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Old 11-17-2018, 01:02 PM
 
Location: TOVCCA
8,290 posts, read 10,635,519 times
Reputation: 11935

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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeJaquish View Post
Stucco is pretty much a lost art.
Maybe in NC, but in SoCal, most houses are covered in stucco, new and old--as it's the safest in earthquake, and does well in a "standard" fire.
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Old 11-17-2018, 02:02 PM
 
2,451 posts, read 4,462,050 times
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My friend just sold her solid-as-a-rock 1978 house she's lived in since it was new, to buy a much larger new house so her elderly mom can move in with them. The house is gorgeous, and she insists the builder has a good reputation, but I fear for it down the road. The lot was graded very poorly and water is puddling in several areas already - large areas - and since the house has a finished basement, I'm a bit concerned about the grading. Also, I saw some corners cut that concerned me. There's a beautiful deck off the kitchen, but it has no steps down to the yard! How much extra could it possibly eat into the builder's profit to add 3 steps and a railing to a $785K house??

My previous home was built by an OCD builder who builds them one or two at a time, does ALL the work himself except the electrical and plumbing, and I'll never own such a well-built house again. When I decided to move to a different area and downsize, I bought a 1994 house figuring after over 20 years, the worst that could happen probably already had (similar to an earlier comment). The inspector found literally nothing that needed to be addressed, as the previous owner took good care of it and had even down some nice upgrading while she owned it. The only things I've had to address were replacing the original garage door opener and fridge, but those weren't the fault of the house; in fact, I'm surprised the fridge lasted that long!

I'd be very hard-pressed to buy a new home these days. This story just confirmed my opinion!
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Old 11-17-2018, 02:06 PM
 
Location: Central New Jersey
1,736 posts, read 600,467 times
Reputation: 2972
Didn't like stucco then, don't like it now, never will.
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Old 11-17-2018, 02:19 PM
 
2,451 posts, read 4,462,050 times
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Oh, and I want to add another buyer beware alert. I briefly owned a new townhouse that had a "10-year warranty." Without going into details, let me just say that the companies that issue these warranties do not have anything to do with repairing the problems. I should say, at least mine didn't, and it's a large, national home warranty company. When I called them to report the problem, they said it's not their job to do the repairs or decide who's liable; it's up to the builder. My builder refused to take responsibility so I ended up paying to have the repairs done myself. The really irritating thing is that he acknowledged it was a problem and that they were doing things differently in the next phase of the townhomes in that development. I didn't bother taking him to court because the problem was not too expensive to fix, and at that point I was even more anxious to unload the property before anything else went wrong.

Some smaller builders don't remain in business 10 years (I suspect he might not), so some of these warranties will be useless under those circumstances, too.
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Old 11-17-2018, 05:56 PM
 
6,887 posts, read 4,480,417 times
Reputation: 12081
Quote:
Originally Posted by tamajane View Post
Yet people still prefer big, new, overpriced poorly built McMansions. They try to lowball on older, solidly built homes, because cosmetics.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Electrician4you View Post
We bought a house built in 1984. Whatever was gonna go wrong it’s already happened. My wife’s moms old house was built with 2x4s that actually measured 2x4. 1943 build. It’s still standing today.
Older houses were often built by amateurs, who lacked knowledge in structural or civil engineering. The newer house might have shoddy cladding over the framing, but at least presumably the foundation is correctly poured. Imagine a house built in the early 20th century, where the basement walls are caving-in, because the builder did not understand about hydrostatic pressure. Soil absorbs water, water accumulates without prior drainage, and eventually that undermines the foundation. How does one go about fixing that?

And if the McMansion costs $400K, a $60K fix, even if costly, is a small fraction of market value. Now think about the same $60K fix in a house whose market value is only $90K, assuming that the house is in good condition. Now assume that the house is already fully paid off. What should the owners do? Should they repair it, sell as-is, or just donate the house to the County, taking the charity tax-deduction (while it still exists)?
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Old 11-17-2018, 07:26 PM
 
Location: Morrisville, NC
7,717 posts, read 10,175,655 times
Reputation: 6918
Quote:
Originally Posted by nightlysparrow View Post
Maybe in NC, but in SoCal, most houses are covered in stucco, new and old--as it's the safest in earthquake, and does well in a "standard" fire.
There's a big difference between real stucco on masonry and synthetic stucco over foam on a frame structure. It's the latter that has all the problems.

And it's kind of funny since they essentially banned synthetic stucco on residential structures in NC in the 90s due to the issues. I thought the entire industry had learned a lesson, but I guess not.

Any siding has to keep rain out, but also deal with any moisture that gets behind it and let it out. The synthetic stucco systems relied on the entire system being a barrier to moisture. The only issue is it would crack or have installation problems that let rain in, but it just sat there down below and rotted the sheathing and structure.

I see new houses almost every day with problems in the installation of the siding and flashing, from fiber cement to masonry veneer. Builders and their subs deviate from the industry recommendations and write letters to the buyers when I call them out saying it's fine. But at least the buyers have an inspection report and hopefully they keep that letter from the builder admitting they deviated from industry standards if there is ever a lawsuit.
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Old 11-17-2018, 11:16 PM
 
176 posts, read 40,846 times
Reputation: 574
Quote:
Originally Posted by ohio_peasant View Post
Older houses were often built by amateurs, who lacked knowledge in structural or civil engineering. The newer house might have shoddy cladding over the framing, but at least presumably the foundation is correctly poured. Imagine a house built in the early 20th century, where the basement walls are caving-in, because the builder did not understand about hydrostatic pressure. Soil absorbs water, water accumulates without prior drainage, and eventually that undermines the foundation. How does one go about fixing that?

Reminds me of the old joke that the Ark was built by an amateur, and the Titanic was built by professionals.

What you are stating is not borne out by history, at least not in my experience. In my neighborhood, homes built in the 1950's and 60's are having very few structural issues. Believe me, people that built homes in the early 1900's knew all about hydrostatic pressure and the necessity of water drainage, I remember my Old Man (a carpenter by trade) telling me when I was a pre-teen that "the biggest cause of damage to a building is water getting where it doesn't belong".

I have always been leery of many features of newer "McMansions" - short overhangs on eaves, an over-abundance of skylights and valleys in the roofs, vinyl window flashing, "loose" vinyl siding, stucco over frame, and small lots with poor grading, all invitations to water infiltration in "wet" climates like PA. What may work well in CA doesn't necessarily work well in FL. I guess one of the questions is, "How long should a home last?". I would say that seventy five years should be the minimum, and a hundred not being "unusual". There are plenty of homes built in the 1920's and 30's still doing well around Chicago, so I guess that's not such a bad guess. Part of what dooms an older home to demolition or major renovation is energy efficiency, it just wasn't such a huge factor sixty or more years ago. JMHO.
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Old 11-18-2018, 03:50 AM
 
Location: Cary, NC
31,772 posts, read 55,686,317 times
Reputation: 30424
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sherifftruman View Post
There's a big difference between real stucco on masonry and synthetic stucco over foam on a frame structure. It's the latter that has all the problems.

And it's kind of funny since they essentially banned synthetic stucco on residential structures in NC in the 90s due to the issues. I thought the entire industry had learned a lesson, but I guess not.

Any siding has to keep rain out, but also deal with any moisture that gets behind it and let it out. The synthetic stucco systems relied on the entire system being a barrier to moisture. The only issue is it would crack or have installation problems that let rain in, but it just sat there down below and rotted the sheathing and structure.

I see new houses almost every day with problems in the installation of the siding and flashing, from fiber cement to masonry veneer. Builders and their subs deviate from the industry recommendations and write letters to the buyers when I call them out saying it's fine. But at least the buyers have an inspection report and hopefully they keep that letter from the builder admitting they deviated from industry standards if there is ever a lawsuit.
Yeah, I have never had a new construction inspection done without multiple siding issues cited.
Denial, letters, and every now and then, repairs.
Anyone closing on a new home without an independent inspection is walking the wild side.

The Toll Houses have masonry stucco, not EIFS/synthetic stucco.
The photos on the one homeowner's website are sickening, and include brick homes...
https://www.tollresidentgroup.com/pictures.html

I often say, "Water is the enemy of all construction." I like this engineer's quote from the Phila. Inquirer article:
“When I was going through the ranks way back when, people had taught me that the three biggest problems in buildings are water, water, and water,” Joseph Lstiburek, a renowned forensic engineer, said during a presentation last year. “More problems occur because of rain than any other single issue in construction.”
And the article cites fibercement, brick, and stucco homes.
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Old 11-18-2018, 10:40 AM
 
148 posts, read 75,967 times
Reputation: 378
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sherifftruman View Post
There's a big difference between real stucco on masonry and synthetic stucco over foam on a frame structure. It's the latter that has all the problems.

And it's kind of funny since they essentially banned synthetic stucco on residential structures in NC in the 90s due to the issues. I thought the entire industry had learned a lesson, but I guess not.

Any siding has to keep rain out, but also deal with any moisture that gets behind it and let it out. The synthetic stucco systems relied on the entire system being a barrier to moisture. The only issue is it would crack or have installation problems that let rain in, but it just sat there down below and rotted the sheathing and structure.

I see new houses almost every day with problems in the installation of the siding and flashing, from fiber cement to masonry veneer. Builders and their subs deviate from the industry recommendations and write letters to the buyers when I call them out saying it's fine. But at least the buyers have an inspection report and hopefully they keep that letter from the builder admitting they deviated from industry standards if there is ever a lawsuit.
Is this the stuff that in Tennessee they refer to as "Efie," or "Evie?"
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Old 11-18-2018, 10:58 AM
 
10,022 posts, read 5,831,954 times
Reputation: 10092
Quote:
Originally Posted by ohio_peasant View Post
Older houses were often built by amateurs, who lacked knowledge in structural or civil engineering. The newer house might have shoddy cladding over the framing, but at least presumably the foundation is correctly poured. Imagine a house built in the early 20th century, where the basement walls are caving-in, because the builder did not understand about hydrostatic pressure. Soil absorbs water, water accumulates without prior drainage, and eventually that undermines the foundation. How does one go about fixing that?

And if the McMansion costs $400K, a $60K fix, even if costly, is a small fraction of market value. Now think about the same $60K fix in a house whose market value is only $90K, assuming that the house is in good condition. Now assume that the house is already fully paid off. What should the owners do? Should they repair it, sell as-is, or just donate the house to the County, taking the charity tax-deduction (while it still exists)?
Been to New England lately? Maybe they are supposed to raze entire towns and cities because, old buildings. My house is 65+ and bone dry, solid as a rock and no foundation cracks. My inspector's house is over two hundred years old. They must have had some idea what they were doing or there would not be so many good old houses still standing.
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