The Devil Queen

How my wife and I sold our souls to the Queen Anne Victorian we tried to save.

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Location: Crow Mountain, Arkansas, United States

Synopsis: This is a cautionary tale. A seriously disturbed couple find the charming, old ruin of a Queen Anne Victorian in Russellville, Arkansas, and buy it for $1.00. They tore the roof off, cut it in half, and had it moved to some land they owned sixteen miles away because they didn't know any better. Since then, they have hired and fired contractors, had all of their tools stolen, re-wired, re-plumbed, insulated, and essentially rebuilt the entire house. Their only problem is that after four years it still isn't finished. Now they are tired, broke, and wonder what in the hell it is they've done to themselves. And, it's haunted.
(Last updated on April 3, 2008)

Press: Russellville Courier Article - December 2003, HGTV website article, AP story - October 2006, and Victorian Homes Magazine - February 2008 (link coming soon).
Art: From time to time, I receive requests for my art. If you would like to look at more of my art, go to The Failed Artist. If you would like to buy my art, email me. I am more than happy to answer any questions you might have. Thanks!

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

A Call For Help

Have any of you Do-It-Yourself folks installed a HVAC system?

Is it something that anyone could do or is it something best left to the professionals? Personally, I don't know anything about heating-cooling systems, and I'd rather pay someone else to do it. My wife would rather save the money if she could.

In our situation, we would have to install everything - duct work, vents, unit, etc. The 40 year old system was torn out when we moved the house, so we are starting from scratch. All we have is the old vent holes cut through the floor.

Any feedback would be appreciated.


Blogger derek said...

My father and law and I are planning on replacing our oil furnace, all the duct work is in place, so we just have to attach to the old work. He's doing all the work with the pipe fitting, I'm nervous about working with gas. Check to see if it's legal in yQJ?Jarea as well.

10:46 AM  
Blogger Jocelyn said...

This is something Steve and I would not touch. Maybe if I wasn't employed and working on the house was my full-time gig- but even then doubtful. Maybe Pigeon Point would have some insight as they've tackled some plumbing and are installing an under floor radiant system right now. Also Greg at Petch House does alot of more technical work.

11:23 AM  
Blogger Gary said...

Technically you need a permit to hook up a furnace. (Health and safety reasons due to gas lines.)The furnace is the easy part though in terms of time. Running the ducts is what will cost you the money. I have no problems installing anything any more, I have learned that screw ups are generally fixable and only cost me my time in most cases. That being said, if in doubt, pay someone to install the furnace and you run the ducts. If the ducts don't get installed in a timely manner remember, hot air rises so it will reach the second floor eventually. If you know a building inspector ask them what the local code is for temperatures in old houses. You may be shocked to find that temperatures on upper floors need only reach 60 degrees at the floor level.

1:12 PM  
Anonymous Sean said...

I installed a complete HVAC System in my 700 square foot house. I ordered all of the components from They have a design service that will plan it out for you - I sent them a drawing of the house noting locations of doors, windows and room dimensions, and they created a plan of the ducting, and then sent me three pallets of components - the Heater/AC unit, the condenser and all of the ductwork. It was not too difficult to install the ducts, but installing the heater/AC Unit was a pain. I ended up having a HVAC contractor hook up the Condensor for the AC, as it can be tricky - Having ben through it, I would suggest hiring out the installation of the Heater/AC Unit, but install the ductwork on your own.

1:16 PM  
Anonymous Angela said...

We haven't installed a true HVAC system, but we did just install ductwork for a heat recovery ventilator (I assume most ductwork goes in the same).

Anyway, we did it in a new house and found that it was time-consuming, but not too difficult overall. I'm not sure how you would thread the ducts through existing walls unless you can run everything in the attic or floor joists, but others probably have suggestions on that.

Good luck!

3:53 AM  
Blogger Becky said...

In our first house Tim and a couple of buddies (one was an electrician) put in a new furnace. It was just the furnace they replaced, no duct work. Everything thing set in nicely, but in the end they had a couple of wires crossed and ended up blowing the circut board out of the unit. It was a few hundred to replace that. Tim figured in the end it probably would have been cheaper to hire it out. So in this house that was one of the duties we chose not to do ourselves.

7:59 AM  

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