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Old 08-05-2014, 11:29 AM
 
Location: Macao
16,263 posts, read 40,471,741 times
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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?
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Old 08-05-2014, 11:34 AM
 
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I could go on for days about the quality of old homes vs new ones, the best thing to do is find a house that you love.
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Old 08-05-2014, 11:47 AM
 
Location: Western PA
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It's a personal preference. With old homes, you have the sturdy construction and detailed craftsmanship that can't be duplicated today. They tend to be in established neighborhoods, some are on brick streets with sidewalks and a massive tree canopy. But they may also require updating for high speed internet connections and electrical outlets.

Some people like new houses because they can move right in and not have to worry about anything for a few years. A lot have the "open floor plan" that some people like, plus the I have heard from friends who bought new that the scariest thing was the cracks that appear as the house starts to settle.

It all depends on what you want in a house.
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Old 08-05-2014, 11:58 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
618 posts, read 642,878 times
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A house, new or old, will always have things go wrong and need attention. I would rather have an older house with solid, quality bones as a foundation to build and improve on than a new construction prefab with a planned obsolescence built right in. This is always an emotional subject, granted, but I see (quite subjectively) absolutely no charm in a beige contractor box designed with the singular goal of ramping up the sq footage (and sales price) while finishing it as cheaply as possible.
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Old 08-05-2014, 01:46 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
524 posts, read 975,746 times
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Without a doubt, older well-build homes were built to last, in contrast to newer homes, which after 10-15 years start breaking down - windows, light fixtures, faucets, etc. I have a brick foursquare that is solid as a rock. The original windows still work fine, whereas the few replacement windows are complete junk - expensive ones, at that. Faucets from the original house lasted 75 years or more; replacement ones barely last 10. Are there issues with an old house? Of course, but I've had insulation blown into the attic to reduce heat loss (worked great), and my sandstone foundation needed to be waterproofed, but give me a solid old house any day over anything less than 60 years old.
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Old 08-05-2014, 02:04 PM
 
Location: O'Hara Twp.
4,359 posts, read 6,931,254 times
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For me it is all about location. The house has to be on the right street in the right town. If it is I can go either way.

Personally, I would love a older home from the 1930-1950's. Not a four square but a Tudor or an older colonial.
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Old 08-05-2014, 02:20 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh
1,036 posts, read 1,463,244 times
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My house was built in 1966--it isn't "old and historic" by any means. I'm in a little housing plan in the city limits that was one of few built in the mid to late 60s. The thought was, "Live in the city with suburban amenities!" I've heard the term, "Post World War II house." I can barely use a hammer and nails, but absolutely everyone who has done anything to this house has told me how well built it is.

With that said, I have a co-worker who lives in a townhome in Mars. He and his wife own the townhome and are the first occupants since it was built, roughly 8 years ago. It's one of the big name builders...Ryan, Maronda, etc. I'm not sure which one. Regardless, he told me how it already needed a new roof because something wasn't done right when it was first built. Granted people make mistakes, but this kind of stuff seems all too common with new construction.

The same guy and his wife have now started a family. They looked at building in some new Ryan/Maronda community in Richland. He put money down, started construction, etc. He had his retired father-in-law monitor the start of construction very carefully--since he's a retired contractor. He found so many "cut corners" before the foundation was even laid. They ended up pulling out and demanding their money back and having to threaten legal action. Fortunately, they got out. But how many of these "mc-mansions" are built so poorly and the innocent folks that buy them haven't the slightest clue?

In his case, I have no idea why after living in a townhome community that was poorly built by one of the big names he would consider going nearly the same route. But that's something only he would be able to answer...

My friends in Raleigh live in a housing development that was built in 2008. They're all sided, they all look the same. I'm am in AWE at how some of the homes in the development look HORRIBLE only 6 years later--they don't even get winter weather hardly! Roofs look terrible, shutters discolored all to hell, siding falling off, you name it. Granted, we can argue that the homeowner is responsible for upkeep and maintenance, sure. But how many of these style developments attract people to "affordable new construction" that turns out to be a nightmare?

Any other local horror stories about new construction?
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Old 08-05-2014, 02:32 PM
 
Location: Awkward Manor
2,576 posts, read 2,878,782 times
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I can recall a relatively young person (mid-20s) telling me in all seriousness that they couldn't imagine living in a house that someone else had lived in.
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Old 08-05-2014, 02:54 PM
 
Location: Jacksonville
97 posts, read 205,013 times
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I live in Florida now and most consider anything built prior to 1998 "old". It makes me laugh cause that is still "new" by Pittsburgh standards.
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Old 08-05-2014, 02:59 PM
 
43,011 posts, read 102,952,217 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doo dah View Post
I can recall a relatively young person (mid-20s) telling me in all seriousness that they couldn't imagine living in a house that someone else had lived in.
That's hilarious. How did he go straight into new homeownership after leaving his parents' house?

I hope you pointed out the insanity of his statement if he was a renter!
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