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Old 03-30-2014, 03:28 PM
 
3,715 posts, read 2,198,448 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
I am glad you're happy with your house. You don't seem too worried about the energy efficiency, and that's OK. Believe me, I am tired of some of the judgmentalism on this forum.

Nope, I'm not worried at all. I keep my heat down and my costs would shock you. Installing new windows would not make them much less. I just about pass out when I have to go into one of the offices I work in, and it's 72 degrees. I hate winter/love summer, but what I hate more is artificial temps. I'd prefer hot natural air or cold natural air - I can dress to make myself more comfortable.

Yes, when it's really windy some of my shades move. But I haven't finished reglazing the windows and I really prefer the exchange of fresh air. If it's bone-chilling cold AND windy, I'll push the heat up a few degrees. I heat the entire house (2 floors, plus I keep the basement door open) for less than what I used to pay for a 3rd floor 5 room apartment, also in an old house. Took me a long time to figure it out, but I did. I even have 2-3 radiators turned off completely. I've done a lot of studying on what the old-timers did and I use passive heating to my full advantage. My office is in the master bedroom for that fact, plus I can work most of the day with the lights off. When I worked in the back rooms, I'd have to put the lights on by late morning. I mean, how much room do you really need in a room you just sleep in?

I've been missing the parting beads in the window at the head of the bed for 2 years now (removed them to refinish the windows in that room, and everything's become such a circular project that they got put on the back burner) and we've survived that too.

I do some house sitting, in much newer houses and about the one thing I can say I don't mind is central AC when it's really humid. OTOH I don't like it enough to retrofit it into my house, so I use a couple of window ACs when I need to.

I always check out new ideas, but if it comes to altering what I call the "historic fabric of the house", I rarely consider it.
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Old 03-30-2014, 03:52 PM
 
Location: Youngstown, Oh.
4,896 posts, read 7,659,080 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malloric View Post
Big plastic items in my house are insulation (wires), electric outlet covers/light switch covers.

My guess is that most old houses now have these plastic items as well. You can go down to Home Depot and buy yourself a real Built To Last wooden light switch cover if you really feel strongly that that's what means your house is non-disposable. Therefore, it's obviously very easy, per pantin, to make a disposable newer house non-disposable by replacing the cheap plastic electric outlet/light switch covers with Built To Last wooden ones.

Wiring is more a problem. I'd suggest just leaving it since all Built To Last houses pretty much have been electrified. The addition doesn't appear to have made them into disposable housing, so in my mind it must be the light/electric outlet covers. If you're a real Luddite, however, I suppose you could rip out all the wiring. Like all "modern" inventions, it's not like it adds any value.
I have a few aluminum rotary switch plate covers, probably from the original electric installation, and a couple metal (brass plated?) outlet covers, that were added later. But most of my switch plates and outlet covers are of the plastic variety. Unfortunately, I can't find any suitable plastic replacements for those at the big box stores. Modern plastic plates that I find are too flimsy. I think mine are probably bakelite, and I'll have to upgrade to metal or wood (or buy vintage) to replace the few that have cracked.

I doubt that this is what pantin23 had in mind, though.
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Old 03-30-2014, 03:58 PM
 
Location: Youngstown, Oh.
4,896 posts, read 7,659,080 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
How do you know that? How severe was the leak, etc?

Glad you like your windows.
Because real wood isn't ruined by getting wet, unlike OSB.
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Old 03-30-2014, 04:09 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 20 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,008 posts, read 102,606,536 times
Reputation: 33064
You apparently missed nybbler's post about his experience with subflooring.
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Old 03-30-2014, 04:13 PM
 
Location: Vallejo
14,068 posts, read 16,085,690 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nybbler View Post
Knob and Tube is the Built To Last way of wiring things.
Yeah, grounds are for sissies. I don't need no stickin' ground!
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Old 03-30-2014, 04:25 PM
 
Location: Youngstown, Oh.
4,896 posts, read 7,659,080 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
You apparently missed nybbler's post about his experience with subflooring.
Sounded like a recurring problem, to me.
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Old 03-30-2014, 04:33 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 20 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,008 posts, read 102,606,536 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JR_C View Post
Sounded like a recurring problem, to me.
I suggest you go back and re-read it:

Quote:
Originally Posted by nybbler View Post
Yes, this is kind of silly. My living room had a once-nice hardwood oak floor (pretty much the standard for the time), covered with carpet. The room has clearly been soaked with significant water at some point, probably more than once; once the carpet was removed the floor showed all sorts of water damage. The ceiling was cracked in one spot and both the ceiling and the walls showed a lot of water damage on exposed parts of the drywall (the back and behind the baseboards I removed). No plumbing above it so it was either roof leaks or air conditioner condensate or both.

No mold. Drywall, at least in my area, doesn't typically get moldy from being flooded with clean water. If it's kept wet, or it's flooded with dirty water (sewage or flood waters) that's a different story.

The subfloor... well, that was another story. When the oak floor was removed, the subfloor (solid wood slats) was revealed to be in poor shape. You could break some of the boards in your hands. Score one for modern throwaway materials, minus 1 for traditional solid wood.

(Of course, it's not a fair comparison; the carpet, padding, and the floor probably did a fine job of keeping the water trapped and keeping the subfloor wet for a long time, whereas the walls and ceilings dried out)

As for windows.... the house I'm in had those "wonderful" old wooden windows. 6-over-6 double hung single pane wood. Air blew right through them. Perhaps reglazing would help, but while materials are cheap enough, labor is not (we're talking 15 windows with 180 panes here), and even once they were done, they'd still not be as good as a replacement. And the replacements have one solid pane of glass so lets in more light (even given the extra replacement frame).
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Old 03-30-2014, 04:39 PM
 
Location: Youngstown, Oh.
4,896 posts, read 7,659,080 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
I suggest you go back and re-read it:
I did reread it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nybbler View Post
Yes, this is kind of silly. My living room had a once-nice hardwood oak floor (pretty much the standard for the time), covered with carpet. The room has clearly been soaked with significant water at some point, probably more than once; once the carpet was removed the floor showed all sorts of water damage. The ceiling was cracked in one spot and both the ceiling and the walls showed a lot of water damage on exposed parts of the drywall (the back and behind the baseboards I removed). No plumbing above it so it was either roof leaks or air conditioner condensate or both.

No mold. Drywall, at least in my area, doesn't typically get moldy from being flooded with clean water. If it's kept wet, or it's flooded with dirty water (sewage or flood waters) that's a different story.

The subfloor... well, that was another story. When the oak floor was removed, the subfloor (solid wood slats) was revealed to be in poor shape. You could break some of the boards in your hands. Score one for modern throwaway materials, minus 1 for traditional solid wood.

(Of course, it's not a fair comparison; the carpet, padding, and the floor probably did a fine job of keeping the water trapped and keeping the subfloor wet for a long time, whereas the walls and ceilings dried out)

As for windows.... the house I'm in had those "wonderful" old wooden windows. 6-over-6 double hung single pane wood. Air blew right through them. Perhaps reglazing would help, but while materials are cheap enough, labor is not (we're talking 15 windows with 180 panes here), and even once they were done, they'd still not be as good as a replacement. And the replacements have one solid pane of glass so lets in more light (even given the extra replacement frame).
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Old 03-30-2014, 05:40 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 41,979,923 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chirack View Post
If NYC is like Chicago there are laws regarding the min. temperature the apartment must have and so landlords set the furnace high to avoid possible fines. Individual control of heating and cooling of units is something older buildings tend to lack. I know in Chicago you can have that problem too in winter.
Yes, NYC has those. That's probably it. Since old heating systems are uneven, the apartment building would rather overheat to make sure no room falls under the minimum. It didn't seem those buildings have a thermostat; they just spew heat.

As for individual A/C, old buildings have individual control as there's typically no central A/C, just room A/C the inhabitants install (or don't if they're cheapo or not picky), at least in NYC. Btw, as for window cooling, a friend of mine lives in an apartment of the top floor of a rowhouse (in Broooklyn). Not that wide, and if you open the door there's a clear path for air to go from front to back with the windows open. Put fans in both windows and you'll get a cross-breeze through the whole place. Works decently considered how little it cools during the summer with the heat island effect (warm ocean by mid summer also helps).
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Old 03-31-2014, 08:59 AM
 
Location: Living on the Coast in Oxnard CA
15,735 posts, read 26,776,109 times
Reputation: 20373
All houses that are built in any era are disposable houses. The minute you start using the house you are slowly wearing it out. Older houses have to be repaired just as newer houses will eventually have to be repaired. Pipes wear out and need to be replaced. Copper pipes wont last forever, plastic pipes wont last forever. The thing about buying a new home is that you know how long you have before a part may need to be replaced. Buying an older home is a gamble. Be prepaired to spend some money. My wife and I own a home that was built in 1962. We have been replacing items on the home since we purchased it. Eventually the home will get a new kitchen. We will be putting in brand new water supply lines this summer. The drain line from the kitchen to the main has to be replaced as well. Lucky us we have a home built on a slab. (Note, most slab built homes have the water lines replaced in the ceiling and not under the slab, our home was repiped with copper over 25 years ago and it needs to repiped again.) Within 5 years all of the major systems, plumbing, electrical, drain, will be replaced. The kitchen and baths will be new. Windows will be replaced. restucko on the outside. It will be nearly new again.
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