...latest updates at the Inn

2019 - A Year of Recovery

Thankfully, the Inn experienced no major damage from the storm. The crawl space beneath the Inn flooded impacting the heating/AC on the ground floor. Since we had to replace the units on the ground floor, we did take the opportunity to upgrade the guest rooms with individual mini-split HVAC units.

Following devastating Hurricane Florence in September 2018, the last year was a time of recovery, rebuilding and regrowth for the Benjamin Ellis House and downtown New Bern. This special town has a history of rising swiftly from disaster and recovery from Hurricane Florence was no exception. Doors to businesses, restaurants and retails shops were reopened just days after the hurricane once power was restored. Renewal and regrowth continues but downtown New Bern is now stronger and better than ever.

Both the Inn building and separate garage on the property did receive some roof damage prompting installation of new roofs. New shingle roof on the garage looks great and ensures no more leaks in the apartment! Garage doors were also replaced with new matching doors which include flood vents thereby minimizing future damage risks due to flooding.

Crews begin removal of old metal estimated to be about 100 years old. Original cedar shingles were still intact under the some parts of the old roof.

New fortified roof being installed using new cool technology materials to improve energy efficiency, structure resiliency and sustainability.

New roof in place gives the Inn a sophisticated new look with a bold color choice. Come check out her new look for yourself!

Unfortunately, our Innkeeper cottage at the back of the property did not fair so well during the hurricane. Two feet of water filled the ground floor of the cottage. (Thankfully we were covered with flood insurance to cover some repairs). Since the cottage required a considerable repairs to the ground floor we decided to take the opportunity for a complete renovation of the entire building. Working with a local architect we redesigned the space to gain more natural light and open living spaces. While excited about the new plans for our Innkeeper cottage, as with many renovation projects what we hoped would be a six month project is dragging on into more than 18 months of waiting and waiting.

Crews at work opening up dormers and tearing out old closets and baths. While removing built-in bookcases damaged from the flooding, we discovered a leak from a window had completely rotted out part of a back wall. Certainly, not what we wanted to find but Hurricane Florence actually helped us discover a serious issue with the cottage structure that could have caused greater problems if left untreated. (Just like in the HGTV shows where opening a wall uncovers bigger problems...)

After experiencing flooding once we are taking no chances for the future and have chosen to raise the cottage. Once new foundation is completed, she will sit one foot above base flood elevation, about four feet higher than before. Hopefully, this will offer some security against flooding from the next big storm to hit North Carolina. Given the severity of storms we've experienced in the past four years it would be nice to have no storm threats for a while.

Meanwhile, watch this space for further updates on renovation of our Innkeeper cottage...to be continued!