It has been an extremely busy autumn and I am long overdue giving you an update on what we did after the church was moved and put on a new foundation. With the foundation completed we got started on the exterior renovations of the Church on July 28th.
We needed several weeks after moving the church to get all the details worked out and supplies ordered. I did a lot of research and talked to a lot of different people to find out the best course of direction on everything from the choice of siding, best way to restore the windows, most fuel efficient furnace, a restorer for the Pinnacles on the pillars, the right lighting for our interior, and so on.
Importantly, we had to make decisions that would keep us within our budget.
To keep costs down we decided that we would not hire a general contractor to oversee the entire project. We wanted to put that money into quality products in our restoration.
Our contractor on the exterior of the building is Main River Builders Inc., owned by Todd Hannay. It is a crew of five consisting of Todd and his son Tye, Larry Jones, Maurice Daigle and Gaston Gallant. I am happy that we are able to employ small local entrepreneurs to work on our renovations. They are doing a fantastic job for us, and their enthusiasm for this project has been very evident.
The first job they tackled was to remove the stain glass windows and store them until the renovations are complete. The windows were removed, stripped, repaired and painted. We were able to restore the storm windows as well. Another local man – Malcolm Savoy, restored the window framing. Gordon Drew of Moncton installed new glass and glazing into the windows.
The old siding was removed from the entire church in a matter of a couple of weeks. We were all very relieved that there was very little rot and only a few of boards had to be replaced. The siding is completed on the church and the pillars were cladded with new wood.
Deciding on the right type of siding was a critical part of the project. We wanted to ensure that the siding was appropriate and that it would last. A special thanks to Shawn Graham for helping us to obtain reduced pricing on the cost of the siding and accessories which were provided by Cape Cod Siding.
During my research on insulation it was recommended that we don’t fill the core wall in an old building, so we installed 2” Styrofoam on the exterior walls and thermo wrap to seal the building.
At the rear of the building we stripped the old shingles and installed Styrofoam and thermo wrap temporarily as it is our plan to add an extension to the rear of the church for an office, and other uses.
The old moldings on the exterior of the church over the windows were stripped and repainted and they look great!
We installed Lightening Rods on the church, which has an effect on insurance. We have been blessed that the structure has never been struck by lightening given its location on the river and height.
We hired Dawson Campbell to separate all the good foundation stones so that we know just how many we can use in our landscaping. We are researching for possible landscape consultants to give us a landscaping plan. This is an important part of the Restoration, as it adds to the overall look of our Church.
We plan to replace the front doors with historically correct solid wood doors. These will have to be custom made. Thankfully we have the doors from the rear of the church for design reference. I have contacted a company in Nova Scotia that does this type of work. The doors will be installed in 2014.
There are a lot of surprises when restoring an old property, but when the work is finally complete and we see the Church standing proud on the point on the Richibucto River it will all have been worth it!
Stay tuned for an update on the interior restorations.
– Paul Warren