When the owner of an existing winery in Fairfax County wanted to expand his operation he came to Craftsman Construction. Kirk Wiles had seen our previous work on Vint Hill Winery and asked the owner who his contractor was and would he recommend him. After the glowing recommendation from our previous client we meet with Kirk to discuss his project. This project was significant in many ways. First, it is the only winery located in Fairfax County and second, it would be a large project. Craftsman Construction was tasked with not only building this structure but designing it too. Our in-house designer had several meetings with the client to discuss his use of the building. Several floor plans were made showing different layouts. A design was finalized and construction drawings were made. From the outset it was determined that making the building as energy efficient and as maintenance free as possible would be a priority.
Our crews went to work digging the enormous basement that would be required for this building. We had to excavate a hole that was 70′ wide by 120′ long 20′ deep – that’s a lot of dirt! After 2 weeks of hard work the hole was complete. Now came the task of forming and pouring the buildings footers. These footers had to be strong to carry the weight of a building this large. On the day the concrete was poured a large pump truck was brought in to deliver the concrete to its final destination.
Once the footers were poured, the task of forming and pouring the 16′ tall concrete walls for the basement came next. These walls would be “gang formed.” This is a process where the forms are put together on the ground and a crane is used to set them in place. Since the building was so large all the walls could not be poured at once. It was determined to pour them in 4 separate sections in a series called “skip forming.” We would form a 32′ section, then skip a 32′ section, then form another 32′ section. We would then pump concrete into these sections and let them cure overnight. The next day the forms would be moved to fill in the empty spaces and concrete would be poured again. This process took exactly 30 days and was quite grueling.
Next came setting all the steel beams, girders and columns needed to support the first floor. After all the steel was set, corrugated steel sheets were laid on top and secured to the steel beams. Rebar reinforcing was added and concrete was poured over the steel. To give the concrete a nice appearance we had it colored and then had a company stamp the wet concrete to look like tiles. This turned out great.
We now turned our attention to framing the building. Our framing crew came in and built all the exterior walls and applied 1/2″ sheathing. Next we brought in another crane and set all the roof trusses. Our carpenters then went to work covering the entire roof with plywood. All the interior walls were then framed and we were ready for the next trades to come in.
The first subcontractor to arrive on the job was the HVAC contractor – he had to get all his duct work and equipment into the building first. Then came the electrician. He had to run the wiring around the building and install the electrical service to the building. Finally the plumber ran all the pipes for the water and drains.
Our sister company Energy Foam Insulators then came in and sprayed the entire structure in foam. We sprayed all the exterior walls as well as the attic roof. We also had to spray foam the 2 large rooms used to store the finished wine and to keep the wine barrels cold. Another room was foamed and used as a bulk refrigerator for when the grapes are delivered. Overall we sprayed over 2,200 gallons of liquid foam!
After the insulation was done our finish carpenters went to work covering all the walls and ceiling in T&G Pine. All the doors were set and all the windows installed. Then all the interior trim was installed. At this point we had to start thinking about the bar and the wine racks. The client wanted to buy off the shelf wine racks, but we had a better idea. We would custom build the bar and the wine racks on site. We designed and built a mockup of the wine racks for the client to approve. After a couple of tweaks we proceeded building the bar and the wine racks. We had our stone mason come in and cover the bar in stone, and the granite expert made us custom radius tops for the upper bar. Our carpenters then fabricated the laminate tops for the lower bar.
Next our painter came in and sprayed lacquer over all the woodwork to give it that nice warm look with a low sheen finish. Then our painters did a faux finish on the walls in the barrel room to make them look like old plaster walls in a wine cave.
The client wanted the bathrooms to be unique and we had to put some thought into this. He requested that the water for the sinks look like it comes out of the wall. After a lot of searching we found the perfect faucet. When installed and turned on the water flows right out of the wall into a hand carved granite sink sitting on top of a granite counter top. Natural stone on the walls completes the bathroom – very nice results!
Everything didn’t go as smooth as we would have liked. But dealing with county officials that were not familiar with this type of project made things more complicated than they had to be. Still we overcame all the obstacles they placed in front of us and created a truly great building.
There was a lot of fanfare on opening day and some of the Fairfax Board of Supervisors were there to celebrate this beautiful new structure. Craftsman Construction attended this dedication day at the invitation of the owner – we thank him for honoring us as the builders.