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Old 04-01-2014, 01:52 PM
 
Location: Youngstown, Oh.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chirack View Post
Solid wood floor subflooring can rot and wrap if is wet long enough.
Certainly! But, it's unlikely to rot from one wetting, or from being wet only a week. Also, because it's only subfloor, if it does warp, it could be sanded flat again.
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Old 04-01-2014, 02:53 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 22 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JR_C View Post
Certainly! But, it's unlikely to rot from one wetting, or from being wet only a week. Also, because it's only subfloor, if it does warp, it could be sanded flat again.
My DH has repaired many a faucet, though he did buy a new one recently for the kitchen sink. The old faucet was only about 12 years old. As far as the subfloor example, maybe your friend/brother/whoever (can't remember who the person was) just wanted a nice clean subfloor for starts. Vinyl siding is not commonly used here in the Denver area, even on less expensive houses.

Last night we were watching "Love It or List It" on HGTV. (Yeah, I know!) They were remodeling this 100 year old house. I wasn't there at the beginning and I don't know where it was, though I think somewhere in Canada. Anyway, these two guys had a $150K budget to fix up this house. When the workers went to fix the tin ceiling, they discovered the roof had leaked and essentially rotted the ceiling above the tin tiles. There went one of their upgrades, into fixing this ceiling. So it's not just the new houses that have funky stuff going on with them.
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Old 04-01-2014, 03:10 PM
 
Location: Vallejo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JR_C View Post
Windows are the best example of this; they are designed to be serviced, and they're found throughout the house. But, another example would be faucets. My kitchen sink faucet is from the early 50s. When I had the water turned on for the first time in 5 years, (according to the previous owner) this faucet leaked. I went out and spent 50 cents on some new washers, and the faucet doesn't leak anymore. Modern faucets have cartridges that can be replaced, but they aren't as simple, or as cheap as a couple rubber washers.

Vinyl siding is am example of something that is very problematic to repair. If a piece of your vinyl siding has been damaged, you can remove the damaged piece. But, it would be almost impossible to find an exact match. (color/texture) Even if you had extra siding in storage (at work, we call this "attic stock") it still would be an imperfect match due to fading.

Then, there's the example I gave earlier in this thread about a plumbing leak requiring the replacement of all subfloor that got wet. If a solid wood subfloor was allowed to dry out, after the leak was discovered, there would be no need to replace it.
Especially cheap facets. Since I tend to do the small repairs even though I rent, I bought a basic Delta facet. I don't like compression facets because they require more maintenance and have the separate hot/cold handles. Compression facets wear out faster and need more service than Delta facets, so if you're talking about a heavily used kitchen facet they have a big advantage. Compression is cheaper to buy, cheaper to maintain, but more wear out faster.

Now, if you're talking about the plastic cartridge facets that come with low-end homes because the builders are cutting costs, yeah, those are garbage. Thing is, it's a facet. It has about as much to do with the disposableness of a home as plastic outlet covers. Either buy a semi-spec home where you choose the fixtures or just spend $200 to replace the facets when the plastic one breaks in about the same time as a compression facet needs the washers replaced.

Siding, while mostly cosmetic, is at least actually appreciably expensive to fix. So if you actually care about it matching, yeah. The wood siding on my house doesn't match, not a big deal. Certainly not worth the extra money to tear perfectly good siding that's 40 years old off just because you can't get the same wood siding today.

.
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Old 04-01-2014, 03:16 PM
 
Location: Bothell, Washington
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
There have been structural improvements in newer houses, but these are often masked due to how higher-quality finishes and cladding have become rare. You don't see houses anymore with real stone lintels, and seldom even see ones with fake concrete ones which try to look like stone. In many parts of the U.S., they only bother to put brick on the front face of a house, if at all. Ornate wood trim has fallen out of fashion, both internally and externally. You also don't get stained-glass windows, hardwood floors, or ornate stairwells unless you are rich and/or put them into your house yourself.

Also, it's quite common in newer houses to not have a functional attic (due to the use of prefab roof trusses) or slab foundations instead of basements, which many people can see as negatives, as they cut down on house storage space, leaving you with the garage and little else to house random crap. That's not to say that every modern house lacks both of these features, but it's much cheaper not to include them, so unless you're building for a wealthy customer, they'll often be skipped, particularly in areas with high labor costs.

So yeah, you may have a point that modern construction, when done well, is actually structurally superior. It just tends to look bland. Houses have become more the blank canvass we then decorate than something which has artistic features in and of itself.
As Katiana mentioned, a lot of these things were optional even "back in the day". I rarely see an old house with stained glass unless it is an old mansion that used to be one of the fanciest in the neighborhood or town. And hardwood actually is becoming more common now than it was in the past few decades- we have looked at lots of new houses recently that have hardwood standard, on at least the main floor. And those are not for rich people, those are regular middle class homes.

And things like ornate woodwork- that is just a sign of the times. It has no bearing on the quality of the home, it's just not how things are done anymore- people don't deem it necessary.
And with a "functioning" attic, I suppose it depends on what you see the purpose of an attic to be. These days attics are filled with insulation to keep the house from getting so cold in winter and so hot in summer. Back in the day attics were mostly just open spaces so people used them for storage- but those homes were horribly energy inefficient because of that- heat would just escape up through the attic and out the roof. So these days that is gone, replaced by other spaces to use for storage, such as basements as you mentioned.
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Old 04-01-2014, 03:42 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 22 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jm31828 View Post
As Katiana mentioned, a lot of these things were optional even "back in the day". I rarely see an old house with stained glass unless it is an old mansion that used to be one of the fanciest in the neighborhood or town. And hardwood actually is becoming more common now than it was in the past few decades- we have looked at lots of new houses recently that have hardwood standard, on at least the main floor. And those are not for rich people, those are regular middle class homes.

And things like ornate woodwork- that is just a sign of the times. It has no bearing on the quality of the home, it's just not how things are done anymore- people don't deem it necessary.
And with a "functioning" attic, I suppose it depends on what you see the purpose of an attic to be. These days attics are filled with insulation to keep the house from getting so cold in winter and so hot in summer. Back in the day attics were mostly just open spaces so people used them for storage- but those homes were horribly energy inefficient because of that- heat would just escape up through the attic and out the roof. So these days that is gone, replaced by other spaces to use for storage, such as basements as you mentioned.
From my link from Forbes in post #16:
"The homeownership rate also grew rapidly from 43.6% in 1940 (it had remained around 45% since 1900) to 64.4% in 1980."


Home ownership was 62.1% in 1960. Now we have discussed this before. Someone thought that meant home ownership only increased by about 20% from 1940, when actually it increased by about 50% in those 20 years. Pretty much all the homeowners in 1940 were living in homes built before the Depression started in 1929. When a smaller proportion of people owned homes, home ownership was more concentrated among the wealthy. Mortgage terms were different prior to the FHA in 1936. So these houses had more of the fancy trims and so on than the homes built since. The homes built immediate post-war were built rapidly, to accommodate a lot of pent-up demand from the Depression and WW II, as well as to accommodate the returning GIs who were just marrying and starting families.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homeown..._United_States

Last edited by Katarina Witt; 04-01-2014 at 03:51 PM.. Reason: forgot link
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Old 04-01-2014, 03:48 PM
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Location: Long Island / NYC
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I've seen decorative, though simple woodwork around the door frames in old rowhomes which were definitely not for the wealthy. It's mostly a style change.
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Old 04-01-2014, 06:01 PM
 
Location: Kansas
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Yes. Our house was built in 1927 and has stood well past the time that we have seen houses torn out in the urban areas. Houses were built to last and now they are just like everything else - throw away.
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Old 04-01-2014, 06:18 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
12,436 posts, read 11,933,106 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jm31828 View Post
As Katiana mentioned, a lot of these things were optional even "back in the day". I rarely see an old house with stained glass unless it is an old mansion that used to be one of the fanciest in the neighborhood or town. And hardwood actually is becoming more common now than it was in the past few decades- we have looked at lots of new houses recently that have hardwood standard, on at least the main floor. And those are not for rich people, those are regular middle class homes.
Stained glass is a rather common thing in Pittsburgh houses built between 1900 and 1930. This house isn't fancy, but has a good deal of it. As is hardwood flooring which looks original, along with built ins, somewhat ornate wood trim, etc.

My own house is from 1892. It's old enough, small enough, and plain enough it has only pine flooring, and rather undistinguished internal trim. But the exterior still has sandstone lintels, terra-cotta inlay, and ornate wood on the dormer.



In general, it seems like ornateness in terms of the exterior of houses peaked around 1900 in most parts of the country, and then styles became progressively simpler. In contrast it took around another 20-30 years for the interior of houses to begin simplifying as well. I'm not sure if I'd call any of these "trends" though, given they've shown no signs of reversal. Both modern "new urbanist" construction as well as "McMansions" tend to have stick/drywall/siding in some combination.
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Old 04-01-2014, 06:20 PM
 
Location: Holly Springs
3,890 posts, read 9,559,157 times
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They sure don't build them like they used to!




In all seriousness, older houses use much better wood, but newer houses use much better building code. The floor plans of newer houses also are vastly improved for modern living. With that said, in 200 years I believe houses built 50 plus years ago have a much better chance of remaining than what they build today.
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Old 04-01-2014, 08:27 PM
 
Location: Warren, OH
2,748 posts, read 3,341,021 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Since you and wburg are proclaiming the Word of God here, why not give us some examples of "The difference is that, quite often and in general, older houses can be repaired by fixing the materials that are present, rather than replacing them, and actual replacement occurs much farther out in the building's life cycle. Modern houses (and those of the past couple of decades) can be repaired, but primarily by replacement rather than fixing a component."

WouldLoveTo gave an example of preferring to repair rather than replace his windows, but I'd like some good solid examples of something that has to be replaced in a newer home that can just be repaired in an older one. TIA for all your examples.

And what's this foolishness about "if you can still find a 70s subdivision standing"? Good grief. There's one right across the main road from me, and my own subdivision was built in the early 80s. Boulder CO is full of 70s homes, b/c the anti-growth people took over at that point, and not much new has been built since within the city limits.

Perhaps they are standing but they are ugly and dated. And shoddily built.
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