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Old 08-12-2014, 12:03 AM
 
Location: Kittanning
4,692 posts, read 8,470,704 times
Reputation: 3657

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Quote:
Originally Posted by guy2073 View Post
if old houses with slate roofs are so much better how come there are thousands of them waiting to be torn down all over the mon valley.
Because they are over 100 years-old and have been vacant or abandoned for at least 15-20 years, and neglected before that! I live in McKeesport and know the stories behind many of those vacant houses. They were neglected in the 1970s as the local economy went south. The owners weren't putting any money into a house that would be worthless when the steel mills closed. Then the population left McKeesport and the houses sat vacant for decades, or were rented out by slumlords and never repaired.

The cost of repairing homes in Mon Valley is often less than they are worth. That is also one of the reasons the houses were allowed to deteriorate.
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Old 08-12-2014, 12:13 AM
 
Location: Kittanning
4,692 posts, read 8,470,704 times
Reputation: 3657
Quote:
Originally Posted by norcider View Post
The old houses were built to outlast all of us.
This.

Today, we live in a disposable culture, where everything is meant to be thrown away when it wears out. In the old days, there were craftspeople and skilled people who could repair things, like slate roofs and masonry and box gutters and plaster. That is a dying art today. Today, houses are built with things like vinyl and particle board and asphalt. Take vinyl windows or steel doors. They will not outlast the owner, and will have to be replaced. They cannot be repaired in the long-term, as in > 30 or 40 years. The old windows, the slate roof, the plaster, the wood floors, and things like that can be repaired indefinitely.. Houses were built to last hundreds of years or longer, because in the countries where the immigrants who built our cities came from, houses were meant to stand and be lived in indefinitely. Go to Europe and see the 300+ year-old houses.
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Old 08-12-2014, 06:33 AM
 
Location: Brookline
3,059 posts, read 2,635,616 times
Reputation: 3685
Quote:
Originally Posted by PreservationPioneer View Post
This.

Today, we live in a disposable culture, where everything is meant to be thrown away when it wears out. In the old days, there were craftspeople and skilled people who could repair things, like slate roofs and masonry and box gutters and plaster. That is a dying art today. Today, houses are built with things like vinyl and particle board and asphalt. Take vinyl windows or steel doors. They will not outlast the owner, and will have to be replaced. They cannot be repaired in the long-term, as in > 30 or 40 years. The old windows, the slate roof, the plaster, the wood floors, and things like that can be repaired indefinitely.. Houses were built to last hundreds of years or longer, because in the countries where the immigrants who built our cities came from, houses were meant to stand and be lived in indefinitely. Go to Europe and see the 300+ year-old houses.

It's true....my brother has already replaced 2 of the steel doors on his 7 year old house, while my front door is 95 years old and going strong.
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Old 08-12-2014, 07:33 AM
 
6,498 posts, read 8,226,292 times
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What's the problem with steel doors and vinyl windows? Honest question.
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Old 08-12-2014, 08:11 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
618 posts, read 645,907 times
Reputation: 842
Quote:
Originally Posted by ferraris View Post
What's the problem with steel doors and vinyl windows? Honest question.
Vinyl windows have a shelf life, depending upon brand, of 15-25 years after which they crack and, as mentioned, cannot be repaired. The whole unit has to be replaced as the vinyl breaks down and the seals wear out, rendering the units worthless garbage. With wooden windows, they can be repaired, reglazed, rehung indefinitely. It's work, but often less expensive than a whole house of disposable vinyl windows. Even the cheap end is far from a bargain for an older house with odd openings requiring custom windows.

All of this sets aside the aesthetic value lost with vinyl...
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Old 08-12-2014, 08:16 AM
 
Location: Brookline
3,059 posts, read 2,635,616 times
Reputation: 3685
Quote:
Originally Posted by ferraris View Post
What's the problem with steel doors and vinyl windows? Honest question.
The steel doors my brother replaced, the plastic around the windows cracked and the seals broke, and started to leak. Maybe a one off problem, not sure.....
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Old 08-12-2014, 08:45 AM
 
Location: Awkward Manor
2,576 posts, read 2,892,934 times
Reputation: 1682
Planned obsolescence - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Old 08-12-2014, 09:29 AM
 
Location: O'Hara Twp.
4,359 posts, read 6,981,542 times
Reputation: 1610
Quote:
Originally Posted by PghYinzer View Post
The steel doors my brother replaced, the plastic around the windows cracked and the seals broke, and started to leak. Maybe a one off problem, not sure.....
We had some cheap steel door installed a few years ago. My contractor said that they were lousy doors. Anyway, his point was you need to spend some money, which we didn't, to get a quality door. Probably the same thing with your brother's place.
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Old 08-12-2014, 03:23 PM
 
Location: Downtown Cranberry Twp.
34,478 posts, read 13,433,368 times
Reputation: 7051
It's all in what you have done. When you cheap out up front you pay later. You have quality materials built into a new home and they will last a very long time. Most old houses are well built, but are still a lot of work. In many cases, works in progress.
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Old 08-17-2014, 10:10 PM
 
Location: Crafton via San Francisco
3,463 posts, read 4,376,264 times
Reputation: 1595
My two cents. If you like old houses, but want modern conveniences, buy one that has been updated to your liking. Or, do what I did, buy one that needs updating and is priced so that you can afford to update it to your liking. I feel like I got the best of both worlds.
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