Total Spent So Far: $11,920
Before I dive into this next post, I wanted to put it out there that I’m going to start consistently adding the above heading with the “day” since we started the remodel (May 3rd) and the total spent so far. Should give you some perspective at how fast, or slow we’ve been moving since the last post. The above amount already includes backsplashes (material only for downstairs apartments), granite (material only for downstairs apartments), a ton of yard work to clear our view even more, paint for most of the interior of the house, random tools, doors, new cabinet hardware, several faucets, three new ranges, a new washer and dryer, and probably several other things I haven’t thought of yet.
We’re actually almost done (minus the sink/granite install) with our first apartment out of three. While I feel like we’re moving slower than I’d like, it’s only been 11 days and we’ve been spending more than $1k/day on average… so I don’t know how we’d go any faster really and I’m actually happy with our progress so far.
Besides the intense amount of “demolition” I’ve done on the old kitchen cabinets and counter tops preparing for the granite and backsplash install, and the painting and new hardware installed throughout the first apartment, the other thing that’s been done that has been very impressive is the amount of “bush work” that has been done along the sides of our cliffs (both the Eastern and Southern cliffs) .
These guys have been at it tirelessly for three days straight and have cleared out about 15′ down the mountain side to open our view from the 20′ tall Tan Tan trees that grow like weeds. I thought our view was amazing before but now it’s really impressive.
We also have quite a bit more yard than we expected after we cut back the overgrown bushes and grasses on the land that had been previously cleared out.
This was a pleasant surprise as the dogs have a lot more room to roam.
It’s All in the Name: Windchime Estates
Originally our plan has been to name our property Waitiki Villa all along, in honor of the place Shaleece and I first met. The story can be found here on our blog. After purchasing the property however, we had the opportunity to speak to the previous owner, Tom, who told us the rich history of home and it’s previous owners, including the man who built it.
We’re now planning to name our happy abode Windchime Estates, although plans for Waitiki’s inclusion on the estate still exist.
In 1972 the home was originally built by a sail maker, Ralph. Ralph’s son, Ralph Jr. later inherited the property from his late father, whom much like his father was a sailer through and through. Ralph owned a boat named Windchime, which was a 39′ Trimaran that he sailed the world twice with, and where he met his best friend Tom (also a sailer) in the South Pacific. One day, in the late 80’s Ralph had taken Windchime on a charter with nine people out to Buck Island (viewed from our home.) Upon the way back the wind died, and without power, Windchime drifted into what is known as Round Reef, the reef that protects Christiansted Harbor (also viewed from our home.)
Ralph lost the boat that day on Round Reef, within view from his own home. He saved many parts from the boat in hopes to rebuild her one day. Shortly thereafter in 1989 Hurricane Hugo ripped through the Caribbean decimating St. Croix and tearing the roof off of Ralph Jr.’s home as well as a wall built for his outdoor living space.
Ralph later used the masts from Windchime as the headers for these walls in the re-construction of his home, which are still seen today. Ralph willed the home to his best friend he met in the South Pacific, Tom, who 10 year’s later sold the home to us. Besides this amazing story rich with history, the wind never stops blowing at the high elevation where we are at. We thought it only right to name the property after the boat for multiple reasons since we know the history, can see the masts in it’s construction, can literally see the place it sailed and wrecked, and more than likely will hang windchimes from them since the breeze will always play us a tune.
We also found on the back door of the generator room a hand written note, taped to the back of the door. Simply put it said “Do Not Lock! We Don’t Have a Key for This Door!” – Why is this important you ask? Well, it was written on a piece of paper from the early 80’s it appears with a header that included the Windchime Trimaran’s logo from Ralph’s chartering business. So cool to find this vintage piece! We plan to pay homage to this logo now and have a sign created with it at our front entrance gate to identify the property.
We decided to keep going with the names since we’re planning to rent out the bottom apartments as short term rentals for easy identification of the three apartments; we named each of them based on additional ideas which we thought made some sense.
Apartment 1 is on the South West corner of our property facing a large mountainous view with a deep reaching valley, covered in forest. This forest is called Windsor’s Forest. Well past Windsor’s forest you can see the South shore and at night, the twinkling lights of houses across the forest on the other side of the island beneath the stars. This apartment is a small efficiency which we feel most who stay there will only come home to “rest” rather than to hang out. We named this apartment, Windsor’s Rest.
Apartment 2 is in the middle, facing South. We’ve gotten many comments that Shaleece looked like a Mermaid in our underwater engagement photos which lead to many other mermaid discussions, items for her bridal shower, and well – quite frankly mermaids are everywhere on St. Croix… so we dubbed this apartment The Mermaid.
Apartment 3 is on the East end of our home, and has what we consider the best view, with the most ocean and a clear central (almost framed) look at Buck Island. It will also open up to our infinity edge pool over the cliff when we finish with it, so rightfully so we named this, the largest apartment, The View.
Finally, last but definitely not least, we decided since we met at Waitiki (a bar in Orlando) that our Pool Bar, which will be held right on the cliff, with seats in and out of the pool, will be dubbed Waitki. I’m sure Shaleece and I will wander down at times and have a drink, to celebrate “us” the way we did the first night we met. Today we actually found “his and hers” Waitiki solar light up statues. They are awesome and we weren’t sure if we’d find them again later so we bought them, even though their final resting place won’t be finished for quite some time. We’re keeping them in the box put away until the pool bar is done.
That’s all for now. More to come soon! For Now, More Photos!