Biography of Westinmoreland House

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February 2006 Archives


February 1, 2006


We went to Lowe's tonight to pick out the paint colors for the bathroom. We were undecided in the finish for the tub-room so we opted to wait and think on it. The colors that we choose however were Mulling Spices for the wainscoting and Faded Clay for the upper half of the walls.

We figured while we were there we would browse since we are 45 minutes away from Lowe's. Clearance racks always catch our attention so we saw one and were looking through it. On the rack we found some prefinished wood flooring. Some of the boxes were actual oak hardwood, and then some were laminate flooring. A box of the laminate was going for $10.00, but we are looking for hardwood to lay down in case we ever want to refinish it. Well there were three boxes of the oak hardwood which were 20sq ft per box and 3/4 inch thick. But NO price. So we asked an associate to see if he could find a price. Now we figured up that we need about 40sq feet for the sink room. So we decided if the price was right we would get our floor for a little less work & money than expected. Well he couldn't find a price, or an invoice on the three boxes, so he said "Give me a price". Well Brian asked, "What about $15.00 a box?? at which he said "Done". So we were happy and then had to take all the pieces out of the boxes so we could tote it home in our car & trunk. Had we known we were going to buy wood flooring we would have brought our truck. So I get home and want to find out what is the color is called, since it?s not written anywhere on the box. After some searching online we found it through Bruce Armstrong?s website and the color is called Gunstock. Then I wanted to see how much we saved on it so we looked for the product number and conveniently found it on Lowe's website. The price? For the same 20sq ft boxes that we paid $15.00 for, the website shows $124.60!! That makes our $45.00 +tax flooring would have cost us almost $400.00! Ok so we don't run across these deals very often, but it sure was a nice unexpected surpise! Here is a photo from Armstrong's of the color...

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February 2, 2006

Paint Chips

Just to give you a better idea of the paint colors we chose, I took a photograph of the paint chips. Though photographs still cannot provide an accurate rendering of the color for all monitors, it at least will show better the difference in the two. I guess that?s a lesson about Lowe's virtual painter and how it doesn?t really show the color of the actual paints that well. The virtual painter colors really do look more washed out compared to the actual paint chips. However they were in the basic range I was looking for hue-wise.

I may end up using a different color in the tub-room itself, since it does have different flooring to start with. My husband wanted to go with that idea to start with and after pondering on it, I decided to go that route. We are thinking of going with an enamel finish in the tub room only. We have an enamel finish right now and it worked out great. And being the two boys we have seem to splash a lot of water (one reason we got a stone floor for the tub room) and all the water that ended up on the current enamel paint didn?t even seem to bother it.

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February 13, 2006

A Simplyfying Plan

We have been doing a lot of thinking lately, and something we have decided to do is to simplify. One good thing about when we bought the house, is it went for very cheap. We can get double what we paid for it, easily.
So we decided to cut down some of our debt.
We figure if some people we have known, could sell their house, their car, and all their furnishings (how Brave!!) to come down here and help with the relief efforts for people they have never even met before, then I don?t see why we can't down-size so we could free up our time to give a greater hand in the relief efforts ourselves. Brian already is able to help out, but if he could work less, then he could truck more for relief efforts than for paying bills. Plus it would help both of us spend more time at some personal obligations that we both have.
Then too the highway our road is off, is in the near future going to be a four lane highway. Something we did not expect this small rural area to do when we moved here, is how fast it would grow. A neighboring town has doubled its population since Katrina. Our own neighborhood is seeing many more houses going up and fast too. The utility bills, along with everything else continue to rise. The pay does not. So all of this into consideration led us to consider this option.
Here's how we would like to do this...
A while back, we started building a guesthouse, so my mother in law could stay without having to rent a hotel room, since we had no ?guest room? for her to sleep here, we thought they would enjoy the guest house and it would give them a mini-vacation without the cost. Well she passed away before we could finish it, and so we never really finished it though we have thought about using it as an office, but Katrina changed those plans, and so we then decided to just fix it up as a sort of work shed. That being said we don?t really ever have any guests to justify the guest house idea anymore. But then we got to thinking, the shell of the guest house is almost finished. We wouldn?t need too much (relatively) to finish re-modeling our current house as well as finish off the guest house to live in. We were thinking of buying a few acres off the extra we get for the house and moving the guest house onto it. That?s the plan anyway, whether it will work or not, time will tell. But so far things have been falling into place well with that plan. Many of the supplies we have needed we are coming up with, either for nothing or for very little. For instance, the shingles were given to us by a neighbor awhile back, we used to haul ?used lumber? from New Orleans - pre Katrina - (we hauled it to save a company money, it cost them to throw the wood away) and have much of it still stored here, well Brian is planing some of it for pine floors for the guest house. And they are coming out beautiful! (Going to be playing with the stain tomorrow) Then we found interior doors at Lowes for only $10.00 each, they had water spots - nothing KILZ can't take care of, but the doors are not damaged. Now we have enough doors to re-do our current house and the "guest house" so as to have all matching doors.
By doing this plan we would have no mortgage note, and might even be able pay off our car note. At any rate we would have less utility bills and most likely more land, which we want anyway for cows and sheep - in the future. So though we would be down-sizing, I think it would be nice to have a ?clean slate? and a relatively debt-free one too. We hope that we can free up more time too by doing this.
I will continue to make updates to the changes we make for this house....but I will be in the future creating a new journal for the things we do to the little "guest house" we have affectionately dubbed our Little Dacha, which in Russian means "a country cottage used especially in the summer".

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February 17, 2006

Kitchen Ideas

Since I am putting together ideas and things for the new "half-built house", I'll post them here until I can get its own spot made.
When we moved into this house it had a large cast iron porcelain kitchen sink that seemed awful at the time. If you had seen the state of the kitchen you would not have wanted to salvage anything from it. So outside it went to make room for the new and pretty Kohler white porcelain kitchen sink. We meant to throw it away, but somehow that never happened. And oddly enough I am really glad of that. It just occurred to me the other night that we have that sink sitting in our backyard (and has been for 3 years!). Well I pulled it out and cleaned it up to see what shape it was in. Surprisingly it was in awesome shape, minus one large chip on the corner which we have a way to repair. So instead of buying a new sink, we are going to take that one. It has a really deep left side and a shallow right side, which I think is a unique feature. And it?s a huge 42 inches across!

So far for the new kitchen, the things we need to buy/build are:
cabinets - unfinished red oak/oak from Lowes
walls - sheetrock
ceiling - sheetrock
stain for floor
paint/stain for cabinets
cabinet hardware - oil rubbed bronze finish
dining table set
kitchen faucet - style is Danze's Opulence model (oil rubbed bronze finish), but want to find a much cheaper version
router bit for tongue and groove - just bought last night on ebay
router but for windows - just bought from ebay last night
glass for windows - we have tinted, but that just wouldn?t look right
window frames - have to build
dining set - probably will pick up second hand - hope to find something close to the style of chair in the scrapbook page. Our chairs are falling apart, so the chairs are definitely a needed item. I am hoping for a finish similar to that in the scrapbook page, but if not I am sure I could come up with a way to refinish it.

I already have:
paint - Ralph Lauren Goldfinch (1 gallon left over from this kitchen - 1 gallon was plenty since it was really thick paint, and that was for 2 coats!)
Stove - taking ours and replacing with a used one for about $100.00
Fridge - taking ours, and leaving the one that came with the house
Dishwasher - taking our and replacing with a used one for about $100.00
Sink - came with the house when we bought it
Pine Floors - free lumber we picked up
trim & baseboards - have to make from free lumber we picked up (style is plain boards)
window frames - have wood to build frames from free lumber we picked up
kitchen light - taking our existing chandelier and replacing it
kitchen fabric - already ordered previously for current kitchen

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February 21, 2006

The First Door is Hung

To bring some harmony to the hodge podge of doors, and Lowe's happened to have $10 interior doors, 30" and 32", we bought some. Then this weekend we hung the first of the doors. What a task!! When the door fits well into the already existing frame, you think all is good. Then you measure the doorway and it says 32" and your door measures 32" - all seems great. That is until you put the hinges on! After many tries of getting the hinged areas routed deeper and deeper to get the door to fit without having to cut last we had no choice and she had to be trimmed ~ an 1/8 of an inch! But to be on the safe side Brian took a wee more than that. It took half the day, but some valuable lessons were learned like check the size of the existing door, if it measures 31 7/8" the new door will most likely need to also! The door is still in its primed state, I'm currently looking for a color to go well with the kitchen and the living room colors, since they are an open floor plan, all colors need to be harmonious. The previous door will become the back door so that we won't have to buy a new one.

Old Door

New Door

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February 24, 2006

What's My Style? - Quiz

A simple style quiz from Merillat Cabinets.
Here are my results
Country Traditional

Thank you for completing the quiz. We hope you had fun! Based on your answers we think you would most like our Country Traditional style of cabinetry. For additional selections, you also scored high in the Eclectic style, so you might want to check those out as well.

Visit our Photo Gallery to See More Country Traditional Images, and access links to our product detail pages.

Learn about design elements that you can add to a room to help make it more Country Traditional.

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February 28, 2006

Roof Away

For the once-was Guesthouse we began putting shingles on the roof Friday August 26, 2005. That night when we went to work at the newspaper printery we found out hurricane Katrina was heading dead on. So Saturday instead of finishing up putting shingles on the roof of the guesthouse, we focused our attention toward boarding up and packing to leave town. When we got back from that stressful Monday, we found a lot of the shingles, newly placed, had blown off. So we finally, 7 months later, find ourselves able to start back up on the roof. And that is what we were doing today. Because we lost some shingles we are going to have to buy a few more bundles. We are going to have to hunt some down, shingles are going pretty high these days around here. But at least we are seeing progress!
Sunday Brian finished planing the wood for the floors for the guesthouse. We got the router bits in today that is for putting a tongue and groove in. So you know Brian is itching to start on that lol! He got them from which had them listed on ebay. They were a lot cheaper than another place he found router bits, so he was quite happy with his find! I can't wait to get the flooring all finished so we can start laying it! That's why we are getting the roof finished and the siding on. Lots to do, but so little time to do it!


Step 1 for Flooring is Done

Like I mentioned in the last post we finished planing the flooring, which we believe is pine. We used all the boards we had, which came out to be just the right amount. I meant to post a picture of the planed wood so here it is

I took that before we finished the wood, so we now have a stack almost twice that size.
Step 2 is to dry the wood to make sure we do not have a shrinkage problem, like we had with the last floor we laid.
Step 3 will be to tongue and groove all sides, which will be a task in itself.
Step 4 will be a final planing or sanding to make sure all boards are even in height.
And finally Step 5 will be laying the floor and then staining it, the fun part ~ at least for me anyway.

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