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Old 02-14-2013, 04:06 PM
 
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Apart from no insulation and radiator pipes going in and out of places, what are some of the major issues I should look out for when viewing properties built in the 1920s?
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Old 02-14-2013, 05:07 PM
 
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Electrical, plumbing, foundations, possibly asbestos in the basement or elsewhere in the house. Windows can be a concern as many are not built to modern sizing and replacement, double pane windows may need to be custom built. Check fireplaces for cracked flues or flues that no longer draw properly.
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Old 02-14-2013, 05:38 PM
 
Location: In a house
13,258 posts, read 34,604,245 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willow wind View Post
Electrical, plumbing, foundations, possibly asbestos in the basement or elsewhere in the house. Windows can be a concern as many are not built to modern sizing and replacement, double pane windows may need to be custom built. Check fireplaces for cracked flues or flues that no longer draw properly.
About the window replacement - just as an FYI - as long as the house isn't the type you'd want to pass down and eventually apply for Historic designation, you could always cut the holes to fit standard windows. MUCH cheaper than custom sized windows. If the holes are already too big, you can have them made smaller if you get new siding.

Siding is also a concern - some older homes have asbestos shingles. If they're removed, it has to be done in a specific way, and the shingles can't be thrown in the dumpster or brought to the town dump. They get discarded as hazwaste, with special permits. It's definitely a concern.

Spot on with electrical, foundations, and plumbing. Older electrical can't just be toyed with. It's something you'd want a professional (licensed and insured) electrician to do, if you're not already one yourself.

You'll also want to check the leech field, septic system, and well, if your property has any of those things. And the oil tank, if you have oil heat. If it's been converted from oil to something else, you'll want to make sure the new mechanicals are in good condition. Another thing to check for is termite/carpenter ant damage, and any treatment history, if there is any. Especially in the main support beams in the basement and roof, and weight-bearing walls.

Basically, you'll want a professional inspection done. It's a few hundred bucks but it's well worth the price if you're serious about buying a home - especially an older one.
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Old 02-14-2013, 05:51 PM
Status: " tired" (set 10 days ago)
 
Location: Europe
1,407 posts, read 1,156,272 times
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asbestos
lead paint
outdated electricity system
damp/mould
single glass windows
rotten wood
lacking insulation
if it is a Historically listed building there are rules about what is and is not allowed to be done to the house
roots from very old trees which invade foundations
some old buildings never loose the old musty house smell no matter what you do to it
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Old 02-14-2013, 06:36 PM
 
Location: Jacksonville, FL
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Right now I'm living in a metro area where most houses were built in the 2000's!
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Old 02-14-2013, 09:17 PM
 
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Thanks everyone. After hearing the list of problems I think I will forget about the house lol.
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Old 02-14-2013, 10:11 PM
 
Location: The New England part of Ohio
17,566 posts, read 21,741,355 times
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No please don't! Homes built in the 1920s are are among the most sturdy, beautiful and livable. They are arguably the first modern American homes built on a human scale. not for show, but for comfortable living.

So many home styles were popular in the 1920s - the neo-Colonial, The Arts and Crafts or Craftsman, the Neo-Tudor, The American Four Square and others.

The issues raised in 1920s homes could just as easily be found in schlock built Mc Mansions and faux Victorians. YUK! I had a 1995 Victorian style house for 9 years. It was the work built home I have ever had.

It was near the Long Island Sound and it flooded regularly. There was black mold all around the basement and it's toxic spores were conveniently sprad around by the central air.

Talk about planned obsolescence! Everything in that crap house went, broke down, and failed to operate after eight to 10 years, Never again.

My next house is a 1926 Craftsman Gordon van tine hoses. It is solid as a rock!
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Old 02-14-2013, 10:29 PM
 
Location: The New England part of Ohio
17,566 posts, read 21,741,355 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Konig1985 View Post
Apart from no insulation and radiator pipes going in and out of places, what are some of the major issues I should look out for when viewing properties built in the 1920s?
No insulation? Perhaps the attic. Houses built in the 1920s are insulated.

As far as radiators are concerned, if you don't like the look, pick up a "This Old House" or "American Craftsman" magazine. They sell radiator covers is older home magazines. If you don't like the look. it's an easy fix.
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Old 02-15-2013, 12:09 AM
 
Location: Tijuana Exurbs
3,861 posts, read 10,090,073 times
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The beauty of many 1920s era homes is that they have enough old-style fanciness - no stripped down Depression era construction, but at the same time were built with modern plumbing and electrical in mind that many pre 1900 houses had to have grafted on. 1920s houses are definitely worth considering. Yes there are minuses which must be considered, but there are so many pluses as well.

And regarding non-standardized windows, bite the bullet and get custom rebuilts. Grafting on standard sized windows on an old house will disrupt the proportions and the lines, and will make the house just look 'wrong' in some un-identifiable way. It will take awhile for people to figure out exactly what is wrong, but they will notice it.
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Old 02-15-2013, 12:36 AM
 
Location: The New England part of Ohio
17,566 posts, read 21,741,355 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kettlepot View Post
The beauty of many 1920s era homes is that they have enough old-style fanciness - no stripped down Depression era construction, but at the same time were built with modern plumbing and electrical in mind that many pre 1900 houses had to have grafted on. 1920s houses are definitely worth considering. Yes there are minuses which must be considered, but there are so many pluses as well.

And regarding non-standardized windows, bite the bullet and get custom rebuilts. Grafting on standard sized windows on an old house will disrupt the proportions and the lines, and will make the house just look 'wrong' in some un-identifiable way. It will take awhile for people to figure out exactly what is wrong, but they will notice it.
Exactly! They were built at the perfect time for a burgeoning middle and upper middle class, anxious for stately livable abodes. And that is exactly what 1920s homes are. Modern plumbing, electric that is easily updated, and many touches that you just don't see in newer construction - stained glass windows, wood molding, fireplaces, and builtins. I love those houses.

The best of the old and the new! I agree totally kettlepot!

If you don't like 1920s houses, stay away!!!
There is nothing that I hate more than seeing a 1920s - or any circa home modernized.
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