Hidden Bend Retreat, Romney West Virginia

Romney, WV

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Guesthouse Started

Donna and I have decided to have a guesthouse built next to our existing house. Hoping this will make it easy for family and friends to visit yet still have some space of their own. Plan is for a contractor do do the framing and the rough in for the electric and plumbing, then Donna and I will either take care of the rest or hire others to finish the house. We were going to have one builder do the whole thing but after running the numbers, we think we can save a substantial amount (about 20%) by taking on some of the work ourselves and handling the general contractor role.

We've selected the builder, the same people that did the pavilion for our patio project. We have been really impressed with their work and their approach, hopefully we'll feel the same when the framing is done. Here's the floor plan, we'll have 2 bedrooms and two baths, then a kitchen/great room area. House will be built on a crawl space. We're going to save a bit of money by connecting this house to our existing well. The house will have a covered porch along the entire front so should be a nice spot to sit when the weather is cool.

We're thinking it will take 45-60 days or so to get the house dried in, then our work will start. Hoping to have it ready for guests by spring at the latest but you never know! We've received a number of estimates for things like flooring, HVAC, insulation, and dry wall that have seemed surprisingly affordable so we may end up with others doing more of the work that we originally planned.

As of now, Donna and I will be doing the external siding, all the paint and trim, setting the kitchen cabinets/counters, the final electric, and setting some of the plumbing fixtures. The rough in plumber will install the tub/shower in one bath and the shower unit in the second bath as part of their work so that will make things easier as well. We're going to use board and batten siding to match the other buildings we have but the good news is that this is a single story on relatively level ground so should be pretty straight forward. 

Went with the contractor this morning to the local county planning office and applied for the building permit, a bit of paperwork but the county was very easy to work with. Hopefully we'll have the permit in a week or so as the contractor would like to start excavation on the crawl space late next week if possible.

We've already started work on the septic system, here are some pictures of the install. The only thing remaining to do is to cover the tank and drain field after the final inspection which we hope will be tomorrow.

The tank is 1,000 gallons and the drain field has two sections, each about 90' in length. The good news is that the installer was able to get a Type 1 septic system approved even though we have a lot of shale that can cause drainage issues. This makes the system much more simple and less expensive. For our log house, we weren't able to get a Type 1 system and had to go with a more complicated version that uses pumps and dosing- the guest house will is a traditional gravity fed system.

Will try to keep the blog updated as we move forward. We're also starting to keep our eyes open for furnishings or other supplies we'll need over the next few months.


  1. Spring break sounds like a nice time for a road trip! :)

  2. Sounds good, we'll try to be ready by then!!