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Old 03-30-2014, 12:26 PM
 
9,520 posts, read 14,842,524 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Could you please tell me what that has to do with "disposable housing"? I have been helping first my dad, then my husband with building projects since the Kennedy administration. I don't get the significance. Every floor needs a sub-floor.
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, 12:40 PM
 
8,328 posts, read 14,569,036 times
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Reglazing is probably the hardest part of rehabbing old windows--and typically needs to be done only once or twice every few decades, during which time one will have gone through several sets of vinyl windows (and if they don't make replacement parts anymore, that means a new sash too.) Sealing air leaks and filling cracks requires a few minutes and a couple bucks' worth of silicone caulk and/or foam rubber insulation, maybe every couple of years. You don't need to hire a contractor, the level of physical effort is about as strenuous as making a sandwich.
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Old 03-30-2014, 12:46 PM
 
3,717 posts, read 2,201,548 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
I agree people are more inclined to replace some things than fix them these days. I just saw a line about that in a movie, something about fixing vs replacing a computer. And who takes their shoes to the shoe repair person like we used to in my family?

I do not agree however, that one can make a blanket statement that everything was built better "back then". And "replacement windows" are called replacement b/c you're replacing the old ones! We spent a rather large amount of money (I'm not going to say how much) getting new windows, and although we may not live long enough to see the payback, the house is more comfortable and they look a lot better and function a lot better than the previous windows. The sliders slide better, the cranks crank better, etc.
I do still bring my shoes to the shoe repair man, but I need to find a new one! 2-3 have died (love the old Italian craftsmen!) and the last one retired and moved south a few years ago.

About the windows, sounds like you replaced newer windows anyway. I'd never put vinyl clad windows in my 1926 house because they won't look right and I will never regain the cost. So for me, what's the point? And I'd say that about any house of this era. Give me my sander, putty, glazing points, paint and a couple of sawhorses. Longest part of the project is waiting for the paint to dry (and sometimes waiting for the weather to cooperate so I can sand outside). It's really not hard to fix leaky wooden windows. Newer vinyl ones, I have no idea.
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Old 03-30-2014, 01:04 PM
 
8,328 posts, read 14,569,036 times
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Vinyl windows in an old house look as ludicrous as those big modern chrome wheels would look on a vintage automobile--or, more appropriately, more like those temporary "donut" spare tires intended to keep the car rolling long enough to get to the tire store.
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Old 03-30-2014, 01:18 PM
 
Location: Richmond/Philadelphia/Brooklyn
1,263 posts, read 1,273,888 times
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The fact that newer housing uses cheap plastic instead of wood is one of many things that make the answer "yes" very obvious.
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Old 03-30-2014, 02:38 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 22 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,014 posts, read 102,634,943 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pantin23 View Post
The fact that newer housing uses cheap plastic instead of wood is one of many things that make the answer "yes" very obvious.
In place of what?
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Old 03-30-2014, 02:45 PM
 
Location: Vallejo
14,071 posts, read 16,094,154 times
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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.
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Old 03-30-2014, 02:56 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 22 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,014 posts, read 102,634,943 times
Reputation: 33082
Quote:
Originally Posted by WouldLoveTo View Post
I do still bring my shoes to the shoe repair man, but I need to find a new one! 2-3 have died (love the old Italian craftsmen!) and the last one retired and moved south a few years ago.

About the windows, sounds like you replaced newer windows anyway. I'd never put vinyl clad windows in my 1926 house because they won't look right and I will never regain the cost. So for me, what's the point? And I'd say that about any house of this era. Give me my sander, putty, glazing points, paint and a couple of sawhorses. Longest part of the project is waiting for the paint to dry (and sometimes waiting for the weather to cooperate so I can sand outside). It's really not hard to fix leaky wooden windows. Newer vinyl ones, I have no idea.
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.
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Old 03-30-2014, 02:59 PM
 
Location: somewhere flat
1,375 posts, read 1,220,043 times
Reputation: 4105
Quote:
Originally Posted by wburg View Post
Vinyl windows in an old house look as ludicrous as those big modern chrome wheels would look on a vintage automobile--or, more appropriately, more like those temporary "donut" spare tires intended to keep the car rolling long enough to get to the tire store.

I agree I detest that look.
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Old 03-30-2014, 03:23 PM
 
9,520 posts, read 14,842,524 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malloric View Post
Wiring is more a problem. I'd suggest just leaving it since all Built To Last houses pretty much have been electrified.
Knob and Tube is the Built To Last way of wiring things.
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