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, November 15, 2007

The Best Home Improvement Project Ever

Before the fever set in two weekends ago, I had what I imagined to be a very clever post regarding our first Saturday with the plumber. Something along the lines of how great it was having an ass load of plumbing completed while your family sits around the table in their pajamas eating breakfast. And, it is a great experience that everyone should try at least once because life is too short to spend all your spare time plumbing.

Russ, our plumber, and his assistant were very quick. All of the first Saturday's scheduled work was completed in roughly three and a half hours. When we commented on how impressed we were with his speed, Russ replied, "It was easy since you used CPVC. All I had to do was cut out the old stuff [Titan heaters] and hook-up the new ones. I didn't have to re-plumb anything else." That was a feel-good. Aside from bungling-up a few things, maybe we really hadn't done too bad of a job as plumbing novices?

Also, for those of you might not know, CPVC is the plastic pipe that you ought to use for all of your hot water lines. If you don't and us PVC, your pipes will become brittle, crack, and flood your house. Then you'll have to hang yourself because it is much easier to do that than fix that much home-improvement sorrow.

The most impressive thing about Russ and company aside from their speed was that after they left everything seemed to work. And, a week and a half later, it still does.

So, last weekend we had Russ back to finish off the Devil Queen's plumbing: the leaking claw foot tub drain (long story), the leaking master bath vanity drains (short story - I'm a weak monkey with only two arms), the bum hot water shut off valve in the hall bath (cheap ass Lowe's plumbing hardware), and the non-plumbed hot tub (we are just too demoralized to even try).

And, in a flash, the last of this woe passed. For only $190.00, the last plumbing punch-list went quietly.

The first time I tried the hot tub's plumbing I felt a little stupid. It turned the faucet on and just gaped when water began pouring into the tub. I don't know how long it was I stood there just looking. You'd think I'd just seen Lazarus raised from the dead.

So, last night I decide to tackle the last hot tub related task, connecting the electrical. Now, this might sound arduous, but all I had to do was open the access panel and plug in the hot tub's built-in heater and the pumps. I'll skip all the gory details and skip to the part where I fill the tub and hit the on button. It immediately started. Now, this is where an amateur DIY person might start rejoicing. You know, like I did after I installed the master bathroom vanities before I noticed the small, trickle of water leaking from the drain.

So, before I did my victory dance, I put the tub to the test. I jumped in and ran the thing non-stop for an hour. Someone had to do it, right? After an hour of such demanding work, I was weak in the knees. As I stumbled out of the tub, I couldn't help but think that this was the best home improvement project ever. Really.

Seriously, I'm really very, very glad the hot tub seems to work. We bought the damn thing so long ago that the warrantee expired before it was ever install much less connected to anything.

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Blogger Sandy said...

I can't believe you volunteered to test the hot tub. It must have been such a huge sacrifice on your part. LOL

Glad you are feeling up-to-snuff and that the plumbing experience was a good one!

1:21 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

I, too, know the delicious joy of hiring a plumber. I'll never regret it for a moment. We still wouldn't have a working master bath if we hadn't hired the plumbers.

1:57 PM  
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