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Old 11-18-2018, 11:15 AM
 
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Not excusing these scummy developers, but any house can have problems. Asbestos, remember that? I know someone who had to have their 1960s ranch lifted off the foundation to do a foundation repair. Oh yeah and then they found termite damage through the whole thing
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Old 11-18-2018, 11:34 AM
Status: "A delicate snowflake with the vote of a wolverine." (set 19 days ago)
 
Location: Houston, TX
13,361 posts, read 7,540,855 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bookspage View Post
Not excusing these scummy developers, but any house can have problems. Asbestos, remember that? I know someone who had to have their 1960s ranch lifted off the foundation to do a foundation repair. Oh yeah and then they found termite damage through the whole thing
It sounds like you are excusing them, actually. Besides, these scenarios are not the same at all. Foundation issues are due to the effects of Mother Nature expanding and contracting the concrete slab over decades. Termite invasion occurs when insects enter the home and gradually eat away at the structure, and that's not the developer's fault either. Not properly sealing/protecting stucco that should not have been used in such a wet climate in the first place? The fault lies squarely on the developer.
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Old 11-18-2018, 11:36 AM
 
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Originally Posted by bookspage View Post
Not excusing these scummy developers, but any house can have problems. Asbestos, remember that? I know someone who had to have their 1960s ranch lifted off the foundation to do a foundation repair. Oh yeah and then they found termite damage through the whole thing
Asbestos, shemsbestos. Big deal all older houses had it, it didn't kill everyone did it. The problem is people who work with it all the time and without proper equipment. I either sealed the materials that have it or removed it by watering it down first. I worry more about chemical gasses in modern materials and houses being built so tight keeping those chemicals and gasses inside for us to breathe in.

Everyone should inspect their own home on a regular basis. There would certainly be signs of termite intrusion before the house was jacked up if the homeowner inspected for it, especially if there is an unfinished basement. A WELL maintained and preserved older house is worth it's weight in gold. We have some Frank Lloyd Wright inspired homes here that must live forever, as well as Victorians and farmhouses. Craftsman houses are fantastic. There is an art to maintaining old houses but they can be preserved for a long, long time with proper care and attention. They are just better than new houses.
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Old 11-18-2018, 12:21 PM
 
6,887 posts, read 4,480,417 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Curly Q. Bobalink View Post
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".
Quote:
Originally Posted by tamajane View Post
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.
And after 4000 years, the Egyptian pyramids are still standing.

Older does not mean inferior, or shoddily built. But in America, and especially in Middle America, so much of the mid-20th century housing stock was built by people who had no business building. The observation that some professional builders aim to cut costs, to use inferior materials and to hire disreputable subs, is always going to be correct. After all, taking one’s car to the dealership for repair, does not guaranteed the best repair. But often, the amateur mechanic does an even worse job than a slapdash and careless professional. Sometimes it is better to have one’s car’s oil changed by Jiffy Lube, than to do it oneself, cross-threading the drain plug, dripping oil all over the road, and having the engine’s crankshaft seize from oil-starvation.

Ultimately, our biases are rooted in personal experience. If one buys a tidy 150-year-old house that never leaks and never rots, it’s so persuasive to extol the old. But if a block-foundation built into the hillside leaks and bows, the blocks well-hidden because the basement is finished and “dry”wall obscures the damage, what’s to be done? Buyer beware indeed…
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Old 11-18-2018, 12:39 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ohio_peasant View Post
And after 4000 years, the Egyptian pyramids are still standing.

Older does not mean inferior, or shoddily built. But in America, and especially in Middle America, so much of the mid-20th century housing stock was built by people who had no business building. The observation that some professional builders aim to cut costs, to use inferior materials and to hire disreputable subs, is always going to be correct. After all, taking one’s car to the dealership for repair, does not guaranteed the best repair. But often, the amateur mechanic does an even worse job than a slapdash and careless professional. Sometimes it is better to have one’s car’s oil changed by Jiffy Lube, than to do it oneself, cross-threading the drain plug, dripping oil all over the road, and having the engine’s crankshaft seize from oil-starvation.

Ultimately, our biases are rooted in personal experience. If one buys a tidy 150-year-old house that never leaks and never rots, it’s so persuasive to extol the old. But if a block-foundation built into the hillside leaks and bows, the blocks well-hidden because the basement is finished and “dry”wall obscures the damage, what’s to be done? Buyer beware indeed…
I would need to see the basement walls but if it leaks there should be moisture under the drywall detectable with a moisture meter. An old house can have all kinds of problems, so certainly, beware. But an expensive new house failing, harboring mold and rot? That is unacceptable and too common.
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Old 11-18-2018, 09:32 PM
 
3,336 posts, read 1,997,186 times
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Originally Posted by MikeJaquish View Post
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.

Those photos *are* sickening. One guy in the comments on the site was grousing that by publicizing the problem, the website was causing his house to lose value. I guess he hasn't taken a peek under his stucco or brick.
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Old 11-19-2018, 07:42 AM
 
2,141 posts, read 999,321 times
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Originally Posted by Scooby Snacks View Post
It sounds like you are excusing them, actually. Besides, these scenarios are not the same at all. Foundation issues are due to the effects of Mother Nature expanding and contracting the concrete slab over decades. Termite invasion occurs when insects enter the home and gradually eat away at the structure, and that's not the developer's fault either. Not properly sealing/protecting stucco that should not have been used in such a wet climate in the first place? The fault lies squarely on the developer.
I said I think developers who did this are scummy.

I'm saying that any home BUYER can get screwed due to various situations. If you think because you are buying an older house that you are insulated from problems, you are not seeing reality
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Old 11-19-2018, 07:44 AM
 
2,141 posts, read 999,321 times
Reputation: 3821
Quote:
Originally Posted by tamajane View Post
Asbestos, shemsbestos. Big deal all older houses had it, it didn't kill everyone did it. The problem is people who work with it all the time and without proper equipment. I either sealed the materials that have it or removed it by watering it down first. I worry more about chemical gasses in modern materials and houses being built so tight keeping those chemicals and gasses inside for us to breathe in.

Everyone should inspect their own home on a regular basis. There would certainly be signs of termite intrusion before the house was jacked up if the homeowner inspected for it, especially if there is an unfinished basement. A WELL maintained and preserved older house is worth it's weight in gold. We have some Frank Lloyd Wright inspired homes here that must live forever, as well as Victorians and farmhouses. Craftsman houses are fantastic. There is an art to maintaining old houses but they can be preserved for a long, long time with proper care and attention. They are just better than new houses.
Asbestos, no big deal. Ok.

I love how when people bring up older houses it's the top-of-the-line houses but then they are compared to the cookie-cutter new houses. There were a lot of "developer" houses as far back as 100 years ago and a lot of them weren't that great
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Old 11-19-2018, 09:09 AM
 
10,022 posts, read 5,831,954 times
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Originally Posted by LoriNJ View Post
Those photos *are* sickening. One guy in the comments on the site was grousing that by publicizing the problem, the website was causing his house to lose value. I guess he hasn't taken a peek under his stucco or brick.
He was just saying his house didn't have the problem. It should not be an assumption that ALL of that builder's houses have these issues.
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Old 11-19-2018, 10:07 AM
 
241 posts, read 82,387 times
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My BIL always said he preferred buying a home at least 5 years old because all the problems had been fixed. I thought that was a good idea but then he retired and built a McMansion in a country club HOA. Haven't heard specifics but on one visit they were on the phone to electrician (2 years after) because of some issue about weird wiring causing problems. There may have been more issues but not disclosed to us.

One thing I learned is that earliest (oldest) homes were usually built on best sites, highest, driest, safest. Problem is that if the home was built well it's still standing with tiny rooms, low ceilings, outdated amenities (too few bathrooms). Which then requires massive updating and renovation and who wants to go through that. Better to tear down and start new....and who wants to go through that lol. Catch-22.

We are looking to move closer to family soon but we have a great home where we are, 1200 miles away. Great neighborhood, close to highly-rated hospital and we like our doctors and dentists after taking 10 years to find great ones. Finding a new home there is a huge headache and building new seems likely, ditto huge headache. First world problems I know.

We've been through "building a home" 30 years ago. Very good builder but had to stay on top and be on site as much as possible. No shortcuts taken because of that. Exhausting and time consuming, took a year. Would NEVER buy a tract home builders product.

We've never had stucco except on concrete block to dress it up. Friends builders had stucco on masonite failure on their very expensive home and the whole subdivision filed lawsuit that took many years to settle.
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