Monday, December 6, 2010

Good Old Days, then, and NOW

The Country Warehouse 2002
Loading Dock Roof Rafters with 3' of snow on the roof.
When we first started looking for a larger building to expand into, we never thought we would ever fit in a building of this magnitude. Plus, all the work that was needed. That was in 2003, seven years ago, and we never seem to stop making improvements. But when we first saw that the Country Warehouse in Pultneyville was actually for sale, we had to take a look. It was rough, but how cool. We had fond memories of shopping at this place when it was called the "Country Warehouse". It had been a shop not too dis-similar to Good Old Days for about 19 years when the owner took ill and had to close the doors. It sat vacant for several years and had started to deteriorate. The winter of 2002/2003 had taken it's toll on the old barns in Wayne County that year and the Warehouse was no exception. The roof had leaked very bad and the water damage was taking it's toll while we were in the buying process. The owner had agreed to have the roof replaced prior to us taking title and this actually saved the structure. However, while the roof was being replaced, the east loading dock roof was under duress from the 3 feet of snow piled on top and gaining more weight every day. I would drive by and watch the roof rafters bend more and more each day. I remember calling the previous owner and warning him that the roof is going to cave in if he doesn't do anything about it. Well, nothing was done about it and as you can see in the next photo, this is what I saw the morning I drove up to it.
Loading Dock Roof Collapsed - Winter 2002
We finally got insurance money to rebuild the roof on the loading dock. We haven't even closed on this building yet when all this has happened but we still had high hopes. Spring was just around the corner.
    We finally closed on the deal and became owners of this huge building. What are we going to do with this place. Our shop at the house was only 900 sq ft. This place is 5000 sq ft. if you don't include the 3rd floor or the basement (10,000 in all). The rest of that Winter and all Spring we had contractors helping us spruce it up and repairing structural issues. When the weather outside warmed up, I started on the huge task of repairing, replacing, and painting the exterior.

Painting the South End - June 2003

Starting with a pressure washer, we washed the whole exterior and washed off much of the old loose and weathered paint. After letting it dry for a couple weeks, we started applying the paint. This task took weeks. But after 40 gallons of wall paint and a couple of gallons of trim, we finally got it completed. What a difference some paint can make.
1st Floor - Cleaning Up
Being new to the community, all the neighbors who walk around the block would watch the progress and stop and chat with us. Everyone was wondering what we were going to be when we open the doors. However when the exterior was finally completed we received a ton of compliments from the grateful neighbors who finally had the eyesore removed, well at least most of it.
The interior was another project that required weeks of cleaning. We filled 3 huge 20' dumpsters with just junk that was left inside. It took a small army of helpers, thanks to family and friends, but we finally got the inside cleaned out and a fresh coat of paint on all the walls. All these months of work and we dont even have one thing to sell yet.
New Paint Job - 2003

So with the first floor cleaned up, painted, and ready to go, we set out to find all the merchandise we will need to fill this place. In keeping with our "start small" plan, we would only open the first floor until we felt we were doing strong enough to be able to expand into the 2nd floor. So in September of 2003 we opened our doors with our Grand Re-Opening and never looked back.
We had the good fortune to be located in a good area, in a great building, and in a great community. So the business took off and it wasn't long before I needed to tear off that old shed roof on the north side. That old shed was falling apart. The roof had huge holes in it and the neighbor kept propping up boards against the side to keep it from falling over. So the time came to tear that shed off and fix up the new exposed north end.
Old Shed on North end of the Country Warehouse
It came down in 4 hours and was trucked away. The north end never looked so good.
Starting to convert the loading dock into a side porch
Framed in the side porch
A few years went by and we needed some more space. We looked at using the side porch (loading dock) at some point so we decided it was time to close it in. So, in the winter of 2007 while we were closed, I framed in the loading dock, added windows, insulated, dry walled, wired, painted, carpeted and we were ready to go by our Spring Open House in 2008.
Side Porch Completed Spring - 2008

For a few years the shop looked quite nice. New paint, great landscaping, nice lawn etc.. but it wasn't long until the paint started to blister. It started slowly but after 5 years all those gallons of paint we put on had lost it's protective qualities and the old cedar siding had started to crack, split, and curl. We tried repairing it, patching it, re-painting in spots but it was time to replace the siding. We knew this was no small task. For 2 years we searched for grants and tax incentives and finally gave up and bit the bullet ourselves. In the Summer of 2010 we decided on the color scheme and sent the job out for bids. We accepted a bid from a contractor we did business with before so we started out on the new Good Old Days face-lift.
Windows, Insulation, & Siding added in Fall of 2010

If we were going to replace the siding, now is the time to add the insulation to the outside and also to replace all the windows. So the complete exterior was wrapped, insulated with DOW board, had brand new windows replaced, and re-sided. All the windows were wrapped with aluminum.

Good Old days Country Shop - Job Done!

Just before the snow started to fly, the workers packed up their tools and moved on, as they had completed their tasks.
We couldn't be happier with the outcome. The shop is quieter, warmer, easier to heat, looks better, and best of all, will never need painting again.

1 comment:

  1. Although I am not considered a "neighbor" I pass by your beautiful store everyday on my way to work - and I marveled at all the improvements you've made over the years. Bravo and well done, and I wish you many, many years of continued growth and success!!!