Progress Report Number Seven
Posted by Stuart and Susannah Macpherson - 15:55 on 06 January 2011
Progress Report Dec 2010
In China it was the year of the Tiger however here at Coul House it was the year of compliance. Coul House has been grandfathered until this year, from so many of the modern regulations, unfortunately for us this year is the deadline for Coul House to become compliant. We have been required to install door closers and intumescent foam strips to thirty-eight of our doors, upgrade our fire alarm system and renew one of our oil tanks. We have also renewed three of the roof pitches with new cross-timber and slates, only sixty-one to go. It looks like Mark our full time roofer/handy man has a job for life!
I finished off last years letter by optimistically saying that, “2010 will see us begin the bedroom and bathroom refurbishment that we have all been looking forward to”. Well it is now December and all we have managed to do is paint eight bathrooms and renew all of the mattresses, duvets and pillows.
So often it seems when we plan to start something that seems fairly straight forward, it ends up escalating into a major project that gets beyond our budget very quickly. Our intention whilst upgrading the bathrooms has been to address the water pressure problems that hamper the enjoyment of having a shower. For those guests that are used to more pressure than Coul House currently offers (which we acknowledge…. is most people) I apologise, I know it causes frustration. Gone are the days of a weekly shower from a damp squib. Most of us these days have become used to being pressure washed daily. Almost all of us have lost the old British art of water temperature regulation first thing in the morning with the advent of thermostatic temperature controls. No more impromptu dancing in the shower as the hot water turns frigid.
So with this is mind we have been quizzing plumbers since March on how best to address these issues. Then came all the new questions….vented or un-vented pressurised water system? Will the old pipes handle the increased pressure? How will you heat the higher volume of water? Are the old boilers efficient enough? Do you have sufficient water pressure being supplied to the building? Is the main water supply pipe coming into the building big enough? Should we replace the boilers with a new wood-burning boiler and if so what type; solid fuel or wood chip? Should we consider solar panels? Are there grants available to assist with this type of capital improvements…………………………? Ahhhhhh.
So many months and several other plumbers later we are still confused, but I believe there is some light at the end of the tunnel (ever the optimist). We have managed to pare it down to a more manageable project by eliminating what I now know we can’t afford. I am currently waiting for the latest solution and the dreaded quotation.
As well as all of the above it has been an extremely busy year here again at the hotel. Once again we have increased the number of visitors and hope to keep our bank manager happy. The tough part starts now with December through to March looking like it will be very quiet. So if you would brush off the snow from you car, clear you drive way and come visit. I will have the log fire on for you and a good meal is never far away with Garry and Gediminas in the Kitchen.
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Dear Stuart, I am writing on behalf of all the participants of the Highland Fling Tour to thank you and your staff for a very warm welcome to Coul House.”
Fiona E. Davies, Sporting Bears Motor Club