The Guest House
Welcome to the guest house! The oldest building on the property, this structure had seen better days when we purchased our Eastern Shore home in 2003. We were fully prepared to tackle the renovations to the main house – a well-built structure constructed in 1928, but 250-year-old brick house connected to the main house by a breezeway? Well, that was a different story. It became clear early on that it would be less expensive to demolish the house and start anew rather than modify the existing building. At the end of the day, the home’s history and character prevailed and we decided to move forward with the renovations for our future guest house, a labor of love on our part. Want to learn more about the history of Lombardy? You can read it here!
More than a face-lift
Built by amateurs and altered several times, this building was once a kitchen dependency supporting the main house. When we purchased the property almost 15 years ago, the guest house needed more attention than any other. The mortar was crumbling, the joists were rotted and the foundation had begun to fail. The floor was sagging as much as one foot in places (from inside the house, you could see daylight where the walls and flooring should have met). The building was deemed structurally unsound and, unfortunately, the only thing salvageable inside the house was a portion of the flooring.
Labor of Love
As with all of our renovations, we enlisted the assistance of Washington DC architect, David Neumann of Neumann, Lewis, and Buchanan. Restoration of the 1500 square foot residence began with underpinning the structure and replacing or sistering the floor framing members. On the exterior, new jack arches were fabricated for the masonry openings and the entire house was re-pointed. New custom wood windows by Marvin Windows and Doors replaced all the existing metal storms, mid-20th-century windows, and formerly bricked-up openings. Chimney flues were lined and made operational. As with all the buildings on the property, the house received new plumbing, wiring, heating and air-conditioning systems, paint, roofing, and gutters. The building was carefully braced while almost everything within the shell was rebuilt.
If we are at Lombardy, our little brick home is in use. Our guests tell us that they love spending a mini-vacay in the guest house. Geographically desirable (it’s adjacent to the main house kitchen and the pool) and uber comfy (lux bedding, blackout shades, kitchenette, and rain shower heads), it is always easy to find tenants. Lately, our college age kids and their friends hang out in there. If you follow me on Instagram, then you know that I’ve dubbed it the “frat house”. We have never regretted our decision to renovate this building and salvage 250 years of patina at Lombardy.
Next up, we take a look inside!