did they eat? The place that advertised A/C. Not that most places didn't have it, but they didn't advertise it.

We get the question all the time in the summer because it didn't used to be necessary to have A/C here in the summer.

i think what happens with those signs is they go up and never come down.

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We have always had window AC's in our suites and cottage for the few days we used to have hot nights.  But after last summer and the likelihood of continued warmer-than-we-are-used-to summers we are upgrading to split AC with the condensers outside and quiet, efficient units mounted on the wall.  We will put one unit in our part of the house as well so cooking breakfast can be bearable all summer.  The heat and humidity just about did me in last summer and I vowed to make this a more comfortable home/B+B even though we will probably never get our money back from the B+B part.

We have many friends who have B+B's with no AC...they still insist that the sea breeze will keep things cool.  But looking to the future, I think they are dreaming!

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Madeleine wrote:

Arkansawyer wrote:

Joey Bloggs wrote:

Speaking of upgrades and updating website/room pix, I just saw this for a B&B about an hour 30 from us and it made me chuckle

"All rooms have televisions and VCRS."

There's a motel near here that still advertises "Air Conditioning" and another one that has "Color TVs" on their sign, as if those are still out of the ordinary.

Just had a guest tell me they were in Montreal last summer during the heat wave. Where did they eat? The place that advertised A/C. Not that most places didn't have it, but they didn't advertise it.

We get the question all the time in the summer because it didn't used to be necessary to have A/C here in the summer.

i think what happens with those signs is they go up and never come down.

Hey A/C used to be a luxury, even in cars.

I grew up where it is hot much of the time and there were no air conditioners, same in Australia, no one had them (and that was in the 90's). No one cooks Christmas dinners like they see in the movies or Christmas Cards as it is too stinkin' hot in the summer, you can't even BE IN THE HOUSE, that is why you eat prawns on the beach. (Being summertime). 

When we were in Pittsburg a couple Decembers back and went to the zoo in the snow and all over the place, we did it. But here, if it is snowing I won't go outside other than what I have to. And yet, so many people live in cold temps and snow. We are wimps! Pure and simple. This house has high ceilings and a big porch for the weather, it has southern exposure for the weather. Now houses are built so insulated and efficient and we still need the a/c and heat throughout. Smiling 

 

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Joey Bloggs wrote:

Hey A/C used to be a luxury, even in cars.

My car doesn't have A/C. Heat, yes. A/C, no. I did get electric windows this time. My last car had crank windows. Boy, now that is something I'm glad has gone the way of the dodo (almost). It's really hard to crank the windows up and down on the opposite side of the car on the interstate.

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what car comes without AC today? I am curious.

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EmptyNest wrote:

what car comes without AC today? I am curious.

A very old Mazda.

gillumhouse's picture
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Special orders. Our 1989 was the first car we ever just bought off the lot. DH always ordered with specific do not needs so why spend the money on it such as A/C, tape deck, etc. It had a heater, a radio, and a heavy duty engine heater hook-up - we were in Illinois near the Arctic Circle called Chicago.

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Arkansawyer wrote:

Joey Bloggs wrote:

Speaking of upgrades and updating website/room pix, I just saw this for a B&B about an hour 30 from us and it made me chuckle

"All rooms have televisions and VCRS."

There's a motel near here that still advertises "Air Conditioning" and another one that has "Color TVs" on their sign, as if those are still out of the ordinary.

Oddly enough I used to have the word TV's on our amenity list and had people calling to make sure we had cable to watch sports, cable news, weather channel or American Idol.  So I was forced to add "CABLE" TV to the listing.

I was talking to Dad about the time we finally got a color tv...we were hot stuff! Bonanza in color!

gillumhouse's picture
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The first time Wizard of Oz was broadcast on TV (late 1950s) many of us on the road trouped down to the Jones house because they had a (gasp) COLOR TV!! Most of us were lucky to have a B & W TV (I think we got our B & W in 1955 or 1956).

Joey Camb's picture
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I remember our first VCR - we were way ahead of the curve - you had to have a man come out and install it. = When I got my first place many years later I installed my TV, VCR etc all by myself and proudly told my sister - she said "didn't it come with a man?" I will remeber that till I die! I just have this mental image of you open the box and a man pops out and installs it for you!

gillumhouse's picture
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I let the deconstructor talk me into tile in the "old" bathroom when we created the "new" bathroom. It looks great and no cracks - but it added 2 days labor to my bill (I had planned on lino). When they got to the new bathroom, it was decided the weight of the cement board under the tile, the tile, and the claw-foot tub filled with water and a person might possibly be too much for the structure. They wanted to put beams under the floor - meaning in my bedroom! I said no. The new bathroom has lino and I think it is quite nice enough - I have had many comments on how pretty it is. I do not think it is as cold as the tile either. This old house refuses to retain warmth in winter - kind of refuses to warm up. The upstairs rooms do get warmer because #1 each has an electric baseboard heater (including bathrooms) and #2 the doors are kept closed to contain the heat.

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We wanted to replaced a floor in one of our baths with tile and discovered there was a 'crawl space' entrance to get to that particular bathroom pipes and that was the only way to get to them! Also discovered there was an old pipe that had been cut off sometime before we bought the place 9 yrs ago, and all the water from the sink was draining out it and under the house into the ground. Also the pipes directly under the drain had come apart and was draining onto the ground! ended up going with vinyl that we could lift up..

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Highlands John's picture
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My worry with tiles on floor boards is that guests will drop heavy things on them and crack the tiles. That's why we went with lino.

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All but two of our baths have tile floors.  We bought the highest quality Italian ceramic tile when we did our bath remodelings in our house (4).  No problems whatsoever including our personal bath where I'm a total klutz.  We did have tiles crack in one bath from a bad installation and I had to really go after the tile company to re-do it.  I do recommend that you do not use light colored grout if you install tile flooring (we used a medium color grout that worked out great).

 

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We have tile in several of our bathrooms and nothing was ever broken to my knowledge.

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We have ceramic tile throughout and not once have they been damaged.

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Highlands John wrote:

My worry with tiles on floor boards is that guests will drop heavy things on them and crack the tiles. That's why we went with lino.

Never has happened here in our bathrooms. We have marble, ceramic and other tiles. Tiles hold up well if installed correctly. 

Highlands John's picture
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That's good to know, maybe we'll go with tiles when we do the next bathroom.

Madeleine's picture
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We've had a fair amount of that. In one bathroom we have lino tiles and in another really small tiles. It seemed to be the larger tiles that cracked.

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You never get it back. But you can feature it on the blog, the new reno's and people might like to book that room more than the others. Smiling

We are finishing off a private deck area near our cottage and I seriously stood there and said "Is it worth an additional $300 to have the brown vs the grey "trex" decking?" it is already costing $1000 for the bits and pieces to do this job. 

I had to laugh looking at the material for this decking material, it is made from recycled plastic shopping bags, I thought to myself "I wonder if in my 9 years running this inn if I could have had enough bags to make this decking?"

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With these older 'retro-fitted' houses, you never know what you're going to run into. Bathroom upgrades are always worthwhile, though I can certainly relate to problems! We started to replace a tile floor. Simple job, right? NOT! The sub-floor was a mess and it's still not completed! UGH.

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