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Old 06-22-2020, 03:05 PM
 
Location: N Y
68 posts, read 183,144 times
Reputation: 145

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Hello again.
Another hopeful transplant from the Northeast here. We plan to rent a single family home before buying of course.

Where we come from its understood that they just don't build houses like they used to.

Over the past few years we have traveled to different states and toured many new home communities. While beautifully decorated, some just didn't feel solid. Some of the layout styles leave a lot to be desired. For example, the open concept kitchen/family room. Not a fan of the sink just floating in the open!
! I digress.

The real question I have is: how does a home built in the 80's differ from one built in the 50's? Is newer really better?
Some ranch homes I have seen built in the 70's-80's have a living room with no windows at the center of the house, flanked by rooms on either end. Or very small windows so that the interior of the house is dark. Is this design to help protect in case of a tornado?

What construction techniques did they begin using... that they have since discontinued?
Are there any particular problems that come with 90's era homes? 2000's?
Walls with texture?
Slab foundations vs pier?
Is PEX truly better than PVC or good old fashioned copper?

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Old 06-22-2020, 03:14 PM
 
5,249 posts, read 6,334,527 times
Reputation: 6216
Really depends on the quality of the house and a ton of other factors. If you like the older separation of rooms and a sprawling one-story, then build quality is mostly irrelevant as it's harder to get one of those nowadays as a new build.




Quote:
Some ranch homes I have seen built in the 70's-80's have a living room with no windows at the center of the house, flanked by rooms on either end. Or very small windows so that the interior of the house is dark. Is this design to help protect in case of a tornado?
No there were just some really weird home designs like for example homes with no windows on the front facing side. I'd guess it was because there was no consumer-preference surveys done, so they were more builder-designed.




Digging around in my house built in the '70s vs one built in the 1990s, the general construction methods were exactly the same. There were some materials differences, some worse, some better.
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Old 06-22-2020, 03:20 PM
 
11,230 posts, read 9,161,362 times
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Well, OP, you asked about ten different highly open-ended questions there.


Maybe you should check out a copy of "Field Guide to American Houses" by McAllister to start.
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Old 06-22-2020, 04:01 PM
 
Location: DFW
40,919 posts, read 48,840,861 times
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Just don't buy a home in the 70's. Lot of short cuts with Aluminum wiring, bad foundations, other problems.

To me, every other decade has been good.
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Old 06-22-2020, 04:08 PM
 
Location: N Y
68 posts, read 183,144 times
Reputation: 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by turf3 View Post
Well, OP, you asked about ten different highly open-ended questions there.


Maybe you should check out a copy of "Field Guide to American Houses" by McAllister to start.
Well its past time for me to go to architecture school ... so I'll pass on that text book.

I am well aware of housing STYLE types. My question was more about build QUALITY.
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Old 06-22-2020, 04:09 PM
 
Location: N Y
68 posts, read 183,144 times
Reputation: 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rakin View Post
Just don't buy a home in the 70's. Lot of short cuts with Aluminum wiring, bad foundations, other problems.

To me, every other decade has been good.
Thank you Rankin- this is precisely the type of answer I was searching for.
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Old 06-22-2020, 04:39 PM
 
Location: DFW
40,919 posts, read 48,840,861 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colorsofspring View Post
Thank you Rankin- this is precisely the type of answer I was searching for.
Nor a home built in the early 40's if you can find them. Lot of shortages during WW2 and they skimped on stuff like rebar.

But few homes were built then. Personally a home older than maybe 1948 does nothing for me.

But many have been updated.
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Old 06-22-2020, 04:47 PM
 
5,249 posts, read 6,334,527 times
Reputation: 6216
Quote:
Just don't buy a home in the 70's
Modern 12/2 romex wiring was common in the 1970s, so this is a generally incorrect statement. There were foundation problems in the DFW area for homes built in the 1970s, because that was generally the transition period between pier and beam and slab foundations as most common, and they did put rebar in the foundations but they didn't put post-tension cables in them at that time. I don't think post-tension cabling was common until the 1990s in DFW.


But even then, darn near every home that is still standing from the 1970s (ok, that sold for more than $200k currently) has had many piers put in to level the foundations if they had problems, so how they originally built them is irrelevant.
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Old 06-22-2020, 04:54 PM
 
43 posts, read 41,391 times
Reputation: 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rakin View Post
Just don't buy a home in the 70's. Lot of short cuts with Aluminum wiring, bad foundations, other problems.

To me, every other decade has been good.
This is not true as a blanket statement at all. My house in the mid-cities Is 1976 and the thing is a tank. No foundation issues at all, wiring is fine, everything holding up great with normal maintenance.
Meanwhile, the last house I had from 1960 was sinking into the ground and had all kinds of electrical updates needed. And every time I go to someone’s new construction house, it feels like a cardboard box in a storm.
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Old 06-22-2020, 05:53 PM
 
Location: Fort Worth, TX
2,502 posts, read 2,173,287 times
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If your concern is how sound a home is here then I would recommend getting specialists to inspect two things: the roof and the foundation. Roofs here are very prone to damage from hail and high winds to the point that some people just repair a roof if there's damage with the hope that a hail storm will occur so that they can pass the cost onto their insurance company. For a variety of reasons, homes here are very prone to foundation issues so I recommend getting a foundation inspection.
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