Using Versatex in Historic applications

Americus Garden Inn Bed & Breakfast in Americus, Georgia

The historic Americus Garden Inn Bed and Breakfast was built before the Civil War and is located in Rees Park within the beautiful residential historic district of Americus, Georgia. Dr. Albert Rees was the second doctor to reside in Americus, circa 1834. His wife, the former Sarah H. Lamar, was a member of one of Georgia’s most eminent families. In fact, Lamar Street honors one of her relatives, Mirabeau Bonaparte Lamar (who in 1838 became the president of the Republic of Texas). Dr. Rees acquired substantial real estate holdings shortly after his arrival here and became responsible for developing the neighborhood around the park that still bears his surname, Rees Park. He sold off large lots surrounding the square from 1846 to 1848. James Kelso Daniel bought property from Mr. Rees and built the imposing two-story residence at 504 Rees Park in 1847. Continuously occupied for 150 years, it served during the1860s as the home of William A. Wilson, president of the Furlow Masonic Female College located at the site of the old Furlow Grammar School. Adjoining the house is a smaller structure that was one of the many private academies in Americus prior to the advent of the public schools in 1880. Don and Jodi Miles converted it into The Rees Park Garden Inn. The present owners, Kim and Susan Egelseer, renamed it the Americus Garden Inn Bed & Breakfast.

In December 2010, Kim and Susan decided to replace the siding and trim on their B&B. They chose fiber cement for the siding and cellular PVC for the exterior trim. All residential historic properties within the district of Americus are on the National Register. Thus, all work done to any structure or property had to be approved by the Historic Preservation Commission. Kim chose cellular PVC trim because of its durability, and resistance to moisture (does not rot) and insects (terminates cannot destroy it), There was a reluctance initially to allow the owners to remove the old siding and trim but after the commission saw the selected products and understood their attributes immediate approval was granted. Removing and replacing the old siding probably saved the structure since serious structural problems were hidden behind it in addition to sever wood rot and old termite infestation issues.

One trim on the house that Kim and Susan had difficulty locating was the 3/4” x 5 1/2” edge beadboard wainscoting. Without a commission approved edge beadboard that was a close if not exact match to the existing edge bead profile they would not be able replace this trim component on their house. Kim started calling all of the cellular PVC trim manufacturers to see if they had a profile to match his historic edge beadboard. On the day he called VERSATEX, John Pace, the President and COO answered the telephone. John told Kim he could take VERSATEX standard edge and center beadboard profile and remove the center bead tool to produce the pattern Kim needed for his B&B. John had the moulder operator produce the beadboard pieces without the center bead and sent the samples to Kim for review and approval by the historic preservation commission. The historic commission was happy with the replacement profile stating,“ you have come extremely close to the historic wainscoting board on the house and have the commission’s approval to use it as a replacement for the current wooden beadboard”. Without VERSATEX’s help in getting the beadboard wainscoting approved by the historic commission Kim had two options keep the existing wood wainscoting or try to find a close wood replacement that the commission would approve. Finding a cellular PVC edge beadboard in the exact thickness and width as the wood profile on the house allowed Kim and Susan to complete the exterior upgrade in July 2011.