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Old 10-17-2013, 08:56 AM
 
Location: Middletown, CT
627 posts, read 824,221 times
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Another thing to watch out for is poorly done upgrades. It's nearly a hundred years of opportunities to screw up the structure or create a place for water to get in.
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Old 10-18-2013, 12:14 PM
 
413 posts, read 885,417 times
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We loved our 1918 house that we recently sold. The plaster walls kept the temperature so much more even than our modern house here in CT. It was solid. The beams were great. The craftsmanship were great. We loved the old floors. The issues you may have are with electricity and plumbing. The old pipes can last forever, or go at any minute. The plumbing was like having Damocles sword hanging over you. Electricity didn't seem as problematic to upgrade. The other issue that was ongoing was closet space. It wasn't good. The proportions of the rooms, the look, the feel were great, though. Oh, and those old houses settle, so if you like straight parallel lines, it may be a problem.
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Old 10-22-2013, 03:19 AM
 
Location: Northampton, Mass.
697 posts, read 855,770 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nonny View Post
We loved our 1918 house that we recently sold. The plaster walls kept the temperature so much more even than our modern house here in CT. It was solid. The beams were great. The craftsmanship were great. We loved the old floors. The issues you may have are with electricity and plumbing. The old pipes can last forever, or go at any minute. The plumbing was like having Damocles sword hanging over you. Electricity didn't seem as problematic to upgrade. The other issue that was ongoing was closet space. It wasn't good. The proportions of the rooms, the look, the feel were great, though. Oh, and those old houses settle, so if you like straight parallel lines, it may be a problem.
What I like about plaster walls (the wooden lath and horsehair type especially) is they are better at deadening sound in adjacent rooms and are much stronger than average drywall.
Yes, closets in houses built even into the 1970s tend to be small by today's new house standards...people used chests more back then, not to mention most people just had less stuff back then...but for me I never really minded the small closets (though having larger ones is nice!).
The plumbing in houses built in the early 20th century often were of galvanized iron for water pipes and cast iron or brass/copper waste pipes. The cast iron waste pipes can last a very long time but the iron water pipes are prone to mineral buildup which can reduce water pressure or cause blockage--they also can crack easier than copper or plastic.
If you're lucky enough to have old brass or copper waste pipes, wonderful...they are very durable and corrosion resistant---due to the cost of copper now they are hardly even installed anymore and I bet many plumbers have never even encountered them, so repair could be an issue.
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Old 10-22-2013, 05:18 AM
 
413 posts, read 885,417 times
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The plumbers we had would not repair the old pipes. They'd rip out the whole thing, and replace. It was really expensive, esp. because it involved tearing out plaster walls. If I ever bought another 1920s house, I would want new plumbing before I bought. The closets are a problem because if you build a new one, it throws off the proportions of the rooms, which are really spectacular.
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