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Old 08-07-2014, 01:01 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
13,944 posts, read 15,255,611 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PghYinzer View Post
And good luck finding matching brick....

I cannot stand houses where the windows do not match or fit the front proportionately. It is a complete no budge thing for me. House could be perfect price and everything else, but have mismatched brick, and look like it is "winking" from the front because it is missing a window...
100% agreed. The worst is when you can tell it was because they put in a bathroom because the window is a weird small dimension and/or glass block. I mean, I know nothing about where the plumbing was, but really, is it that hard to just install a bathroom in the rear of your house?

Mind you (to get back to the original point) new construction houses frequently don't have enough windows, and ill-proportioned/asymmetric ones as well. You can tell these days they start out with the floor plan, and then build everything else around it, rather than starting with the building form and then building the rooms around it. I guess some people like to have "sofa walls" or "bed walls" but IMHO that's what the internal walls are for anyway.
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Old 08-07-2014, 01:08 PM
 
Location: On the Chesapeake
41,041 posts, read 53,321,600 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PghYinzer View Post
The act of pulling old carpet is enough to make you shudder in fear. Thinking that I have actually sat on the "clean" carpeting, and then seeing what is trapped in it is horrifying.

It is also upsetting to see what little regard for the wood flooring and trimwork carpet installers have. It's almost like they were ensuring to do enough damage so that you would need carpeting forever. They are also a big fan of using a razor to cut the pading, and making sure they push hard enough to leave a nice line all the way around the room.

Just think of the excitement you'd have when you take up the carpet to find linoleum (you knew it was there) which is mostly shattered. That's fun, but what is more fun is when you discover the linoleum had been installed on tar paper (vapor barrier) and been attached to the oak flooring with mastic.
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Old 08-07-2014, 01:15 PM
 
3,240 posts, read 2,858,269 times
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Alot of old mastics had asbestos in them, before you try sanding them down, get it tested.
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Old 08-07-2014, 01:19 PM
 
6,498 posts, read 8,230,370 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
I think one reason they did it is they wanted to rewire without fishing the wire through the ceiling. Where I removed a drop ceiling I found tons of wires strung through the house that way - not only for the ceiling light fixtures, but the second-floor wires in general seemed to mostly run through this area.

The worst is of course when they dropped the ceiling, and then dropped the window openings as well. It's relatively cheap to fix on a frame house, but can easily cost $10,000 to fix on a brick one.
That's a good point. You could frame in a drop drywall ceiling so you wouldn't even know it was a drop ceiling, but that's a bigger investment than the tiles. Still, I'd rather see electrical conduit on the ceiling than the dropped tiles.
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Old 08-07-2014, 01:41 PM
 
Location: On the Chesapeake
41,041 posts, read 53,321,600 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guy2073 View Post
Alot of old mastics had asbestos in them, before you try sanding them down, get it tested.
Too late.
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Old 08-07-2014, 02:00 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
618 posts, read 646,135 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ferraris View Post
That's a good point. You could frame in a drop drywall ceiling so you wouldn't even know it was a drop ceiling, but that's a bigger investment than the tiles. Still, I'd rather see electrical conduit on the ceiling than the dropped tiles.
Wasn't it also often to conserve heat in the 70s and 80s? (whether or not this was effective) I know some houses also had it where the plaster was damaged and it was a "modern look" without doing the repairs.
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Old 08-07-2014, 02:47 PM
 
3,240 posts, read 2,858,269 times
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Usg makes a grid for hanging drywall instead of tiles, a nice drywall job with crown molding and your celing will look perfect. It will cover up any plumbing and electrical lines and only drop the celing 3"
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Old 08-08-2014, 09:54 AM
 
249 posts, read 309,842 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
Mind you (to get back to the original point) new construction houses frequently don't have enough windows, and ill-proportioned/asymmetric ones as well. You can tell these days they start out with the floor plan, and then build everything else around it, rather than starting with the building form and then building the rooms around it. I guess some people like to have "sofa walls" or "bed walls" but IMHO that's what the internal walls are for anyway.
I can't stand those, Northern Virginia was full of them. Even on million dollar new builds. We call them Mr. PotatoHead houses because it looks like the windows were just randomly placed on the exterior.
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Old 08-11-2014, 08:37 PM
 
Location: Troy Hill, The Pitt
1,178 posts, read 1,513,179 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiger Beer View Post
I wanted to bring this discussion to Pittsburgh, mostly because I like Pittsburgh, and it seems there are plenty of very nice crafthomes.

What is your take on old homes that are well-known to be built well, versus the newer homes in the massive construction areas of the last 10-15 years, and their well-known lower quality.

Do you agree with those statements, which do you prefer? What are the benefits or disadvantages that you might see in both?

Do you believe that older Pittsburgh homes were built to last? Particularly the brick ones?

Depends on what you like in your home, or how long you intend to live in it. Knowing your way around a tool bag doesn't hurt either.

In my line of work (as what you might call a very specialized contractor) I visit a lot of very expensive properties of varying ages throughout Western PA, Ohio, and WV. Without fail the older ones look better and are more elegant. The newer places tend to look the extremely similar, and won't age well over time.
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Old 08-11-2014, 11:55 PM
 
Location: Kittanning
4,692 posts, read 8,473,297 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SlurmsMcKenzie View Post
Biggest complaint in my 95 year old home is, as other have stated, closet space. Luckily someone along the way built out some closets which are adequate. We have two large bathrooms, so can't complain there (though both need to be replaced, along with the kitchen). Our first floor and third floor layouts are great but the bedrooms on the second tend to be a little small, save for one. Insulation is poor in places but you'll have that with an old house and our house, for the most part, holds heat pretty well.
That's what wardrobes are for.
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