What’s New at Creekside

July update

Sue and her sister (Mary) are back with photos and stories of their adventures during their three week trip to Creekside Bed and Breakfast.  I put most of the photos on our Facebook page (see link above), a few select ones will be included here.

    The weather was great for their visit, hovering between 27 and 32c during the day and cooling off to around 18c overnight.  While this would be great for visiting the girls had lots of work to get done so they took the occasional time off from the hectic working and shopping to enjoy the Valley.  

  The work was setting up rooms to get a feel for the final layouts and the furniture. Sue and Mary had a grand time doing this but it was hard work moving beds, chairs, tables and dressers about. You can see the results of their hard work in the attached photos.  Our carpenters were also working hard and the front deck, portico complete with herring bone patterned ceiling is complete.  Both of these jobs have made an enormous difference in the house, I love the portico!  The painters have started on the exterior of the house and it should be complete by mid-August.  This will leave only the interior trim to be completed and a few odd jobs.

  Sue and Mary’s adventures took them to Margretsville on one particular day to enjoy the shore.  They were thrilled when they arrived to see whales breeching  just off shore.  This small harbour also has some beautiful cliffs with breathtaking waterfalls when the tide is out as you can see by the attached photos.  A local also mentioned that seals regularly sun themselves there when the tide is out.  Of course this trip also include shopping, as they moved on to Port George Sue had the urge to stop into a small antique shop and left with three tables, a mirror and a small dresser.  Sue and Mary also went to a local gem of a spot to hike.  “Rock Notch” is a beatiful area with a small river winding through thick woods and babbling over rough rocks.

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Finishing touches

Just received the first couple of update pictures from Sue, things are coming along well.  I especially like the bed and night stands that Sue and Mary found.

July 05, 2010

Sue and her sister (Mary) are heading off to Nova Scotia this week to spend some time decorating, checking the finish work and take more pictures, I (Mike) get to stay out west and work.

We have been getting reports from relatives that check in on our place that the finish and trim is looking beautiful.  I can’t wait for the pictures when Sue and Mary get back at the end of July, I will post them to share as soon as possible after that.

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She Has Come A Long Way

When we last left you, we said that the next steps are plumbing, new septic system and likely a well, then gyproc, finish bathrooms (seven of them!), bedrooms (five of them) and kitchens (two of them), build a three car garage and then finish landscaping and pray for customers.

Well a whole year has past and the plumbing is finished, the electrical is done with the exception of the final hookup, and the gyproc (mudding, taping and sanding) of all three levels are complete. The ceilings of the upper two floors have been painted and stippled, and the hardwood floors are being finished as we write this. The preparing of the bathroom floors for electrical heating and tiles is scheduled for the end of next week. It is so exciting to see the house come together instead of ripping it apart.

Oh Baby…has she come a long way!

While the gyproc, mudding and taping was getting done, I, as all good wives should do from time to time, went Bed and Breakfast shopping and spent some money. I visited some of the local antique stores and found some great finds. 5 dressers, 1890 leather bound Bible, some lamps and some mirrors.


Purchased the dressers for the Bed & Breakfast at local antique shops.

My brother and I went home in June 2009 and installed two windows in the kitchen, two doors (one in the mud/laundry room and another between the sunroom and the library), and we also took all the old boards off the attic floor, added new insulation and put down new plywood.

The attic floor finished, with the exception of the dust settling.

However, all is not good news, as I am sure is true of every renovation.  While, we were putting in the windows and doors we noticed some ‘oopsies’ that the contractors made. While, we were taking out a window and installing the door for the back yard, we found a beehive in between the walls. I wonder how that could have gotten there. The search was not long. The window beside the door had a whole left for Mother Nature to fill, just for fun. Also, we noticed the 6-inch add on to the mud/laundry room (had to add only 6 inches so it could fit properly on the foundation) was made, but no insulation was added between the walls. We took the gyproc off the wall, took the wrong thickness of vapor barrier off and added insulation, put the correct vapor barrier on and installed the door.

One of the contractor’s “oopsies”.

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Initial Work

We get questions often on how our B&B is coming along, so I thought it may be appropriate to send an update on how things are going with our dream…as one of my friends says we remain “cautiously optimistic”.

Initial work (and mistakes)

We are working on a long-term schedule that is turning out to be quite advantageous, the long time between completing specific parts may not be the most efficient from a manpower perspective but it seems to be helping us avoid (some) mistakes. The time affords us a stretch in which to review and plan for the next stage. Some examples are; we had originally thought we would do some straightening of the floors, dig the basement floor down (head space was about five feet originally), add some weeping tile and then start sanding and painting. Thankfully I have had enough involvement in project planning and execution to be very aware that they NEVER go as planned. So I was ready for the issues…Sue might be still feeling the effects though.

I dug a hole in the basement to put blocks in for jacking on so as to straighten a small sag in the floor, the hole was just over two feet square (to fit a couple patio blocks for stability) and about eighteen inches deep. I finished the holes and decided it was supper time (not really but the ground is a combination of rock and clay and I’m old and fat!), when we returned in the morning the holes were full to the top with water…the good news was that now I knew where the water table was. Sue and I discussed options, we also got lots of help and opinions from family and friends and we finally decided to build a new basement on the property and move the house. A couple of the major deciding factors were; Sue had a chance to talk to a lady in the area who was a granddaughter of the couple who built the house, she said she could remember there were always boards on the floor in the basement to keep their feet out of the mud. The other was that the house was a little too close to the road; not terribly close but ideally it would have been further back.

New ICF basement with nine foot walls and sixty feet further from the road…waiting for a house.

We also moved the house to a higher spot a little to the east and left it higher out of the ground (lots of folks felt the urge to comment on how “high” the house was now…lol) to avoid the possibility of future water issues. With the basement issue is resolved, I am left wondering what other surprises an old house could hold. Sue and I had completed some work on an old house, so my next thought turned to the insulation. I was looking for a convenient spot to check for insulation and found that the old chimney on the east side of the house (in the kitchen) had been removed in the attic and second floor but still stood in the kitchen. I decided to pull it down and see if there was insulation behind it; thus accomplishing two jobs at once… there was NO insulation (yes, none at all) behind it. We decided to gut the walls; Sue and I tore all the lath and plaster off the exterior walls on the first floor and my brother John did most of the second floor (while I stayed home and worked, Sue helped him with some on one of her trips). We found that most of the house did have insulation but it was cellulose fiber that was blown in through holes drilled in the outside siding and typical of this material, it had packed down over the years while some areas had been missed altogether. So we decided on blown in, closed cell foam insulation for its benefits.

Let me tell you, tearing out this stuff is a dirty job!

The house is moved onto its new basement, the front sun porch is reconstructed (as the previous owners allowed it to be used as a cat house), the back mud room is reattached and cultured stone is established to the exposed sections of the foundation, in-floor heating has been installed in the basement and some backfill has been completed.

Naming the place was fun also; we originally thought “Applewood Inn” as a couple old apple trees are in the back yard. We then took a liking to the name “Vineyard View B&B” because of the vineyard across the road but a close facsimile of the name was already used, so “Creekside” was born. There is a small creek on the east side of the property that I have fond memories of, in mid-summer you could catch speckled trout out of it and in early spring it would occasionally flood and wash the road out of the campground I grew up on. I am looking forward to checking out the fishing, but not so about the flooding.

Moving Day

My favourite view of the house and property.

Next steps are plumbing, new septic system and likely a well, then gyproc, finish bathrooms (seven of them!), bedrooms (five of them) and kitchens (two of them), build a three car garage then finish landscaping and pray for customers.

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The Beginning of Creekside

I will provide some background for those who may not know it already. Sue and I have always thought we would “move home” some day and so we have been thinking of timing and what to do when we get there.

The idea of a B&B came about through my mother, who ran one for several years. On one of our visits to Nova Scotia we looked around for an appropriate setting and to our liking, in the spring of 2006 an old Victorian house came up for sale. Several things attracted Sue and I to this place more than others; it is a beautiful old house, it seemed to be structurally sound with a young family living in it, it was built in the late 1800s (the year 1892, to be exact) by a local farmer whose family still lives in the area, there was nine acres of land with the house which afforded the country feel we are looking for and it is only four miles from town, a small vineyard is across the road which adds to the properties already country appeal. This house also has a nostalgic allure as the property backs on to the property I grew up on and where Sue and I first met (she was 14, I was 15 …aawwww!). I learned later that my uncle had lived in the house when he was young and had broken his ankle jumping out a second story window… those of you who know John will not be at all surprised to hear that.

With all that said, we bought the house.

As purchased, Spring 2006

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A Little History

Creekside B&B started it’s life as the residence of a local farmer, who built this Victorian-style home in 1892.
Learn more about Creekside B&B’s story…

Meet Sue & Mike

Highschool sweethearts that grew up and were married in the Valley who moved out west and are now drawn back to their east coast roots.
Get to know the Creekside B&B owners…

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