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Old 02-05-2014, 02:27 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 22 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,014 posts, read 102,634,943 times
Reputation: 33082

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"Quality" is one of those things that is hard to quantify, however, I'd like to see some documentation. You've already acknowledged that furnaces, insulation and wiring are better now.

IME, houses have changed a lot, for the better, since the 1950s, when, ironically, my parents were saying the same thing!

DH and I rented a house built in 1953. This house was built on a slab, with no basement, in Champaign, Ill. The water pipes were contained within the slab, so if they froze, the house was essentially wrecked. Now Champaign is not the tropics. Look at the average temps for January. Weather History for Champaign, IL | Weather Underground Highs of 33-34 every day, below freezing every night! The actual highs this year varied from -1 to 51, with most days in the 20s/30s, actual lows from -13 to 26, below freezing every day. This house was also built w/o a furnace! That's right, it had a space heater in the living room. Somewhere along the line (we lived there 1979-80), someone had installed a furnace, and plastered over the place where they took out the space heater, leaving an obvious indication on a living room wall. Bathroom was small, probably 5X5 or so, with barely enough space for a sink, tub and toilet. The kitchen had few counters and cupboards; the cupboards were metal. Flooring was tile of some sort in the kitchen and bath, and I think wall to wall carpet over some sort of subfloor in the living room and bedrooms. No family room or dining room. Small closets, few in number. No garage.

Over the years, houses got larger, and for lack of a better term, more well appointed. Kitchens got bigger, cabinets went to wood, counter space increased and countertops went from formica to corian to granite. Hardwood floors became more common, especially in kitchens. Nice ceramic/Travertine tile was laid in bathrooms. Bathrooms became larger and more numerous (at least two). Garages were built. Slab on grade construction went out. Central heat was the norm.

The first house DH and I bought was built in 1978. It had a living room, a family room, a kitchen, 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms (one just toilet and sink). It had a one car garage. Tile floors in kitchen and baths, carpet in the other rooms. Fairly large closets in two of the bedrooms, and a decent sized one in the other BR as well. Wood cabinets in the kitchen. FURNACE! Storage in the crawl space.

My daughter and her husband just bought a house this fall that was built in 1998. Big kitchen, lots of wood cabinets (more than we have), hardwood floor in kitchen and "great room" (no family room), two car garage, 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, FURNACE and central air. Basement.

Last edited by Katarina Witt; 02-05-2014 at 02:54 PM..
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Old 02-05-2014, 02:38 PM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

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Location: Long Island / NYC
45,990 posts, read 41,998,698 times
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My parents have owned two 50s houses. Both had furnaces (hot water radiators) and basements. The first one wasn't particularly large or fancy, it was rather typical of the area. No garage in the first one, though.

In any case, changes in housing quality with time is not the subject of this thread. Perhaps a separate thread, maybe in the architecture forum would be more appropriate.
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Old 02-05-2014, 02:46 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 22 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,014 posts, read 102,634,943 times
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^^Why in architecture? Home Quality comes up often enough here!
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Old 02-05-2014, 02:52 PM
 
Location: Denver, Colorado U.S.A.
14,174 posts, read 23,295,360 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by genjy View Post
Show me exemplar cookie cutter housing--real, honest, straight from a conveyer belt.


Southwestern Tijuana area:

http://goo.gl/maps/kW4su
http://goo.gl/maps/IOmTd
Wow! Cookie cutter, yes, but quite nice for TJ. I haven't been there in about 10 years, but didn't know there was anything remotely nice in TJ.
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Old 02-05-2014, 03:05 PM
 
Location: Youngstown, Oh.
4,896 posts, read 7,661,531 times
Reputation: 4508
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
"Quality" is one of those things that is hard to quantify, however, I'd like to see some documentation. You've already acknowledged that furnaces, insulation and wiring are better now...
Again, I'd love to respond to this, but it's off-topic for this thread. If you're really interested, I could reply to your last posts--that were directed at me--in a DM.
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Old 02-05-2014, 04:00 PM
 
Location: M I N N E S O T A
14,800 posts, read 17,723,856 times
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Old 02-05-2014, 04:06 PM
 
Location: Richmond/Philadelphia/Brooklyn
1,263 posts, read 1,273,888 times
Reputation: 741
Quote:
Originally Posted by Malloric View Post
But they use plywood and vinyl. They'll all fall down in exactly 30 years on the day. They're just disposable houses. The fact that '50s neighborhoods still exist does enter into my reality. 30 years and not one day more.
I'm just going to point out the fact that a lot of these suburban houses from the first few decades are beginning to look rather dilapidated, also, I remember reading somewhere that they were initially built to last about 75-80 years, or so.
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Old 02-05-2014, 04:10 PM
 
Location: Richmond/Philadelphia/Brooklyn
1,263 posts, read 1,273,888 times
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I think I have an obsession with British cookie cutter terraces

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Old 02-05-2014, 04:14 PM
 
Location: M I N N E S O T A
14,800 posts, read 17,723,856 times
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On a serious note look at any urban center in the North East or look at the suburbs in the Desert South West.
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Old 02-05-2014, 04:27 PM
 
Location: Richmond/Philadelphia/Brooklyn
1,263 posts, read 1,273,888 times
Reputation: 741
Quote:
Originally Posted by iNviNciBL3 View Post
On a serious note look at any urban center in the North East or look at the suburbs in the Desert South West.
Most urban centers in the NEC are nowhere near as monotonous as southwestern suburbs


*Next, an angry nut job attempts to show a row of Brownstones and some cul de sac of mildly different boring houses to try and disprove me.

Last edited by nei; 02-05-2014 at 04:34 PM.. Reason: language
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