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Old 05-07-2014, 06:05 PM
 
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Now notice the new housing. It has wonderful windows that can let in light. The buildings are built in such a way that their are likely no views into each others houses. There is a nice roomy front and back yard as well as an wonderful thing called an garage so you don't have to sweep the snow off your car in the front. It is single family so you don't become homicidal because you need to work nights and someone else's kid is jumping up and down upstairs.

There is space on both sides so leaves don't get trapped and small animals don't get easy access to windows. And it is less likely that a fire in one house will spread to the next. The fire department likewise has relatively easy access to most if not all windows.

Imagine living in what I described earlier and now having the freedom to buy rather than rent. That alone would cause the burbs to be a bit more spread out.
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Old 05-07-2014, 07:23 PM
 
Location: Youngstown, Oh.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chirack View Post
Who is going to pay to install it once you have bought the house? There are no requirements to install it, so contractors don't.

In addition having a little space in the front or back yard is NICE. I grew up in an city and I used to love going out to the burbs to play in relatives back yards. There was so much space. I mean compared to being pretty much constrained to an concrete alley it was great to be able to run around in more than two directions or be able to throw an ball without worrying about breaking an window. Sure we had an back yard, but no kid over the age of 5 would be happy in so little space.

It is nice to be able to garden, grow your own flowers/plants trees. Have your own outdoor space to do with as you please. Outdoor space around an house sells. I suspect those older houses were built as rentals or are apartments. It was much more common for people to rent before the 50ies.

The area I grew up in had backyards a bit bigger than the one in the "new picture" but also had a building right next to us on one side and the gangway on the other. Some windows in my house were not very useful due to the fact that there was an building on that side. Leaves would collect between the buildings and you would have to rake them into the house to clear. It really wasn't pleasant. In addition squirrels, rats and kittens used to get between the buildings and I was loth to open those windows for that reason. Imagine having to worry about if there will be an RAT in your bedroom if you open the window on an hot summer night and trust me those old windows with no built in screens were not helpful in that regard.The whole house was rather dreary when it came to natural lighting because there was no space on one side, and not much space on the other and the building faced north.

My bedroom had no windows that let in sun and in case of fire(which is the reason why there are codes regarding windows in bedrooms) I didn't have much of an secondary escape. I had an 2nd window which was in an wall that separated my room from the vestibule, but I could just as well go around my door and leave the same way. If there was an fire near my door I would have to pray it wasn't in the vestibule also cause there was no other way out.

Not to mention the bathroom window, which at best you could only crack open a little. If you fully opened it or even opened it by half, the neighbors would be able see directly inside from their own window right next door. As the house was older it didn't have an fan in the bathroom either, or for a time air conditioning.

Then again my mothers windows. She had two. One like mine blocked by the building and one that like the bathroom window had a view into her room. So she again had to worry about giving the next door neighbors an view of her room. At least she could in theory get out her window in case of fire....if the fire department could get into the neighbor's yard. It wasn't accessible or visible from the street which is also an safety concern in terms of fire.

In addition I suspect there are fire codes that put a min. distance between buildings(and that might have changed). There are also codes about how a building should be constructed that might have changed as a long time ago it was perfectly legal to throw a huge family in an space without enough bedrooms, an shared bathroom(with the building) and not many windows.

In short you really DO want some space between you and your neighbor if possible.
As someone who grew up in the suburbs, that "nice" space in the front and back yards is just a lot to mow.

Here is the street I just moved from:
https://www.google.com/maps/@41.0984...uwqvkwU5gw!2e0

They are a little more spread out than the example of old housing given by OuttaTheLouBurbs, but I wouldn't mind if the houses were a little closer together, as most of the light entered through the front and back, anyway. (this has a lot to do with the orientation of the house, and whether the neighboring houses block the sun) Sound was only an issue if all the windows were open, and the neighbors were being loud.
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Old 05-07-2014, 08:21 PM
 
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I can remember when cities had a lot of anti-sky scraper advocates especially those having a lot of reflective glass. I have never loved living in a concrete jungle myself.
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Old 05-07-2014, 10:18 PM
 
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Originally Posted by JR_C View Post
As someone who grew up in the suburbs, that "nice" space in the front and back yards is just a lot to mow.

Here is the street I just moved from:
https://www.google.com/maps/@41.0984...uwqvkwU5gw!2e0

They are a little more spread out than the example of old housing given by OuttaTheLouBurbs, but I wouldn't mind if the houses were a little closer together, as most of the light entered through the front and back, anyway. (this has a lot to do with the orientation of the house, and whether the neighboring houses block the sun) Sound was only an issue if all the windows were open, and the neighbors were being loud.
Nope you could hear them through the walls. The light in the current house I live in can enter front, back and sides because it isn't so close. The neighboring houses were blocking the sun(that density people love around here). The light could never enter through the sides. One side was almost competently blocked and the other pretty shaded with only enough space for one person to pass through the gangway.
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Old 05-08-2014, 06:17 PM
 
1,709 posts, read 1,688,622 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by texdav View Post
I can remember when cities had a lot of anti-sky scraper advocates especially those having a lot of reflective glass. I have never loved living in a concrete jungle myself.
I can kind of see why. There's no point in having a lot of skycrapers, most of them aren't fully filled if there's too many. It's not as healthy a form of density as, say, Washington DC-type construction, full of mid-rises that fill relatively quickly. Skyscrapers are best used sparingly.


Quote:
Originally Posted by JR_C View Post
As someone who grew up in the suburbs, that "nice" space in the front and back yards is just a lot to mow.
Also, I will add that, good or bad, kids spend less and less time outside nowadays. That could weaken the demand for a big backyard. I don't necessarily agree with or like the trend, but it's there.


Quote:
Originally Posted by chirack View Post
There is space on both sides so leaves don't get trapped and small animals don't get easy access to windows. And it is less likely that a fire in one house will spread to the next. The fire department likewise has relatively easy access to most if not all windows.
For the fire issue, what's the difference between closely-spaced rowhomes and apartments? They both would spread fire across multiple residences, so why more fuss for rowhomes?
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Old 05-08-2014, 11:28 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OuttaTheLouBurbs View Post

For the fire issue, what's the difference between closely-spaced rowhomes and apartments? They both would spread fire across multiple residences, so why more fuss for rowhomes?
Quote:
Originally Posted by OuttaTheLouBurbs View Post


For the fire issue, what's the difference between closely-spaced rowhomes and apartments? They both would spread fire across multiple residences, so why more fuss for rowhomes?
A row home or townhouse is where one single building contains multiple residents those are not row homes. Those are separate buildings crammed right next to each other. Row homes share an lot, those buildings don't. Row houses and apartments often have different and striker fire codes than homes because of the greater possibility of fire(i.e. Several people cooking at once is more risky than one person. ).

There are fire codes regarding separation of structures.

Here is an loose local guide line about fire, ventilation and lighting. All are reason why you don't want to cram buildings together.

14: Chicago Building Code

Here is an blog that gives the issues:

What is a Setback and How Do I Find the Building Setback in My Neighborhood? - Yahoo Voices - voices.yahoo.com

Zoning districts - 2nd City Zoning

In the case of the house I lived in the house was built in the 1890ies and the setback on one side was less than the two feet min. And yes the house did have issues with noise, odor(I could sometimes smell what my neighbors cooked), and privacy!

Last edited by chirack; 05-08-2014 at 11:45 PM..
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