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Old 03-29-2014, 06:15 PM
 
3,707 posts, read 2,196,043 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pvande55 View Post
I remember some years ago a friend of mine bought an old house with an Octopus Gravity Furnace. I don't think any have been manufactured since the 30's so that is a testament to their durability. But the efficiency is horrible. 50% is on the high side. That is even before the poor insulation. You could buy a new furnace every ten years for what they waste.
The first house I looked at had one of those! It was crazy looking, and original to the house.
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Old 03-29-2014, 07:12 PM
 
Location: Philaburbia
32,376 posts, read 59,827,196 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Sealed homes are energy efficient. That doesn't mean you can't open the windows, or even the doors if you have screens.
Of course you can open the windows, but there just don't seem to be as many in new houses, which makes cross ventilation less effective. My old 1920s cape cod had at least 2 windows in every room. If I opened the window at the top of the stairs, and the window on the opposite wall downstairs, I'd get great airflow throughout the entire house.

Older houses also had full screens as a matter of course, meaning you could open the windows from the top and bottom to let the warmer air out of the top of the window while letting cooler air in from the bottom of the window. New homes - and new replacement windows - have full screens only at a premium cost.
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Old 03-29-2014, 07:25 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 18 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,999 posts, read 102,581,357 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JR_C View Post
Yeah, newspaper insulation seems like a terrible idea. My old house has no insulation, and I think I prefer that. LOL. Also, thanks to one of the links you provided, I've decided I'm not going to insulate the walls, unless I have a reason to have them open, and can also install a vapor barrier.
Glad I could be of help.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohiogirl81 View Post
Of course you can open the windows, but there just don't seem to be as many in new houses, which makes cross ventilation less effective. My old 1920s cape cod had at least 2 windows in every room. If I opened the window at the top of the stairs, and the window on the opposite wall downstairs, I'd get great airflow throughout the entire house.

Older houses also had full screens as a matter of course, meaning you could open the windows from the top and bottom to let the warmer air out of the top of the window while letting cooler air in from the bottom of the window. New homes - and new replacement windows - have full screens only at a premium cost.
My parents' houses, and DH's parents' house (what a mouthful) had those storm windows and screens that you put on and took off according to season. In my childhood home, the windows only went up, and only halfway.

Our house is 34 years old, has some sliders that slide halfway, and some windows that crank out so you can open the whole thing. There's really a gamut of window types out there. Prior to the mid-70s, most houses in the Denver area did not have storm windows. I was shocked. Both homes we have owned here, built 1978 and 1980, came with storm windows.
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Old 03-29-2014, 07:41 PM
 
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Triple track storm windows are a newer thing. What you remember, the full ones are kind of neat but time consuming. I don't know when full sized screens became available. My house had, stored in the attic, a few of the small screens you'd place in a partially open window to keep the window open during bug season. The first rental I had didnt have screens at all.

I still have numbers written inside all the window frames that corresponded to the original screens and winter windows which are sadly gone.

I have a crank window in the back of the house that was installed in the 70s or 80s. Really don't like it, would rather have one that goes up and down
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Old 03-29-2014, 07:56 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 18 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,999 posts, read 102,581,357 times
Reputation: 33059
^^Actually, the crank windows are supposed to be "better", apparently b/c you can open the whole window. We have crank windows on the front of our house, and, oddly, in the two bathrooms, but sliders in back. I don't really have a preference one way or the other. They're all pretty big in my house.
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Old 03-29-2014, 08:05 PM
 
2,941 posts, read 3,858,676 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post

*100 year old NYC apartment buildings seem to have too much heat rather too little. Windows open in mid-winter!
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.
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Old 03-29-2014, 08:09 PM
 
Location: Philaburbia
32,376 posts, read 59,827,196 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WouldLoveTo View Post
Triple track storm windows are a newer thing. What you remember, the full ones are kind of neat but time consuming.
They were. Getting the storm windows on was tough work, especially on the second floor. The screens at least were lighter.

After a few years and a few broken storm windows (the wind took one right out of my hands and it crashed into my neighbor's house!), I had permanent triple track storm/screens installed, and very much missed having full size screens.

My current house has vinyl replacement windows, which I would not wish on anyone!

Quote:
I still have numbers written inside all the window frames that corresponded to the original screens and winter windows which are sadly gone.
My old house had little numbered thumbtacks on each window frame and each storm/screen frame. Saved a lot of guesswork, although many of the windows were of the same size and the frames were interchangeable.
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Old 03-29-2014, 08:12 PM
 
2,941 posts, read 3,858,676 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
I think so, not in the ways you think. So many interior components and details are just cheap. I remember moving into a new apartment several years ago. It was billed as luxury but the finishes were cheap. I think we lived there 4 years and the building had been open for 5-6 in total. The laminate counters were failing apart, from normal wear and tear. Counters should not be falling apart so quickly. I see newer building where the doors are I poor shape after a few years. Light switch covers are cracked. All kinds of little stuff is terrible.
Laminate counters are as cheap as you can get. Light switch covers will crack if plastic but they still sell metal ones. That was just bad advertising.
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Old 03-29-2014, 08:16 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
These were supposed to be future condos only one tenant before we moved in. Maybe not we could have been first. I saw the same level of finishes in all of the midrange condos too. They are building cheaply these days. We don't have lots of new single family homes anywhere near me, and as someone who wants a cindo, I've checked those out. Surprisingly many have those paperboard cabinets, solid wood is rare.

We have a million 50s-70s condos and apartments that were mid level ones. Most have new countertops, many have original cabinets. They were all wood ones. I can see the difference in my own neighborhood. Lots of ikea grade cabinets in the new construction.
Cheap stuff exists in all decades. Now sometimes there is no choice but to use what would now be considered an expensive material because material science hasn't come so far along yet(i.e. Wood floors instead of Pergo) but old stuff often gets torn out and replaced or refurbished. Modern cabinets are not that much worse than older ones provided you didn't buy the ikea ones.
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Old 03-29-2014, 09:04 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
27,166 posts, read 29,665,044 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chirack View Post
Cheap stuff exists in all decades. Now sometimes there is no choice but to use what would now be considered an expensive material because material science hasn't come so far along yet(i.e. Wood floors instead of Pergo) but old stuff often gets torn out and replaced or refurbished. Modern cabinets are not that much worse than older ones provided you didn't buy the ikea ones.
No but the problem is they use the ikea ones and call it "luxury." I went to these really really overpriced condos not long ago. They were in a transitional area that was both sketchy, underutilized and disconnected to the rest of the city. IKEA level counters, coriander counters, pergo floors. Hilariously they were 20% more than condos in the middle of downtown in a safer and more established area. Not surprisingly the downtown ones sold in about 18 months and those Tom 5-6 years to sell out and had tons of price cuts and incentive. The downtown ones, were in an undeveloped pocket have lots of new bars/restaurants etc. and the other ones are still petitioning for a regular bus stop.
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