It’s official! The restoration of our little house by the ferry starts in less than three months.
Since there’s so much to be done, we’ve divided the work into several phases. Phase one — constructing a new foundation directly behind the existing structure, raising and moving the house back onto it and adding a small, covered front porch — begins in early January. Winter is a good time for this work, since the weather’s cooler and rain delays are less likely.
Shifting the house back on the property will give us a little more privacy and allow room for a little porch from which to enjoy afternoon drinks and sunrises over Settlement Creek.
More importantly, though, it will provide extra elevation, which will hopefully translate into added protection against flooding.
In October 2012, during Hurricane Sandy, Settlement Creek overflowed its banks. Most of the eastern end of town, including the ferry dock and our street, were submerged. Though Fish Hooks is already a few feet above street level, the creek rose high enough that water seeped through our floor. Since it’s predicted that sea levels will continue to rise in future, we’re eager to achieve as much extra elevation as possible.
I won’t pretend that the idea of picking up and moving my grandmother’s childhood home doesn’t make me a little queasy. But our contractors Oral and Jason Bethel come highly recommended and we’re putting our faith in them.
Still, I’ve warned Tom that I may not have the nerve to watch, and I may leave him to oversee the move while I distract myself with some of the other items on our lengthy project list.
Since we want to keep as much of Fish Hooks’ original furniture as we can, we need to replace the settee cushions and make new covers for them, refinish a few lamps and repair/refinish the old wooden dining table and chairs we found in the cottage.
I also want to spend some time in Marsh Harbour, investigating what’s available locally in terms of furnishings, fixtures, appliances and housewares and figuring out what, if anything, we’ll need to import.
Now that our start date is confirmed, next steps include working with Jason and Oral to finalize plans for the new foundation and porch, and securing the necessary building permits. Fingers crossed, the latter process will be simple and straightforward.
In the meantime, here are a few “before” photos of Fish Hooks. Some of these images were shot in 2006 during Tom’s first visit to Green Turtle Cay. At that time, the cottage had been vacant for the better part of a decade and was in serious disrepair. Other photos were taken in 2009 and 2013, and they reflect some of the repairs our friends Mark and Caroljean Lowe made while using the cottage for their golf cart rental company, Kool Karts.
Related: We’ve Hooked the Small One, Fish Hooks Update: The Inspection, Attic Archaeology, Fish Hooks Video Diary: A Solid Start, Fish Hooks Video Diary: The Cellar, Fish Hooks Video Diary: Beam It Up, Fish Hooks Video Diary: Ready, Set…, Fish Hooks Video Diary: The Move.