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DasHaus JUNE/JULY 2014

Bit of a fixer-upper Hays man calls historic house a home after extensive remodel.

SUMMER CRAFTS

Kayla Berry gives tips for July 4 decor.

SAVING WATER

Smart strategies can reduce water use.


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CONTENTS

Food for thought......4 Common sense strategies can reduce water use at home.

At home6

Treetop living......12 Phillipsburg family builds unique summer-time retreat.

Hays man delights in restoring, customizing historic house.

Das Haus is published and distributed by The Hays Daily News, 507 Main, Hays, KS 67601. Find it online at www.HDNews.net/DasHaus. Copyright Š 2014 Harris Enterprises. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. Das Haus is a registered trademark of The Hays Daily News. Printed by Northwestern Printers, 114 W. Ninth, Hays, KS 67601, northwesternprinters.com. Publisher, Patrick Lowry, plowry@dailynews.net Advertising Director, Mary Karst, maryk_ads@dailynews.net Designer, Kaley Conner, kconner@dailynews.net Account Executives: Joleen Fisher, Ashley Bergman, Eric Rathke Creative Services: Juno Ogle, Tiffany Reddig

Patriotic crafts......14 Hays woman shares ideas to decorate the home for summer.


FOOD FOR THOUGHT Linda Beech is a family and consumer science agent with K-State Research and Extension in Ellis County.

drop count Making every W

hat would you do if you didn’t have enough water for your basic needs — drinking, cooking, bathing? Water is a critical resource, and yet it easily can be taken for granted when there is a plentiful supply. But what would your life be like if you only had a small pail of water for your daily needs? Years ago, I heard a missionary tell of her experiences in Nigeria. What struck me most was her description of the limited water supply and how she had to make one pail last as long as possible. Can you imagine water being so precious you dare not waste a drop?

With dwindling water supplies and a years-long drought affecting our area, saving water here is more important than ever, especially in the hot months of summer. Outdoor water uses for watering lawns and washing vehicles get a lot of attention, but there are a number of ways to save water inside the home, too. Water use in America averages 80 to 100 gallons of water per person per day. Multiply that by the number of people in your household, and you can estimate the amount of water your family uses every day. Following even a few water-saving suggestions can help make every drop count.

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Save water in the bathroom

· Toilets account for approximately 30 percent of all indoor water use. Replacing an old toilet with a low-volume new one can save an average household 8,000 to 22,000 gallons of water in a single year. The city of Hays even offers residents a rebate for qualifying replacements. · Approximately 20 percent of toilets leak. Check for leaks by putting a few drops of food coloring in the toilet tank. If the dye seeps into the bowl, you have a leak that should be fixed. Replacing the flapper usually will solve toilet leaks inexpensively and can save more than 600 gallons of water a month. · Install a low-flow shower head and take a quick shower instead of a bath to save approximately 20 gallons of water each time. The city of Hays offers free and low-cost replacement shower heads to residents. · Turn the water off when shaving or brushing your teeth, and you’ll save an average of 5 gallons per person per day.

until the water gets cold. · Soak pots and pans instead of letting the water run while you scrape them clean. · If you accidentally drop ice cubes or have some left in your glass, don’t throw them in the sink. Drop them in a houseplant or pet water

bowl instead. With limited water supplies, every drop counts. Do one thing each day to save water. Little steps make a big difference. There are many ways to save water indoors — and they all start with you!

Save water in the laundry room

· Washing machines are responsible for up to 20 percent of household water usage. The city of Hays offers a rebate program to residents who replace their old washer with a new high-efficiency one. · Run the washing machine only when full, or adjust water settings accordingly. A typical load of laundry can use 25 to 40 gallons of water. · At home, as when staying in a hotel, reuse your towels to save several loads of laundry each month.

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Save water in the kitchen

· Run the dishwasher (only when full) rather than washing dishes by hand. A dishwasher uses 4 to 10 gallons of water per load, while dishwashing by hand uses up to 20 gallons per meal. · Cut back on pre-rinsing dishes if your dishwasher is new or your water is soft. Newer models clean more thoroughly than older ones, especially in soft water. · Keep a pitcher of water in the refrigerator rather than running the tap

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AT HOME Kris Munsch takes on extensive remodel to create his dream home in Hays.

Building a home

H

6 DAS HAUS June/July 2014

e had been in this spot many a time before. So when Kris Munsch heard an old, empty house on 17th Street in Hays was for sale, he couldn’t resist checking it out. The house, which sat empty for several decades, had been called haunted and was in bad need of repair and upgrading. Following an open house walk-through in late 2012, most people shied away. Not Munsch. This was right up his alley. “I don’t see what it is; I see what it can be,” said Munsch, who has remodeled numerous old homes in Hays, including one across the street from

this particular house several years ago. He laughed, adding, “That’s good and bad. If you see what it can be, it’s hard to stop.” Munsch embarked about a year ago on his vision of what this house could be, and he hasn’t stopped since. “People were saying it needs torn down, way too much work here,” Munsch said. “I was glad hearing those things. I didn’t want anybody else to be interested in it. I was determined to get it.” Get it he did, and he didn’t tear it down. He tore into it instead. Transformed from a dark brown, eerie-looking house sitting back from


ABOVE: A formal sitting area, including several antique items, is pictured in Kris Munsch’s newly restored historic Hays home. BELOW: An old-fashioned key for one of the home’s rooms contrasts with Munsch’s modern keys. the street, surrounded by an unkempt row of trees, Munsch’s newest project at 415 W. 17th now is a pleasant sight to behold to anyone walking, riding or driving by — and to neighbors as well. What the average passerby can see is a new roof, new windows, new pale green siding and a green lawn surrounded by a 3-foot wooden fence. But the inside of the home is the biggest transformation. Munsch decided to stay with the original structure of the house, but refinished the wooden floors, repainted walls and installed an entirely new kitchen. “I’m trying to keep everything as original as possible,” he said, “but it also has to be functional. It has to make sense for today.”

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Story: Diane Gasper-O’Brien Photos: Jolie Green


8 DAS HAUS June/July 2014

The only significant additions for Munsch were a deck on the back side of the house and an extension of the attic roof to make room for a bathroom and walk-in closet in the third-story loft that serves as the master bedroom. There are three bedrooms on the second floor, which is accessible from two sets of stairs — one from the parlor side of the house and the other from the kitchen/dining room side. As usual, Munsch did a lot of research on the home and found some history in hidden areas as well. “I think there was dirt from the Dirty ’30s Dust Bowl,” he said of a dusty greet-

ing in a storage area under the roof. He found newspapers from 1906 in the floorboards, making him believe the house is more than 100 years old. Munsch, an assistant professor in the Institute of Applied Technology at Fort Hays State University, hired several students to help him complete in just 14 months time his extensive project that includes a new two-car garage on the concrete pad of the original garage. In an effort to stay with the original

ambiance of the home, Munsch rebuilt the front and back doors, and all of his furniture is “used.” For instance, his kitchen table is made with wood from an old barn in Osborne. Family and friends, and people he doesn’t even know, have contributed furniture and wall hangings they think “would look good in this house.”

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A restored staircase leads to the home’s bedrooms on the second level.

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ABOVE: The stairs lead to a spacious landing on the upper floor. LEFT: Munsch’s dining room table is big enough for lots of company. “A lot of the community has rallied around this project,” Munsch said. The last people to live in the home were relatives of Frank and Pauline Lindner, who had raised their family there. But that was several decades ago. It sat empty for many years before the Lindners, who live out of

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state, decided to sell it. “As far as a family living here, it’s been 60-plus years,” Munsch said. “(I’m) glad to revive it.” And Munsch plans to enjoy it with his family ­— pet golden retrievers Moose and Ellie, who appear to enjoy the huge front porch as much as their

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master does. “I have a lot of favorite places here,” Munsch said, stepping back and panning the entire property. “The porch, the kitchen, the front porch.” “You know,” he added, “my favorite place is the entire house. It’s home.”

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OUTDOOR LIVING

Up in the

Treetops P

12 DAS HAUS June/July 2014

HILLIPSBURG — Like many teenagers, Alec Weishaar had been saving his money for several years for something special. He found just the thing he wanted to splurge on last summer, and it isn’t something most 19-yearold boys would choose. Alec — who was diagnosed with autism as a toddler and lives with his family in Phillipsburg — now is the proud owner of a treehouse. “Kids that age get a car,” said his mother, Deb Weishaar. “Alec got a tree house.” And it’s not your average treehouse. The Weishaars commissioned a local craftsman, Garrett Wickham, to build a 10-by-10-foot enclosed wooden structure 13 feet above ground, anchored to two huge elm trees in the backyard of their family home. The treehouse, complete with a deck, wasn’t finished until last fall, so Alec was counting the days until the end of the school year when he could have friends stay overnight

with him high above the back yard. Occupancy in the red-stained structure with two windows, though, will be shared with his 10-year-old sister, Annie. “He paid for it, but we share it,” Annie said matter-of-factly. Alec and Annie are the youngest of four children of Jeff and Deb Weishaar. The older two siblings are grown and out of the house, but despite their age difference, Alec and Annie spend a lot of time together. Some of that sibling togetherness will be in the tree house with the tin roof and two doors, one leading into the front of the tree house and the other out the back and onto the deck. Annie furnished the inside with a small table and chairs, as well as a cushioned chair for comfort.

Story: Diane GasperO’Brien Photos: Jolie Green


“When school started last fall, Annie would read out here every day,” Deb said. “It’s a great place.” Annie’s paintings on all four sides of the inside wall depict the four seasons. Wickham said he started watching “Tree House Masters” on TV and picked up some good ideas. “I watch (the show) all the time now,” said Wickham, who said he got his start in treehouse building at a young age. “I was always building tree forts,” he said of his younger days in Phillipsburg. “But I never built a treehouse this elaborate.” A lot of TLC went into the building of the project. Wickham even placed some tubing over the end of rods he welded to bolts screwed into the trees so it would move ever so slightly with the wind, taking some of the stress off the house — and the trees. Annie said she’s anxious to try out the treehouse on a windy day.

“We have a lot of fun things planned for the summer,” Deb said, although family members differ on what those fun things should be. “I think we should have a TV and a mini fridge,” Annie said. “We refuse to put electricity in it,” was Deb’s quick reply. “I really want a fireman’s pole,” Annie said. “I vetoed that, too,” her mom said.

Deb said the venture has proved to be one for the entire town. “We had a lot of people stop and look while Garrett was building it,” said Deb, while Garrett added all of his supplies to build the treehouse were bought locally. “We’ve joked about having an open house,” Deb said. First, though, she might have to ask her children for open dates.

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Berry Berry Quite Contrary Kayla Berry is a stay-at-home mom who enjoys creating, decorating and re-purposing old furniture and decor.

Chalkin’ it up

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f you’ve been on any social network the last year, you might have noticed chalkboards seem to be everywhere. Painted on walls, boards, frames, tables, etc., chalkboard paint is not just used for your school classrooms anymore. Here are a few ideas to get you started decorating with chalkboard paint. 1. Don’t throw out those old kitchen cabinets. They make great chalkboards. Your basic kitchen cabinet: I removed the hardware and filled the holes with wood filler. I put a small piece of tape on the backside of the cabinet to hold the filler in. Sand with a fine grit sandpaper over the filler to give it a smooth finish.

I then gave it two coats of primer. You will want to paint the chalkboard paint with a foam brush or roller. You want to give it at least three coats and wait four hours in between each coat. You have to wait three days before you can write on it. If you struggle with patience like I do, this might be hard to do; but believe me, it will be well worth the wait! You must prime your chalkboard before writing on it, or whatever you write on it will be permanently a part of your board. You prime it by taking the side of the chalk, rubbing it all over the board a few times and then erasing it. Then the board is ready to use.

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Before  Here is an example of a finished cabinet chalkboard, decorated for fall. Use them as décor in your home or outside for different seasons and holidays.

Red, white F

After 2. You don’t just have to use cabinets though. Here is a chalkboard I made out of a photo frame. 

ourth of July brings to mind words such as camping, fireworks, barbecues, freedom, family and — of course — the American flag. And what better way to showcase your American pride than displaying one? What you will need: * An old wood pallet (any size you’d like) * Red, white and blue paint * Paintbrush * Star-shaped stencil or foam stamp

true

* Polycrylic spray Start by wiping down your pallet so you have a smooth surface to work on. Simply paint the American flag onto your pallet. It doesn’t have to be perfect, so don’t fret if your lines are not perfectly straight. When your paint is dry, give it a few coats of polycrylic spray following the directions on the can. This will help protect it from outside elements. This craft is a unique, cheap way to display the American flag.

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Das Haus June 2014