Renovation Timeline: Final Update - 2012

Armstrong House Project: Restoration


Final Renovation Update

C of O Received March 13, 2012.


During this past autumn and unusually warm winter, the Armstrong house’s low temperature radiant heating system was fully installed and operational supplemented by our Wittus soapstone, wood burning stove. The system performed well and easily kept the residence at a comfortable temperature. The heat recovery ventilation system was also completed and performed well, assisting with the ventilation of the house during the months of interior finishing work.

The interior was painted and the original bead board on the majority of walls was power brushed and oiled multiple times with Tung oil for beautiful effect. The kitchen cabinets were installed as well as all energy efficient appliances. The kitchen, front hallway, and upstairs and downstairs bathrooms floors were finished with Marmoleum flooring, a linoleum product sourced from a Northeast-based manufacturer utilizing low impact manufacturing processes.

All wood floors both upstairs and downstairs were power hand-sanded multiple times with different grits- 80-300 and then finished with Sutherland and Wells Tung Oil. Doors were re-hung and original hardware was refurbished and installed.

The wood burning stove and the connection between the stove pipe and chimney were disassembled and then reassembled to provide ergonomic benefits after a concrete slab was poured and polished to a beautiful shine with multiple grits. Also installed was an outdoor make-up air supply to provide outdoor air to the firebox with the objective of not wasting indoor-heated air which would escape out of the living space through the wood burning stove’s chimney.

After we passed our final inspections and received our Certificate of Occupancy in mid-March, the sub-committee on the Armstrong renovation has been moving forward with a major upgrade to the solar energy system which functioned reasonably well through 4.5 years of construction. This includes tripling the number of the solar electric panels from 8 (1.4KW) to 24 (6KW), substantially increasing storage capacity, installing a parallel pair of state of the art power inverters along with a pair of parallel battery charge controllers. This parallel system improves system performance while adding the safety of redundancy in case of equipment failure. The power inverters convert DC (direct current) power to AC (alternating current) power for standard household use. The charge controllers optimize the flow of electricity in and out of the battery and helps minimize the amount of time the batteries need to be charged by the propane-fired back up generator.

Toward the end of 2011, we replaced a section of the southwest roof because of found leaks, continued our installation of a flagstone patio from re-used collected flagstone and graded around the residence for proper drainage. Late fall and early spring grass seeding and a thorough clean-up of the project site, made the residence fully habitable for our newly hired land steward/educator who came on board on March 1, 2012. Program planning continues with many programs already using the fully renovated Education Center and Residence. Monitoring of the functioning energy systems is anticipated to be in place shortly and will be fully described in our new website to be available for viewing and interaction by mid-summer.