On a recent, rare, rainy day here on Hatteras, I took the opportunity to take a break and sit out on the large covered porch of the Inn, to listen to the raindrops on the roof, and write an update on our adventures here in Hatteras….
Taking on the renovation and restoration of an almost 100 year old inn, on one of the most southerly, inhabited parts of the Outer Banks, was never going to be easy….I suppose that’s one of the attractions for me and my crazy , adventurous nature. When others say something will be difficult or can’t be done, it’s a sure-fire way of getting me hooked into a new challenge.
In this particular project, maybe being Scottish also helps, growing up in a country where there are more ancient, centuries-old castles and farms (many still lived in), than you can count, 100 year old structures don’t seem that old to me . My hometown of Ayr is extremely old - named a “freetown/burgh on May 21st, 1205, there is evidence that the area was even occupied briefly by the Romans around AD 142!!
I thought you might like to see some of the places I was fortunate enough to grow up around:
The beach at Greenan Castle was one of my favorite picnic spots
Living only a few miles from Burns Cottage, it was practically compulsory to learn Robert Burn's poetry in our school (he wrote "Auld Lang Syne). If you have some time, his poetry is kind of cool (although I didn't think so as a child) and is worth checking out. Much of it is written in old Scottish, which can be difficult to pronounce/understand, but beautiful none the less
Culzean Castle was another firm favorite of mine to visit
When we bought the Inn, we hoped for the best, but were also acutely aware of the work that lay ahead – that every project, no matter how small, insignificant or simple it may seem, once begun, could lead to uncovering other much more major work. At the outset of this project, JB and I decided that if we were going to take on the renovation and restoration of the Inn, it would be done properly – no short cuts, no cheap alternatives, no covering up or hiding damage that we found. As you can imagine, with the age of our Inn and the extremes of weather that are experienced on this sandbar in the Atlantic, the property has taken quite a beating over the years – countless hurricanes and storms, multiple shipwrecks, the Great Depression and a world war to name just some of the events the Inn has lived through.
A few weeks ago, the painting crew began power-washing and stripping the peeling paintwork from the exterior of the Inn, when they discovered that one of the front walls (from the original part of the 1928 Inn structure) was uneven – on taking off some of the shingles it was evident that the wood underneath was damaged. After an assessment by our building contractor, it was decided to strip the entire 2 story wall, rebuild that part of the structure, replace the 10 windows, and attach new shingles, before completing the exterior paintwork.
Although this unplanned work has slowed our progress, it has been amazing to watch all the building and restoration work. Over the last few weeks, we’ve had multiple construction crews busily repairing, replacing, building, and painting.
We have continued to use all local contractors to carry out the work on the inn, and they have been absolutely fantastic, extremely skilled, and hard-working, we truly couldn’t have wished for better! With the construction work almost completed, we are now on the final stretch of the external restoration.
On looking out at the large number of vehicles parked in the Inn’s car park one morning, JB commented that he looked forward to the day when the vehicles in our parking spaces were owned by people who were actually paying us to visit, as opposed to us paying them… 😊
Watching the Inn coming back to life is incredible, the freshly painted exterior showcases the Inn’s unique, historical beauty. With new, comfy seating on the front porch, it’s quickly becoming one of my favorite spaces to drink my early morning mug of coffee or to sip a glass of wine and read a book as the sun goes down.
Now, I love before and after pictures, and, as we complete areas of the Inn, both inside and out, we will post them, but I also thought it would be fun to share a few of the “in between” photos – the ones taken when JB and I were usually thinking “OMG, what have we done!!!”
Wanting to do things right, and in keeping with the unique, historical beauty of the Inn, often means that some tasks take longer than expected, which may have pushed back our timelines on opening, but it is super important to us that, when people visit with us at the Inn, they have the best possible experience.
How many times have you fallen in love with the pics of a hotel or inn you’ve seen on their website – beautiful rooms, excellent amenities etc. only to be disappointed when you arrived? The photos had perhaps been “staged” – that perfect shot the made the place look more attractive than it actually was or shot at an odd angle to make the room appear more spacious. Or perhaps the pics were taken some time ago and now the paint has faded, and the furnishings are a little tired and jaded. Our Inn won’t be perfect, it’s unique and a little quirky (not surprisingly as it was the first ever inn built in Hatteras, back in 1928), but we will endeavor to post as many up to date photos, as is possible.
Pics of progress…we’re getting there!! 😊
Deliveries arriving daily now...
We are on first name terms with Fedex, UPS and furniture delivery teams!!!!
Meanwhile...Bailey and Bodie appear to be rather tired out watching all the work going on around them
And it looks as though our painting crew aren't fans of my beloved football team....this is where I found my Dukey pig!!!
JB and I are super excited that the Arran and Bodie Suites are almost ready for guests...here are a few before and after pics 😊
Arran Suite After...
Bodie Suite After...
So, this morning, I was able to take the first photo of the completed exterior paintwork on the front of the Inn....The Atlantic is definitely coming back to life!!!
I hope you like our new pics. As things are finally moving much faster with the renovations, I've already started on the next blog, with even more awesome before and after photos.
In the meantime, I just wanted to let you know that we are already taking reservations for 2021, and we're happy to say that it's looking like it'll be a busy year!!! Bookings can be made directly on our website: https://theatlanticinn.client.innroad.com/
Until next time...take care and stay safe and well 😊