There is a unique and historic home, now serving as a vacation rental, in Lindsborg, Kansas. The home has an interesting history, plus a brand-new Viega PureFlow water-distribution system that includes PEX tubing and multiple ManaBlocs.
In Swedish, “Stenhuset” means stone house, and that’s what the owners affectionately call this home. Built in 1877 entirely out of stone, it is the oldest home in Lindsborg. Many people in town also refer to it as the “Scripture House,” because above all the windows and the front door, biblical scriptures are carved in Swedish into the stone, giving it a very distinctive character.
When current owner James Prugh acquired it, the entire structure was covered with a stucco-type material and had been haphazardly added onto. So he and contractor Brian Freeman knew there would be a lot involved to improve the old house.
“We kept the stone and literally demolished everything that was not original,” Freeman said. “They had added onto the back about four times. We ripped off the roof structure and even demolished the concrete in the lower level that was sort of a basement – we had four stone walls by the time we were done – and started completely over.”
Because of its age, the structure didn’t have water or electrical. Because the owner hoped to create a vacation rental, the small space was structured to include two bedrooms as well as a third sleeping area (to sleep a total of six) and three bathrooms. Square footage inside the house is about 300 square feet per level. But with three levels and a loft space, in total there’s about 1,150 square feet of space that “lives really large.”
“The flexibility of PEX was a must for this project, to supply the water lines in such a unique building.” Freeman said. “I’ve been using Viega for years. To do this in copper would have been dang near impossible.
“The walls are about 20 inches thick, so we had to penetrate through it to bring in the water line,” he added. “We tried to do that all in one spot!”
A full potable-water system using Viega ManaBlocs provides water to the Stone House, with each fixture having its own shutoff. Because the loft area is so far away from the lowest level of the home, Freeman ran a loop up to a secondary manifold system hidden in a false wall behind the bathroom on that level.
“The versatility of PEX is really the best thing out there,” Freeman said. “The longevity of it is tried and true. It’s reliable. And being able to use PureFlow products from a relatively close company [Lindsborg is about a 15-minute drive from Viega’s manufacturing plant in McPherson] is really neat.”
The entire restoration effort on the building took about 13 months of labor. Freeman said that using PureFlow throughout the home was “an integral part of the behind-the-scenes work,” making plumbing easier and faster.
“It was quite a monumental undertaking, and it’s incredibly cool,” he added.