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!

Thursday, October 13, 2005

280 Square Feet on the Cheap?

It looks like we're going to need 280 square feet of wood flooring for the front hall.

The hall floor was shamelessly abused. Before we bought the Queen, the previous owners laid carpet over it, cut a whole in it for the return air duct, and let the roof leak on it for about 20 years. Then we show up and cut the Queen in half down one side of the hall. Since the move, the two halves don’t quite match up. It hard to describe how it's off exactly. The front section of the hall and the front bedroom have been stretched out of shape by about 3/4 of an inch in several directions.

Out of everything inflicted on the floor, the water was the worst. The wall around the front door lost a couple of studs and a lot of wall boards to rot. About 75% of the wainscoting was ruined too. About 18 inches of all the floor boards at that end of the hall rotted away along with two floor joists beneath them.

We'd hoped to repair the original floor, but I don't think that its going to happen. Tony cut the rotten ends off the boards near the door and replaced them with plywood. He has also replaced all of the rotten joists. I haven't crawled all of the way under the house to get a good look at it yet. It appears that the plywood not only serves as subflooring but as a structural support as well. Tony has started his next job, so I've had trouble getting a hold of him. I'm looking for his opinion on it.

I don't think salvaging more floorboards is an option for us at this point. We don't have any time to spare, and I haven't seen any good "donor" homes in our area lately. I'm going put a call in to our guy in Mena to see if he can find us any.

We've been considering our options.

First, we checked to see what we have on hand. It didn't take long. We have some salvaged flooring left over from the kitchen and additions, but it isn't enough and most boards are in pretty bad shape.

Second, we considered tiling the hall. While I think it may look nice, it has several disadvantages. First, it'll build the floor up about an inch or more. This will have me redoing all the thresholds and trimming a couple of doors. The doors are original, and I do not want to tamper with them any more than I have to. It would also cost us about $3.00 (+/-) a square foot. On our current budget, that is just too much.

Wood is probably the way we'll go. Ideally, we'd love to have walnut, cherry, or something of the like. Pine is probably what we'll end up with. Nothing wrong with that, most of the house has pine floors already. If we went to Lowe's it'd cost us about $475.

I checked Lumber Liquidators too. I found pine for $462. This is without shipping. They just opened a store in Memphis, so I could drive down and get it. I figure that would be about $100 dollars for gas. Has anyone used Lumber Liquidators before? Something bothers me about buying flooring sight unseen.

To be honest, no price has been low enough for me. So far, all the flooring we've laid has been salvaged. Aside from lots of time and sweat, it's been free. How do you beat that price?

For now we've put this project on the back burner. Maybe something will come to us if we keep our eyes open.

I'm open to suggestions. Anyone have a better idea?


Blogger derek said...

I'd put in something temporary, until you can afford the floor you want. The new pine isn't as durable as the old, I think salvaged flooring is the way to go. Or flooring that is made out of salvaged, old growth wood. I've heard bad things about Lumber Liquidators on Breaktime.

1:10 PM  
Blogger amanda said...

I've heard really bad things about Lumber Liquidators myself. I'd put in something fast, temporary (linoleum or vinyl tile), and easily removed in order to get you through the bank's deadline. It's not a period-appropriate solution, but it should work...

2:57 PM  
Blogger K. said...

Huh. People I know - who aren't necessarily restoring houses - have loved Lumber Liquidators, mainly for the price and maybe quality. But I haven't heard any complaints.

7:34 PM  
Blogger Joe Remodelo said...

our experience with Lumber Liquidators was not stellar. Actual shipping turned out to be more than double what the websit said it would be. They sent me a form that I had to sign and fax back that stated that I understood that the materials weren't guaranteed even though the website said they had a 25 year guarantee. The packaging was the worst. They took seven foot long boxes of flooring and put them on a "half pallet" (24"x40") and they were all swarmed and broken open when the truck arrived. Many board ends were damaged, but fortunately we were able to work around that.

I can't reccommend them, personally, but my floor does look good.

6:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lumber Liquidators are not a reliable company. They play the bait and switch game. Also, what is advertised on sale is not the price they give you. They send you a sale book then 3 days later you order and they say we changed. Quality of the product is a lot to be desired and when you send a customer complaint they don't answer. Sent one to the president and she never would respond.

11:53 AM  

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