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20180309_120052

Dear Smith Hui Members,

This year’s President’s Report is coming late. I was scheduled to spend a few days in the Outer Banks visiting my Dad in March, so I decided to delay this message until I inspected the beach house and could give a detailed report. 

Flood Repairs Phase 2

When 2017 began, our beach house was still recovering from the damage done by Hurricane Matthew in 2016. Phase 2 of that restoration project began in February 2017. Installed new insulation, put up dry wall, painted laundry floor, replaced paneling, installed moulding, painted, etc., in the damaged areas on the ground floor. 

The dehumidifier that was installed during the flood abatement is still located in the ground floor entry area, with a drainage hose leading to the drain in the laundry room. The instructions for the dehumidifier state that it should not be operated in a laundry room due to the increased humidity caused by clothes dryers. So please keep the humidifier in the entry area. It is currently off because conditions were cold and dry, but I encourage occupants to turn it on as we approach the more humid summer months. 

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We also discovered cracks in the support pilings that may have been caused by the wood expanding and contracting through damp and dry conditions. We were advised that the cracks were cosmetic and do not need replacement at this time. 

Other repairs/replacements

Heath Pest Control discovered termites in a stump on our property, which they treated. The HVAC unit, which had been plagued with issues, was replaced in June of 2017. 

We added a new drop-leaf table to the living room after the original fell to pieces. A new light fixture was installed over the new kitchen island, a much-needed improvement to our dining experiences! A new microwave was installed. A new faucet was installed. A new grill was purchased. Members also donated some new bed spreads and lamps — thank you!

The Deep Freeze

Just after the New Year, the Outer Banks experienced a January cold snap that broke records and brought snow to the dunes. Many homeowners experienced burst pipes due to the freeze, but our beach house was spared thanks to an unidentified stranger. 

After the unexpected freeze, we had a friend go to our house to turn our water off and check the pipes. When she got there, she discovered that someone had already turned the water off at the street. The house remained empty until I visited the house in March. While there, I turned the water back on, and checked all the pipes in the house. All was well, thanks to the Good Samaritan!

Third Floor Deck Railing

However, I noticed that the third floor deck railings had come loose. Tray worked out a plan for securing and replacing the rails, and our handyman, Andrew Bielinski completed that work last week. Additionally, Andrew replaced the heating element in the hot water heater a few days ago. And Dare Carpet Cleaners will be steam cleaning the carpets on Monday.

Work still to come….

Other work will need to be done in 2018, as outlined in Tray’s Treasurer’s Report, most notably, replacing the shingles and repairing the deck. 

As owners, we should perform regular maintenance and cleaning tasks to keep the house ship shape. Here’s my “nag” list of what we can all do to help:

· Clean the oven
· Wash the bedspreads and pillow shams
· Dust the blinds
· Clean out and reorganize kitchen cabinets/drawers/closets
· Change a shower curtain liner
· Vacuum under furniture cushions
· Buy new bed pillows if necessary (we can reimburse for costs)
· Put in new light bulbs where needed (we can reimburse for costs)
· Reinstall porch screens (have any damaged screens replaced at CRT)
· Turn on/off water to sand showers
· Pressure wash concrete garage area and sand showers under the house
 (electric pressure washer is in Storage Area)
· Wash outside windows reachable from the porch/deck
· Trim overgrown vegetation outside (a few tools in Storage Area)
· Dig out sand to the left of sand showers so that water drains properly

As always, you may access our website https://windsweptbythesea.wordpress.com for updated schedules, forms, procedures and membership contact information. Use password XXXXXXXXX for private pages. 

I wish you all good health and happy vacations in 2018!

Lisa

Lisa Smith Molinari
President, Smith Hui, Inc.

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Smith Hui

President’s Report

Year end, 2016

When 2016 began, our members were busy implementing the list of improvements we’d all decided upon during our membership meeting in November 2015.  A new stove was installed, regular landscaping was scheduled, two new televisions purchased, new light switches and receptacles were installed, and the best part of all — a custom island was being built in our kitchen with legroom on three sides!

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Members and guests were pleased with the new island and other updates throughout the summer months, but then, storm season reared its ugly head. Screens were damaged during an early fall storm, necessitating a very expensive replacement of several torn screens. Lesson learned: members need to take screens out and store them when high winds are forecasted. One small step can save Smith Hui significant costs in screen replacement. 

But nothing could adequately prepare us for Hurricane Matthew, which hit the Outer Banks on October 8, 2016. Ironically, the storm hit the same week that our brand new member, Sydney Smith, was occupying the house alone for the first time! Thankfully, she got out of the house in the nick of time.

As always, “Windswept” withstood the hurricane force winds just fine. But the storm surge and record-breaking rainfall was another story. For the first time in her 38 year history, Windswept flooded.

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After initially being turned away by the authorities who were not allowing anyone onto the Outer Banks, member Aubrey Torres was able to get to Windswept on Monday, October 10th to assess the damage.

The intersection of Beach Road and Hickory Trail was a lake. Our driveway was a navigable river, and the property was flooded with standing water on all sides. Inside the house, the entry room, laundry/bath room and storage room were flooded with a few inches of water. The flood was considered “black water” or contaminated water since the septic was flooded and bubbling up into the drains. Some of our appliances were malfunctioning due to an electrical problem. Members who were scheduled to occupy the house in October and November were not able to take their planned vacations, because the ground water did not dissipate for two weeks.

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But thanks to some early clean up and the installation of fans and a dehumidifier, Windswept got through the flood with much less damage than was originally expected. An insurance adjuster surveyed the damage and gave us the bad news: Our policy and FEMA do not cover most flood damages to ground floor spaces on the Outer Banks. Our house was built in 1979 with some ground floor living spaces, but newer houses must have living spaces above the ground floor to qualify for FEMA relief, leaving only necessary appliances and structures at the ground level. The insurance adjuster gave us the good news too: that we would receive money to replace our hot water heater in case it suffered any damage.

More good news: Dominion Power fixed our 220 voltage outage at no cost to us, which fixed our electrical issues; and our flooded septic system only needed time to leech and would be fully operational without any repairs/pumping needed.

After consulting with three water mitigation companies that gave expensive estimates, we settled on using the same contractor who built our island to mitigate our water damages. It turned out, Andrew Bielinski had experience with water mitigation, so he was able to remove all wet drywall, paneling and insulation; spray microbial chemicals to retard mold growth, and completely dry the ground floor rooms. Our hot water heater was not damaged after all, and the entry room wall materials dried without damage and will not need replacement.

Phase 2 of the flood clean up begins this month. Mr. Bielinski will put up new insulation, wall materials and trim in the laundry/bath and repaint the concrete floor. He will also replace the dried paneling and trim in the entry room, and put new drywall up in the storage room where the wet drywall had to be cut out. The laundry/bath wall materials will be sheets of plywood, which will be painted and will look like finished dry wall with chair rail height trim to cover the seam. This was recommended by Mr. Bielinski so that in the event of a future flood, we will only need to remove the pieces of plywood that got wet to dry out the walls. This will save us money in the long run if we have any more flooding.

We were able to keep the repair estimates fairly low, so that the insurance money will cover the bulk of the costs. As the repairs progress, I will send photographs to keep you all updated.

As always, you may access our website https://windsweptbythesea.wordpress.com for updated schedules, forms, procedures and membership contact information. Use password XXXXXX for private pages.

I wish you all good health and happy vacations in 2017!

Lisa

Lisa Smith Molinari
President, Smith Hui, Inc.
five86427@gmail.com
904-859-3161

PS. What would a President’s Report be without a little nagging from me to take an hour out of your vacations to do a little owner maintenance, right? :

· Clean the oven
· Wash the bedspreads and pillow shams
· Dust the blinds
· Clean out and reorganize kitchen cabinets/drawers/closets
· Change a shower curtain liner
· Vacuum under furniture cushions
· Buy new bed pillows if necessary (we can reimburse for costs)
· Put in new light bulbs where needed (we can reimburse for costs)
· Reinstall porch screens (have any damaged screens replaced at CRT)
· Turn on/off water to sand showers
· Pressure wash concrete garage area and sand showers under the house (electric pressure washer is in Storage Area)
· Wash outside windows reachable from the porch/deck
· Trim overgrown vegetation outside (a few tools in Storage Area)
· Dig out sand to the left of sand showers so that water drains properly

 

 

New Member!

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As of July 1, 2016, Smith Hui, Inc. has a new member! Her name is Sydney Smith and she is the daughter of member William “Tray” Smith and his wife Jacqueline. Sydney is a flight attendant and lives in Duvall, Washington.

Welcome Sydney!

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Dear Members,

After all the repairs and updates of 2014, “Windswept by the Sea” was looking very good and there were no major issues in 2015. However, as with all 36-year-old beach houses, updating and maintenance tasks inevitably crop up.

But 2015’s tasks were quite minor. In July we got a new washing machine. In November we got a new stove, and two new televisions. And thanks to a dramatic heat-related shattering of the master bedroom slider, the original 1978 sliding glass doors in the master bedroom and on the 3rd floor deck were replaced in July.

The most significant “update” happened on November 15, when our members called in for our first ever conference call Membership Meeting. It took a few minutes to get the hang of it, but the new meeting procedure worked well and enabled us to get a lot of work done. The call was made through freeconferencecall.com, with a simple call in number and access code. Even the least tech-savvy of our members had no problems calling in.

As a result of motions at that meeting, ten motions were passed calling for the following actions (Please see the 2015 Meeting Minutes for specific details):

  • Ask A. Bielinski to check/replace Light Switches & Receptacles (Lisa)
  • New stove (Tray & Jennifer)
  • Changes in Vacation Rental Agreement (Lisa)
  • Raising trigger and target amounts (Tray)
  • Hire Howard Taylor to do landscaping regularly (Tray)
  • Open schedule to non-owner rentals on Oct. 30th (Lisa)
  • Buy 2 new televisions (Jennifer)
  • Replace the kitchen table (Kyle)
  • Ask A. Bielinski for island refurbishment/replacement options (Lisa)
  • Ask Dottie if a later Sunday check out is possible (Lisa)

Our officers are currently tackling this “To Do” list. As stated above, the new stove and televisions are already in place. Mr. Bielinski is working up estimates for the replacement of switches and receptacles, and for the kitchen island updates. The financial trigger and target amounts have been changed. The Vacation Rental Agreement and Renter Procedures have been amended to account for new rules regarding non-owner rentals. Kyle plans to get us a new table during her visit in April. And I am awaiting an answer from our cleaner about later check out times for owners.

About a month after our membership meeting, our longest-standing current member, Durwood Smith, sent out his notice that he was turning in his share, now that he lives in Southern Shores and cannot take advantage of Windswept like he did before. For all 36 years of our beach house history, my father was not only an owner, but also served as an officer for many years. He always was and still is willing to help our family venture in any way he can. On behalf of the members, we all thank him for his membership and dedication to the success of Smith Hui, Inc.

At the very end of 2015, Tray, our Treasurer, realized that we may not have the necessary income in 2016 to meet all the planned expenditures resulting from our membership meeting initiatives (approximately $4200). So, effective January 1, 2016, the Board approved a slight membership dues increase to make up for the cost of the initiatives and the loss of a member. The increase was $200 if the member pays dues annually, $200 if paid semi-annually, $220 if paid quarterly, and $240 if paid monthly. It is hoped that the dues structure will be restored to 2015 levels once our initiatives are paid for and our funds are at a safe level.

As always, you may access our website https://windsweptbythesea.wordpress.com for updated schedules, forms, procedures and membership contact information. Use password ********* for private pages.

I wish you all good health and happy vacations in 2016!

Lisa

Lisa Smith Molinari

President, Smith Hui, Inc.

PS: Thanks again to those members who took time to do a little extra cleaning, maintenance, and/or repairs in 2015. Thank you all! And what would a President’s Report be without a little nagging from me for everyone to take an hour out of their vacations to do any of the following tasks, right? :

  • Clean the oven
  • Wash the bedspreads and pillow shams
  • Dust the blinds
  • Clean out and reorganize kitchen cabinets/drawers
  • Clean out a closet
  • Vacuum under furniture cushions
  • Inventory pillows and buy new ones if necessary (we can reimburse for costs)
  • Put in new light bulbs where needed (we can reimburse for costs)
  • Reinstall porch screens (have any damaged screens replaced at CRT)
  • Turn on water to sand showers
  • Pressure wash concrete area and sand showers under the house (electric pressure washer is in Storage Area)
  • Wash outside windows reachable from the porch/deck
  • Trim overgrown vegetation outside (a few tools in Storage Area)
  • Dig out sand to the left of sand showers so that water drains properly

 

 

Dear Members,

When you consider that “Windswept by the Sea” has been with us for more than 35 years, our beach house is in amazingly good shape. However, she was showing her age in 2014, so we gave her a few much-needed updates.

Most significantly, in May 2014, the entire popcorn ceiling in the living area and kitchen was scraped down, the seams sealed with mesh tape, imperfections smoothed over, new “knockdown” texture applied and repainted. Since this was going to be a big, messy job, we also had the old inoperable gas fireplace removed and damage to the subflooring repaired. And when the whole job was done, we installed new Mohawk Berber-style carpeting throughout the house.

Subfloor

Damage to the subfloor under the old fireplace.

Our new carpeting in a is a durable blend in a neutral color.

Our new carpeting is a durable blend in a neutral color.

Also, original bathroom ventilation fans were replaced, along with the ceiling fan in the living area, and a new garbage disposal, smoke detectors, and refrigerator were installed.

In March, Charter Cable installed new cable boxes, and over the summer, members chipped in to help update our “entertainment” system – thank you Kyle for donating a great new LCD TV for the main living area, thank you Tray for mounting the system on our wall, and thank you Aubrey for donating another flat screen TV for the upstairs loft bedroom. Also thank you to all the other members who bought other items for the house. Every little bit helps, so thank you!!

In order to keep up with inflation and cost of living, the Board voted in August to slightly increase Non-Owner Rental Rates as of January 1, 2015 as follows:

  • October through end May $65/day
  • 1st two weeks in June, all of September $100/day
  • Third week in June through end August $125/day

Many members took time out of their vacations in 2014 to do a little extra cleaning, maintenance, and repairs. Thank you all! Going forward in 2015, it would be very helpful for members who are visiting the house this spring to volunteer for a task or two. Professional spring cleanings are costly and never as comprehensive as advertised. It would help immensely if members could take an hour out of their spring visit to the house to do any of the following tasks:

  • Clean the oven
  • Wash the bedspreads and pillow shams
  • Dust the blinds
  • Clean out and reorganize kitchen cabinets/drawers
  • Clean out a closet
  • Vacuum under furniture cushions
  • Inventory pillows and buy new ones if necessary (we can reimburse for costs)
  • Put in new light bulbs where needed (we can reimburse for costs)
  • Reinstall porch screens (have any damaged screens replaced at CRT)
  • Turn on water to sand showers
  • Pressure wash concrete area and sand showers under the house (electric pressure washer is in Storage Area
  • Wash outside windows reachable from the porch/deck
  • Trim overgrown vegetation outside (a few tools in Storage Area)
  • Dig out sand to the left of sand showers so that water drains properly

Lastly, in the past, Smith Hui members would gather every two to three years for a membership meeting. In recent years, this has proven difficult to carry out because a quorum (2/3 of membership) is needed to do business at the meeting, and the members are spread out all over the United States (and during the three years I lived in Germany, the world!)

Although we would prefer to have face-to-face meetings with the membership, we adapted to our circumstances and carried out business by contacting members via phone or email. This adaptation was successful for our 2014 upgrades to the house, and business has been running smoothly.

However, as a corporation, membership meetings are important, even if it means using web-based video teleconference service. Many of these services are free (Anymeeting, GoogleHangouts, Join.me, etc.) Some members might be uncomfortable with the technology, or might not have the necessary equipment (computer webcam and mic, appropriate browser installed.) But a centrally located member with the necessary equipment could “host” the meeting at their home so that members who are not tech savvy have the option to physically attend. Others could attend via video teleconference or speakerphone.

With this in mind, please contact me if you have a computer capable of video teleconferencing and would be willing to host a membership meeting at your house in 2015. For more info about video teleconferencing services, see http://elearningindustry.com/top-10-free-gotomeeting-alternatives.

As always, you may access our website https://windsweptbythesea.wordpress.com for updated schedules, forms, procedures and membership contact information. Use password ********* for private pages. Attached please find updated Owner Procedures and Renter Procedures, which are also on our website. Tray will send out the annual Treasurer’s Report once his figures are compiled, and I will post those to the website as well.

I wish you all good health and happy vacations in 2015!

Lisa

Lisa Smith Molinari

President, Smith Hui, Inc.

five86427@gmail.com

904-859-3161

In August, the Smith Hui Executive Board voted for slight increases in Non-Owner Rental Rates, to keep up with inflation and increased cost of living. The new rates will take effect on January 1, 2015, and are as follows:

  • October through end May $65/day
  • 1st two weeks in June, all of September $100/day
  • Third week in June through end August $125/day

Dear Members,

Other than the good financial news contained in Tray’s recent 2013 Treasurer’s Reports, I am happy to say that there is not much to report about Smith Hui, Inc. for 2013!

In all seriousness, last year was a relatively uneventful but good year, financially speaking, for Smith Hui, Inc.  Thanks to the addition of two new full members — Scott and Avari Tears — in the fall of 2012, Smith Hui collected a full year’s worth of dues from all 13 members, as well as a handful of outside rentals. In addition, other than some minor repairs, appliance replacements,  and maintenance, it was not necessary for us to spend a significant amount on repairs or emergencies last year. Lastly, although it has been difficult to find reliable, inexpensive cleaning people in the Outer Banks, the cleaning service (Dottie Bielinski) we hired in 2012 worked very smoothly last year.

In 2013, the “Smith Hui Machine” hummed along quite efficiently without any major hiccups. Scheduling, billing, rentals, and cleaning all ran smoothly. Seeing that 2014 will most likely bring some major repair projects, it is a good thing we were able to perfect our procedures and put away some extra income!

As Tray outlined, we will be getting estimates for replacement of the irreparably damaged popcorn ceiling in the main living area and kitchen. Due to the inevitable mess this will create, it is probably prudent to remove the inoperable gas fireplace and frayed carpeting at the same time. I will get estimates during my stay next week for the ceiling project. Another problem Tray identified last summer is that the ceiling ventilation fans need to be replaced. Not surprising, as they are original! Also, funds will inevitably be dedicated to cutting back the ever growing vegetation from the perimeter of the house and the driveway.

Other news: Charter’s cable service has caught up with the digital age, so this week (today, in fact) a Charter Cable technician installed four new cable boxes to the existing cable outlets and televisions. Our expenses will go up a bit with this change — two of the boxes are free for six months, but we will incur new monthly fee for the updated system. 

Before I close, let me recognize that, in 2013, several members took time out of their vacations to organize, clean, replace, and do minor repairs. The Board is grateful for any effort owners take to beautify, update, and maintain our home. Your dedication to the success of our family corporation is always sincerely appreciated! Please take a look at the updated Owner Procedures (attached to this email) and do not hesitate to contact me or the other board members with any questions or comments.

Very truly yours,

Lisa Smith Molinari

President, Smith Hui, Inc.