Biography of Westinmoreland House

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November 6, 2005

A House Style

Finally I have chosen a style the house shall echo, and that is Federal. The house already has many elements that are Federal such as its symmetry, simplicity and small porch. We plan on adding two long but skinny windows that would go next to the front door and then change the door to a solid one. Also we plan on adding shutters and some architectural details that would reflect the Federal style.

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January 19, 2006

Our Hurricane Katrina Damage

This post is mainly for my family who havent seen any photos of the damage that we sustained. I know this is nothing compared to a lot of homes that were severely damaged by water and mold. We used to live down in New Orleans so we are quite well aware of how things could have been had we still been living there. But we are now nestled in the hilltops of Louisiana. However the winds were still very damaging from Katrina. It was a close call for us but once we arrived home Tuesday evening, a day after the storm, we pulled into our driveway to see a tree down on our house. It was dark so at that point we werent sure all that it had done for damage, but we knew it was spared to a large degree. Many of our neighbors didnt even board up thier windows and stayed through the storm. We are very thankful we boarded up and left, because if we hadnt we would have had a broken kitchen window with rain damage, and some pretty tramatized children. Even for our area which is 2 hours north of New Orleans, a lot of people were scared to death when the hurricane came in. The older folks around here said they had never seen anything like it.
Here are some photos of our house, the first one was taken the day we left for the storm, as you can see we were boarding up.

Here is the tree that fell, a 40 yr old pine. If we had had a plywood roof our damage would have been extensive. But, as the roofing contractors agreed, what saved our house was the 1x6 tongue and groove deck that the orginal builder used. Smart man! The tree, once it hit the roof, slid off! Thats one tough roof. We did need to replace the shingles and were able to thanks to the efforts of some volunteers from Arkansas.

Here are some details of the corner damage it did do...

As as summary our house did shift 1/2 inch from the north/south direction. As as result we have 2 windows where the glass did break/crack, and the front door sticks bad. And for the yard we lost 31 trees in one acre of land. We were once heavily wooded, now not so much. Here is a shot of the back yard...

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October 4, 2006

Woeful Plumbing

We have had some serious plumbing issues come up. For some reason recently it got really bad. Originally we were planning on hiring this work out since Brian REALLY didn?t want to fool with any of it. It was rather minor exchanging the pipes for the correct KIND of pipes, he just didn?t want to have to do it.
Long story short, the man who sold us the house didn?t install schedule 40 PVC or whatever on the house end of the septic tank. Instead he used this black corrugated pipe, which is not up to code, to connect to the septic tank. Recently it must have caved in or something and so all our sewer was, unbenounced to us, running back through the lines that carry the grey water from the washer, and since there is a busted corrugated piece of junk over there as well it was spilling out onto the ground, HORRORS!
So obviously we could not wait for the plumber to get here (he was on a waiting list) and we thankfully found the problem before it got worse, but Brian was going to have to do the job.
So today he made several trips to the hardware store and got all the pipes, couplings, glues, ect he needed to get the sewer plumbed correctly.
I helped him dig up the corrugated line which thankfully wasn?t too long of a stretch. But just long enough to have to need another large pipe. I also helped him cover it all over once he finished and that?s why I have a sore back tonight! =)
Now our toilet flushes in ONE flush! That?s so much better!
Also we have had for quite some time a small water leak by line that comes into the kitchen. That has caused a constant marshland to occur, even with marshland plant life. =)
Today he dug that up, fixed the leak, which turned out to be because the previous owner put an outside shut off valve UNDERGROUND. Which, for obvious reasons, rusted and caused it to leak. So now that is all fixed and the ground can finally return to DRY earth like the rest of the yard.
The only thing he has left, which will need a few weeks to dry out, will be to plumb with the correct pipes the laundry area and tie it in correctly to the line going to the septic tank.
I will be so EVER happy to get all this done and marked off our list for the Exterior house to-do list! We are almost 1 down and about 9 or 10 more to go for the exterior.

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October 6, 2006

Bathroom Pumbing - Done!

Today Brian finished up the bathroom plumbing list he had. Its complete! Its finished! Oh what a wonderful feeling that is! Now our tub drains faster and we even have a new pretty shiny drain thingy for it.
He would have done it yesterday but we both had talks on the school, I had a #3 and he had the #4. So he took Thursday to work on his talk.
But today he was back at it, and now the only thing left for plumbing is under the utility room. But that will have to wait a few weeks.
To celebrate its fried chicken and a movie, after a nice hot soaking first of course loL!

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November 15, 2006

Paint and Porch Columns

We replaced both porch columns with a solid 6 x 6 instead of boards nailed together to make a hollow box. The bottoms of the columns were rotting out, but the left column was the worst off. The cost of replacing the columns was nothing, since we had gotten the 6 x 6's from the shipyard years ago. The 6 x 6's were rough cut so Brian took a drill sander to smooth them just enough for painting. Here are some photos of the switching out process.

You can see the worst off column sitting on the ground since he changed that one out first. The new column stands there waiting to be put in place. It was strange to see the porch with one column missing. Rather scary too since one mistake and the front of the porch could have fallen in.

I'm much happier now knowing the porch will not just fall in on itself now since we have solid wood up there. And everything went smooth with no problems. You can also see from these photos what the house colors were.

The exterior of the house is now in the process of getting a fresh coat of paint. We have one side and the front nearly finished. We chose an off-white color called ‘Ocean Mist’ and the trim color is called ‘Cinnamon Stone’. It definitely stands out now.

We have everything painted on the front of the house, except the front part of the porch that extends outward, which is still brilliant white at the moment.

The whole house was brilliant white and sky blue for trim as the previous photos showed. Blech! We never liked it but never got around to changing it till now. The off white is a warmer shade than the brilliant white and the trim color adds to the warmth. We also painted the front side of the door the same color as the trim….Cinnamon Stone. We haven’t decided which color porch paint we will use. We are trying to avoid white or battleship grey. Perhaps a charcoal would be better…or a grayish green? Choices…choices…..
So anyway we would have been finished with the house had it not been for the bad weather that was coming through the area. That and we got some sort of stomach flu. But the sun is shining again so back to work it will be. Once we finish painting the house we will be 38% finished with the exterior things.

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January 6, 2007

Termite Inspection Diagnosis

The termite inspector actually came out Thursday morning. His name is Brian Dunn...but he is not my husband. Actually a little background to all of this is one day we received a phone call for Brian Dunn, of course thats my hubby's name, and the person on the other line started talking about getting Angel's. Now this phone call was received right before the holidays a few years back, and so Brian is thinking Angels like for the top of a christmas tree or something because of the way it was asked. In fact it turned out to be a lawyer for Brian Dunn who was purchasing a pest control company called Angels Pest Control. So amongst the confusion we learned there was another Brian Dunn in Franklinton. Later we found another Brian Dunn who lives in the area. But back to the facts at hand, Brian Dunn came to inspect our house for termites last Thursday morning only to give us the worst news we could hear...yes we have them. And according to him powder post beetles as well, altho when the Orkin man came he did not see any signs of the latter critters. At any rate it would be about 700.00 to get it treated and he could do it Monday. Well we dont HAVE 700.00! So a panic ensued...well actually tears ensued for me. Since I knew the girl wouldnt pay it nor would she buy the place untreated. I just saw the whole thing unraveling! But alas a glimmer of hope came when the pest control man agreed he could just take it out of the proceeds from the house. But 700.00 is a huge chunk of change and we have already sacrificed so much money in this selling that it is beginning to not be beneficial for us. So Brian decided to call our real estate agent and see if the purchaser could pay it, or at least half of it, since after all SHE will be the one benefiting from it, not us. I mean we are already PAYING HER 1200 as an "allowance" for electrical work. So she walks away from closing with 1200 put in her pocket on us, which I doubt she will use to do the electrical. Her reply? Absolutely not! She will not chip in. Figures. But surprisingly, well not too surprising, our real estate agent (which there is a long story behind the motive as to why she probably did the following) decided to chip in half of the pest treatment out of her fee. This was a huge relief all the way around! Lesson in all of this? It never hurts to ASK.
Anyway today Brian has been working on getting the kitchen cabinet finished. I'll be staining it soon. We have the baseboards for the livingroom painted and tonight should be put up if all goes well. Plus we will probably, MAYBE, be painting the boys room tonight...we shall see.
I'll get some pictures as soon as I finish some of the rooms up or at least tidy them up hehe!

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This page contains an archive of all entries posted to Biography of Westinmoreland in the House: Exterior category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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